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Do some universities give out too many firsts? watch

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    (Original post by TolerantBeing)
    I know which of my family/ friends are more academically capable/ hard working. And whether you like it or not, in most cases A-level performance is a fair indicator of capability.
    It can be but doesn't have to be. You could be lazy and then get your arse in gear at uni. Maybe there was some other reason why the did poorly in A-levels. Maybe it just takes longer for it to "click" with you. I know someone who came from the foundation year and gets firsts in most of her exams. She most likely didn't have very good A-levels. Are her firsts worth less than the others who get firsts who came from better A-levels? Nope of course not. Anyway the further you get on with your career the less important your academic qualifications become.
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    (Original post by CJKay)
    By what metric?

    You also make a good point that vocational courses are often better at ex-polys than traditional unis. I would argue that my Computer Science course has been of more use to me than the equivalent at Queen Mary or Bristol, as I've been taught a lot about methodologies, working to time restraints and practicalities which, having spoken to a lot of people doing degrees at different places, tends to be significantly more useful than memorising Djikstra's algorithm (which can be Googled if and when you need it).

    It certainly helped me fill out my CV, which consequently got me a placement at a company I didn't ever expect my grades would get me to.
    I don't think there is a definitive metric other than logic and course comparison. People with very good school grades are very much expected to do better in university, thus RGs and other similar universities have comparatively superior courses to their ex-poly counterparts. A computer science course from a top university will contain a lot more mathematics and programming than the same course from a lower university. Whether or not it would make the candidate more enticing to employers, however, isn't for me to say.
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    (Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
    It can be but doesn't have to be. You could be lazy and then get your arse in gear at uni. Maybe there was some other reason why the did poorly in A-levels. Maybe it just takes longer for it to "click" with you. I know someone who came from the foundation year and gets firsts in most of her exams. She most likely didn't have very good A-levels. Are her firsts worth less than the others who get firsts who came from better A-levels? Nope of course not. Anyway the further you get on with your career the less important your academic qualifications become.
    This pretty much ^^^^^

    Also the classification you get from your course relates to how well you did at that particular course. Unless you're looking at professional accreditation and the like cross reference of grades isn't always applicable. As I said before the classification you get may be more indicative of your work ethic and application. If somebody gets a first from anywhere it generally shows that they aren't a slacker, employers love a grafter.
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    (Original post by Caedus)
    I don't think there is a definitive metric other than logic and course comparison. People with very good school grades are very much expected to do better in university, thus RGs and other similar universities have comparatively superior courses to their ex-poly counterparts. A computer science course from a top university will contain a lot more mathematics and programming than the same course from a lower university. Whether or not it would make the candidate more enticing to employers, however, isn't for me to say.
    You do realise medicine/dentistry at ex polys are AAA just like the other universities?
    I got A*A*A and im doing dentistry at plymouth. I got an unconditional from newcastle for another course. I can walk into most RGUs with ease
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    (Original post by teen1234)
    You do realise medicine/dentistry at ex polys are AAA just like the other universities?
    I got A*A*A and im doing dentistry at plymouth. I got an unconditional from newcastle for another course. I can walk into most RGUs with ease
    I am quite aware of that, actually. It's obvious that dentistry and medicine are both exceptions to the rule.
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    The scandal is that they give away too many 2.1s.

    My undergraduate degree (History)

    120 students in year:

    1st - 6 students
    2.1 - 111 students
    2.2 - 3 students
    3rd of fail - 0 students

    I worked really hard but came about 15th in the year, but I have the same grade as somebody who came fourth-to-bottom and did no work. The gap between 60 and 69 is huge in some degrees.
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    (Original post by Caedus)
    I am quite aware of that, actually. It's obvious that dentistry and medicine are both exceptions to the rule.
    sorry , tbf I think most people realise this. Dont even know why I commented lol
    Can honestly say it will be a weird experience though. Im probably going to be better at maths than the maths students at the university...
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    (Original post by bkf88)
    The scandal is that they give away too many 2.1s.

