A BASINGSTOKE student who burnt her A Level results in front of crowds at a protest in London last year, has advised those finding out their grades today “it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get what you want”.

A year ago, furious Queen Mary’s College pupil Oliva Styles joined hundreds of other students in London to march against the A Level ‘shambles’, which saw around 40 per cent of students given grades lower than their teachers’ assessments because of a government algorithm.

Thankfully, the government later did a U-turn and Olivia, along with other students, had their grades increased.

Now, 19-years-old Olivia has just completed her first year at The University for the Creative Arts in Farnham studying film and digital arts.

Like many students studying during the pandemic, her first year has been challenging, with much of her learning spent online.

She told the Gazette: “It’s been really hard because it’s such a creative course, so not to be able to get into the university and use the cameras.”

However, she is now living on campus and has been able to enjoy some of the normality of student life in her first year.

Reflecting on her results day in 2020, Olivia, from Beggarwood, said: “I could still get into uni but at a lot of the hard work which we put in over the two years wasn’t as recognised.

"I feel that the government had a big job to do and I don’t think they handled it as well as they could have done, although I’m glad they did a U-turn.”

Offering advice to students collecting their results today, whose education has also been disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, she said: “I have seen that record numbers of students have high grades but it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get what you want, there are always other options.”

Oliva is hoping to work in the film industry when she completes her three-year course.