Entry requirements for degree courses in science are going “through the roof” because the government is not sponsoring enough places to meet soaring application levels, Brian Cox has said.
The Wonders of the Universe presenter said university budgets were not sufficient to cater for the explosion in popularity in science and engineering courses among young people.
Higher grade targets for A-level pupils applying to read science at University are not a sign of higher standards but of a shortage of places on offer, he added.
Prof Cox, who will teach a first-year undergraduate physics module at Manchester university next year, said: “We seem to have turned a corner in this country. It was the case for years that the number of kids interested in science was going down.
“The problem is that there are so many wanting to do science now that we don’t have university places for them, and you can see that as evidenced by the entry grades they need to do science, which are going up and up.
“That’s not an example of rising standards – what it’s really an example of is the fact that there are too many people chasing too few university places, in an area that we recognise as being nationally important.”