Huge spike in Firsts due to safety nets and sympathetic markers

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stargazer2k19
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Thanks to safety net policies in many (most?) universities and overly generous marking due to feeling sorry for us students having to "work so hard" during the Covid-19 crisis, viewed as being far from "ideal", do you think will there be a HUGE upsurge in the numbers of graduates with First Class degrees this year?

I predict there will be a massive increase in those graduating with Firsts, which will devalue First Class degrees and make it even harder for those graduating with Firsts (which will be a lot of people this year) to do better on average than those with lower class degrees.

Who knows it could be around half of all students or just under half (a third?). Graduate jobs are already scarce during this Covid crisis and each individual job position will have hundreds if not thousands applying for it, and with so many First Class graduates (more than ever) chasing too few places, people are really going to find it hard. And I mean hard.

I think the Class of 2020 is basically screwed - we're gonna be so up against it and find it terribly difficult to get graduate jobs, and this year, having a First will not make you anything special due to so many others also having them.

What does everyone else think?
Last edited by stargazer2k19; 3 weeks ago
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999tigger
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Grade inflation has been rampant in unis for decades, same as for A level. Firsts used to be be down to the highly able in the top 1%-10%, now its way more common.
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stargazer2k19
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(Original post by 999tigger)
Grade inflation has been rampant in unis for decades, same as for A level. Firsts used to be be down to the highly able in the top 1%-10%, now its way more common.
Yeah, it's an absolute disgrace, and they'll no doubt just be dishing Firsts out this year like there's no tomorrow.
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harrysbar
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(Original post by stargazer2k19)
Yeah, it's an absolute disgrace, and they'll no doubt just be dishing Firsts out this year like there's no tomorrow.
No I still think it's hard to get a First.

There will be fewer people being allowed to fail this year though and probably more people getting 2.1s who would have got a 2.2 if they hadn't made the exam system easier
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gjd800
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Almost inevitable. I didn't give out many across the year, come to think of it
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Reality Check
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(Original post by gjd800)
I didn't give out many across the year, come to think of it
Same. They're like a hen's tooth for us. You're right though - I wonder instead of a starred first, it will be known as a Corona First. In other words, a mediocre 2i in any other year.
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roscpctals
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My university actually refused to introduce a safety net policy, for this reason.
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Catherine1973
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Not really.
I think there will be a lot more 2.1s for solid decent exams. But if you don’t have whatever is needed for a first, you won’t suddenly acquire it.
I do law and whilst a 24 hour open book exam makes it much easier to pass with a decent answer, it still doesn’t give you the skills to add that extra understanding or thinking that gets you the first. (Though we will see when exams marks come in as supposedly we are marked as thought in exam conditions and have spent 45 mins per answer!
So I think I will get a lot of 68 for solid good answers But not quite first material.
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stargazer2k19
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(Original post by Reality Check)
Same. They're like a hen's tooth for us. You're right though - I wonder instead of a starred first, it will be known as a Corona First. In other words, a mediocre 2i in any other year.
No doubt about this whatsoever. Which is so extremely unfair to those who actually "deserved" their Firsts this year. But then again, employers have no way of knowing who did deserve their First or who just simply benefited from an overly generous marking system and safety net policy. And so the employers cannot and will not differentiate. Safety net policies should never have been implemented and marking systems should not have been made easier - students in the UK already enjoy an easy ride as it is. Covid shouldn't have been an excuse to make that ride even more comfortable.
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gjd800
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(Original post by Reality Check)
Same. They're like a hen's tooth for us. You're right though - I wonder instead of a starred first, it will be known as a Corona First. In other words, a mediocre 2i in any other year.
My previous employer came late to the party with no detriment, but what that policy eventually meant was that about 20% of students that I was marking didn't even bother sitting their final assessments :lol:
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harrysbar
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(Original post by Reality Check)
Same. They're like a hen's tooth for us. You're right though - I wonder instead of a starred first, it will be known as a Corona First. In other words, a mediocre 2i in any other year.
Haha I hope that takes off, "a Corona First"