    My undergraduate degree (History)

    120 students in year:

    1st - 6 students
    2.1 - 111 students
    2.2 - 3 students
    3rd of fail - 0 students

    I worked really hard but came about 15th in the year, but I have the same grade as somebody who came fourth-to-bottom and did no work. The gap between 60 and 69 is huge in some degrees.
    This. It really bothers me, tbh. There needs to be a way of differentiating between a low 2:1 and a high 2:1. They're worlds apart.
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    The whole process confuses me. Logically, expolys have to have easier degrees because their entry standards are so much lower. It wouldn't make sense to have varying entry standards otherwise.

    But then you move on to the fact that all unis will have an external marking system in place. So this should mean that third year results, if anything, are in line with all other unis. Yet I'm just not convinced. :dontknow:

    My anecdotal experiences suggest ex polys are easier. I have a friend who went to an ex poly and she got 40 in first and second year. Then got a 2:1 because they focused on her third year mark as it would be better than the usual second/third year split. At most other unis she'd have got a 2:2, so already this is different.
    Also, I noticed once that an ex poly friend was doing one of the same modules I'd done in first year (intro to globalisation) in her third year. With something like globalisation it just seems weird to only be getting onto that in third year.

    For me, sometimes I wish I'd have gone to an ex poly despite my good grades. This is because I am going into teaching and uni prestige makes absolutely no difference in this career, so I sort of feel like I've struggled for nothing. Oh well, done now.

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    (Original post by Airfairy)
    The whole process confuses me. Logically, expolys have to have easier degrees because their entry standards are so much lower. It wouldn't make sense to have varying entry standards otherwise.
    logic would require this where the institutions were offering traditional academic courses assessed largely or entirely by closed-book exam. Because under this circumstance A-level grades would seem a good likely predictor of performance. For a vocational course of a kind not offered at school and assessed by group work projects, poster presentations, the performance report from the work-placement, and the portfolio, there seems much less warrant to suppose that A-level performance should imply very much.
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    (Original post by snailsareslimy)
    This. It really bothers me, tbh. There needs to be a way of differentiating between a low 2:1 and a high 2:1. They're worlds apart.
    But why? Who would that benefit?

    If an employer prefers a "higher standard", they will specify this. I've seen jobs where they want people with a 2:1 of 65% or more in order to apply. After a couple of jobs, the degree will matter very little anyway - It's practically just a gateway into work for most.


    At least in engineering, most companies do not care where you got your degree. The course content is managed by external institutes to ensure the essentials are covered, but that's about it. Grades only go so far in securing a job. Assessments, interviews and technical questions separate the best candidates from the worst. Therefore, someone with a First at the best university in the world can do badly and someone with a low 2:1 from some "ex-poly", can do really well.... Because the employers care more about other factors than a grade alone.


    If you're looking for a job, leave it to HR and managers to decide what your qualifications are worth. In 5-10 years, my university information will probably turn into a microscopic note on my CV because I will have done more important things by then.
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    (Original post by Airfairy)
    The whole process confuses me. Logically, expolys have to have easier degrees because their entry standards are so much lower. It wouldn't make sense to have varying entry standards otherwise.

    But then you move on to the fact that all unis will have an external marking system in place. So this should mean that third year results, if anything, are in line with all other unis. Yet I'm just not convinced. :dontknow:


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    External marking doesn't really make much of a difference. We were told that the external examiner just reviews the marking and basically gives feedback on the course - they don't actually mark the exams and to my knowledge can't change marking unless something serious has gone wrong. It doesn't create a system where all unis are the same, rather it's just a double check that marking hasn't been done completely wrong.

    Anecdotal experience points expolys having easier degrees but there isn't really an alternative without restricting admissions and making the degrees harder. Essentially, the UK system has moved to one where everybody feels they should go to uni regardless of where they're going or what they're doing so there exists a market for 'easier' degrees (by which I mean have low entry requirements).
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    (Original post by SillyEddy)
    But why? Who would that benefit?

    If an employer prefers a "higher standard", they will specify this. I've seen jobs where they want people with a 2:1 of 65% or more in order to apply. After a couple of jobs, the degree will matter very little anyway - It's practically just a gateway into work for most.


    At least in engineering, most companies do not care where you got your degree. The course content is managed by external institutes to ensure the essentials are covered, but that's about it. Grades only go so far in securing a job. Assessments, interviews and technical questions separate the best candidates from the worst. Therefore, someone with a First at the best university in the world can do badly and someone with a low 2:1 from some "ex-poly", can do really well.... Because the employers care more about other factors than a grade alone.


