Have your say: It may be harder to get firsts as universities combat grade inflation Watch

candokoala
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A statement of intent supported by the UK higher education sector is aimed at helping to protect the value of degrees, but it may mean tougher marking.

On Monday, Universities UK published a joint commitment on degree classifications, aimed at making them fairer and more consistent across the sector.

Read the full It may be harder to get firsts as universities combat grade inflation article and join in the discussion by posting a message below.
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Acsel
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I can't really see a problem here, if too many people are reaching the bar then raising the bar a bit higher makes sense. I've always thought it rather odd that a top grade can be had for a mark that's just over two thirds and there are plenty of circumstances where that 70% boundary is achieved through work that simply isn't demanding enough. And the entire lack of standardisation makes it awfully difficult for an employer to compare a degree classification from two different universities, or worse still a specific percentage.

However for a lot of people, the value in their degree is how it affects their career prospects after uni. This means employers need to be aware of the change and able to properly differentiate between candidates. It'd all be a bit pointless if a business blindly employs the student that scraped a First when things were easy, over the student with a high 2:1 after things had been made harder.

The problem here is really twofold. Degrees are highly accessible and in some cases not appropriately difficult which dilutes the talent pool. The lack of standardisation means employers may be entirely unaware of the differences between candidates. And as a result, there will be cases of too many applicants that don't stand out, with no clear way to differentiate their academic ability. Of course some candidates will go the extra mile to make sure they do stand out (often in ways that aren't academic), but that's bad news if you're one of the people in the "too many chefs" position.

Of course at the end of the day, it is up to candidates themselves to sell themselves. Addressing the consistency issue is a good thing but it's up to students themselves to deal with the rest.
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CoolCavy
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Brilliant. I bust a gut already now it's going to be even harder.
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