We could also have a "Corona property" bought cheap as a result of a fall in the housing market
And a "Corona job" - it's not much but I was lucky to get it
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MalcolmX
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will a 2.1 become the new 2.2? i hope not... i'm on for a 2.1
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stargazer2k19
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(Original post by harrysbar)
Haha I hope that takes off, "a Corona First"

We could also have a "Corona property" bought cheap as a result of a fall in the housing market
And a "Corona job" - it's not much but I was lucky to get it
Love it 😂😂❤❤
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Reality Check
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(Original post by gjd800)
My previous employer came late to the party with no detriment, but what that policy eventually meant was that about 20% of students that I was marking didn't even bother sitting their final assessments :lol:
:laugh: I like that take on 'no detriment' - pretty savage.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by harrysbar)
Haha I hope that takes off, "a Corona First"

We could also have a "Corona property" bought cheap as a result of a fall in the housing market
And a "Corona job" - it's not much but I was lucky to get it
Corona flour - it's out of date, and I'm not sure what 'spelt' actually is, but hey - hopefully it'll make something which passes for a Vicky Sponge.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by stargazer2k19)
No doubt about this whatsoever. Which is so extremely unfair to those who actually "deserved" their Firsts this year. But then again, employers have no way of knowing who did deserve their First or who just simply benefited from an overly generous marking system and safety net policy. And so the employers cannot and will not differentiate. Safety net policies should never have been implemented and marking systems should not have been made easier - students in the UK already enjoy an easy ride as it is. Covid shouldn't have been an excuse to make that ride even more comfortable.
I wouldn't go quite this far with it. If an employer were so minded, he could see that the degree was awarded in the 'Corona Year'. If it were vital to ensure that the first class result was representative of attainment throughout the degree, he could request to see the transcript to examine previous years' results and individual module/coursework marks . However, I appreciate that most employers will not have the time, resources or even inclination to do this and will just accept the 'first'.

It's not ideal, but there again none of this is. Students could hardly be left in a position where they were going to do manifestly worse as a result of something which was in no way their fault, so something had to be implemented. Whether the balance of 'no detriment' is right will be proved in the eating of that particular pudding.
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stargazer2k19
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(Original post by Reality Check)
I wouldn't go quite this far with it. If an employer were so minded, he could see that the degree was awarded in the 'Corona Year'. If it were vital to ensure that the first class result was representative of attainment throughout the degree, he could request to see the transcript to examine previous years' results and individual module/coursework marks . However, I appreciate that most employers will not have the time, resources or even inclination to do this and will just accept the 'first'.

It's not ideal, but there again none of this is. Students could hardly be left in a position where they were going to do manifestly worse as a result of something which was in no way their fault, so something had to be implemented. Whether the balance of 'no detriment' is right will be proved in the eating of that particular pudding.
I take all your points on board and agree, proof will of course be in the pudding. I think Class of 2020 will be the lost graduates.
It is going to be very interesting to see how many graduate with Firsts - I think it'll be around a third, perhaps even half of all 2020 graduates.
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gjd800
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(Original post by Reality Check)
:laugh: I like that take on 'no detriment' - pretty savage.
In a way it shows that they aren't daft. Take a hit on a difficult module or two without slamming their average. I get it in a way, haha
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ageshallnot
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(Original post by Reality Check)
Corona flour - it's out of date, and I'm not sure what 'spelt' actually is, but hey - hopefully it'll make something which passes for a Vicky Sponge.
Will Corona graduates have their ambitions "popped"??? 😆
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Reality Check
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(Original post by gjd800)
In a way it shows that they aren't daft. Take a hit on a difficult module or two without slamming their average. I get it in a way, haha
Yep, exactly. They're playing the odds, which is probably what I would have done if I'd needed to. And it certainly fits in with 'no detriment' as a concept :laugh:
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