    If you're looking for a job, leave it to HR and managers to decide what your qualifications are worth. In 5-10 years, my university information will probably turn into a microscopic note on my CV because I will have done more important things by then.
    I care more for personal satisfaction, I know grades aren't everything and a 2:1 is generally fine. Everything you've said is absolutely true.

    It just seems a bit unfair to have someone who is borderline First material and worked a lot bunged into the same classification as someone who scraped through.
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    (Original post by snailsareslimy)
    I care more for personal satisfaction, I know grades aren't everything and a 2:1 is generally fine. Everything you've said is absolutely true.

    It just seems a bit unfair to have someone who is borderline First material and worked a lot bunged into the same classification as someone who scraped through.
    There's nothing to stop you from stating the overall percentage, which would show you're higher up than other candidates.

    I do see reasons for a decimal or GPA type system, or a 2:1 higher/lower mark, but I feel those who need to care about grades (postgraduate courses, employers, etc) know how to handle the information they've been given already.
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    (Original post by teen1234)
    sorry , tbf I think most people realise this. Dont even know why I commented lol
    Can honestly say it will be a weird experience though. Im probably going to be better at maths than the maths students at the university...
    Yes, you'd potentially be better at a lot of subjects than the vast majority of the students at your university. :cool:
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    Please sympathise. These people are already put at a disadvantage on the job market by attending lower-'tier' universities, a first honours degree or at least an upper second would serve as a saving grace.
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    Most employers won't give a nuts as to how academic one is in the pure sense they want people who are work ready if at all possible. There is a base line of academic competence which is required for many jobs and students whether from Oxbridge or an ex poly will likely meet those minimum requirements.

    Employers who regularly take on graduates will know which institutions provide the more competent employees and which don't and it doesn't always correlate to how high up the league table a uni is.

    Things like "how hard" a course is or what A level grades one got to get there are more relevant if one is furthering oneself academically eg going for a doctorate or heading for one of the few career paths who actually care eg law and banking. Many of the "better" unis tended or tend to focus on the pure academic rather than the work readiness and employability. With loans and course fees being so high students may start to swing away from subject purity and aim for where can get them into a job from high status uni, low or in between.
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    (Original post by Folion)
    Most employers won't give a nuts as to how academic one is in the pure sense they want people who are work ready if at all possible. There is a base line of academic competence which is required for many jobs and students whether from Oxbridge or an ex poly will likely meet those minimum requirements.

    Employers who regularly take on graduates will know which institutions provide the more competent employees and which don't and it doesn't always correlate to how high up the league table a uni is.

    Things like "how hard" a course is or what A level grades one got to get there are more relevant if one is furthering oneself academically eg going for a doctorate or heading for one of the few career paths who actually care eg law and banking. Many of the "better" unis tended or tend to focus on the pure academic rather than the work readiness and employability. With loans and course fees being so high students may start to swing away from subject purity and aim for where can get them into a job from high status uni, low or in between.
    Someone made a post about this a few days ago saying that people should be studying courses that are most likely going to get them a job. For example Im more interested in studying philosophy than I would be studying dentistry however I know what Im getting with dentistry and I like the career at the end of it. The poster had the same opinion that you shouldn't necessarily study what you want at university, but what will give you the best career.
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    (Original post by teen1234)
    Someone made a post about this a few days ago saying that people should be studying courses that are most likely going to get them a job. For example Im more interested in studying philosophy than I would be studying dentistry however I know what Im getting with dentistry and I like the career at the end of it. The poster had the same opinion that you shouldn't necessarily study what you want at university, but what will give you the best career.
    I'm not trying to say what people should study only they should be aware which routes their courses tend to favour.

    If one wants to pursue a career in academia/research/doctorate etc then getting the best A level grades possible for the most academic courses at the most prestigious universities for that subject would be your goal. The same applies to a couple of career areas like law and banking. In general though if one chooses to go from "hard" universities into the world of work one shouldn't automatically assume that you're better placed or more entitled than people from ex polys or "lesser" "easier" unis because those people might have been geared up and prepared for those positions as it was their most likely destiny anyway.
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    Lol, all of the poly unis on my fb feed are now full of their very recent grads talking about their firsts. Whereas, with the RG unis this is very rare. I think it is a lot of rubbish. Horrible system that polys abuse.
 
 
 
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