Rampant grade inflation.... Let's really talk about

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Realitysreflexx
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I would guess that the Internet is to blame for the rampant grade inflation we have seen at University level... 80% getting 2:1s or 1st's must lie there surely?

Some possible points....

Maybe because students have exceptionally easy access to high quality information, and it is becoming harder for academics to set plausible tasks.... That are still challenging?

Or (scandal inbound) academics have become at their core lazy and are more concerned with their KPI and not being bothered. Simply passing people requires less work after all and is a government (or was) target of everyone basically achieving a degree....Academics in Europe 😅 do have much greater job security irregardless of whether their students pass.

Or Academics maybe dreading what a poor grade does to a student's future?

Financial pressure....

Let's think about some other nations... Such as Germany... Degree attainment within "regel studenzeit" is poor as this graph below shows:


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Views: 25
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Only about 30% graduate on time within the normal three year window (regel studienzeit). (on the chart everything below Bachelor is some form of degree, like arts, education etc).

While this is annoying... It's affordable...An extra year only costs roughly €700 plus living costs.

Well, an extra year in England.... 😂

This could actually motivate students and give a reason of why they have little interest in diddling.

Finally, young people are being taught better at A level to the point university is no longer a struggle?

What do you guy's think.... And how best to solve it.

My suggestion would be to set hard caps...

20% can achieve a first...
40% can achieve a 2:1....
No caps on lower marks.

If these ends up increasing the 2:2 degree's awarded... That might actually solve the issue.

But that's just one suggestion....
Last edited by Realitysreflexx; 1 month ago
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nexttime
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(Original post by Realitysreflexx)
I would guess that the Internet is to blame for the rampant grade inflation we have seen at University level... 80% getting 2:1s or 1st's must lie there surely?

Some possible points....

Maybe because students have exceptionally easy access to high quality information, and it is becoming harder for academics to set plausible tasks.... That are still challenging?

Or (scandal inbound) academics have become at their core lazy and are more concerned with their KPI and not being bothered. Simply passing people requires less work after all and is a government (or was) target of everyone basically achieving a degree....Academics in Europe 😅 do have much greater job security irregardless of whether their students pass.

Or Academics maybe dreading what a poor grade does to a student's future?

Financial pressure....

Let's think about some other nations... Such as Germany... Degree attainment within "regel studenzeit" is poor as this graph below shows:


Name:  Screenshot_20200801_173653_com.android.chrome.jpg
Views: 25
Size:  78.4 KB

Only about 30% graduate on time within the normal three year window (regel studienzeit). (on the chart everything below Bachelor is some form of degree, like arts, education etc).

While this is annoying... It's affordable...An extra year only costs roughly €700 plus living costs.

Well, an extra year in England.... 😂

This could actually motivate students and give a reason of why they have little interest in diddling.

Finally, young people are being taught better at A level to the point university is no longer a struggle?

What do you guy's think.... And how best to solve it.

My suggestion would be to set hard caps...

20% can achieve a first...
40% can achieve a 2:1....
No caps on lower marks.

If these ends up increasing the 2:2 degree's awarded... That might actually solve the issue.

But that's just one suggestion....
I didn't know that about Germany that is interesting. The US of course has 4 year undergrads, which is because their pre-uni education is very broad so their specialist knowledge is starting from a long way back. I think that is the same for Germany actually? Maybe in between? So perhaps unsurprising it takes a little longer?

I think the reason for grade inflation is a cynical money grab. Unis are required to compete for students and want to get donations from alumni - give everyone good grades so they are happy and give good reviews. Maybe there is a little bit of not wanting to deal with complaints mixed in there. I certainly don't think academics not being able to set challenging exams is the reason! Nor that its to do with higher entry qualifications - given how many more people are entering uni now vs in the past the truth is likely the opposite there.

If we're going to change everything dramatically its likely we need to just scrap the 1st/2.1 terminology or it will cause confusion with the old system. I suspect there would be instinctive resistance to calling uni grades 'A' 'B' 'C' etc, but a numerical system (out of 10 maybe) would probably be best. I'd also argue it should be published alongside the actual grade point score too, to allow further differentiation.

I suspect you've seen my position elsewhere: I don't think you can address grade inflation without also addressing the glaring inconsistencies in how different unis award degrees. When you've got Surrey awarding 47% firsts - more than any other uni including your Oxbridge's Imperials LSEs etc - just changing the way degree grades are labelled definitely feels like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

The uni grading system is broken and something needs to be done so that grades are even vaguely comparable. Again as I've said elsewhere, I'd want to see the grades a uni can award be either based on pre-university assessment (A-level or a subject specific test e.g. the tests Oxbridge use), or a national subject-specific assessment after 6 months of uni. So if x uni does amazingly well on their entry level/national assessment, they are allowed to award 50% 1sts, whereas if y uni does very poorly it is only allowed to award 10%, etc. There are lots of ways you could model it. This means that exceptional students at poor unis can still redeem themselves, but that degrees are actually comparable via a validated, mathematical process.

I'm very much leaning into comparing grades from different unis which is extensively debated on TSR and risks upsetting your thread, but i do feel like its impossible to tackle one without the other.
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ByEeek
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(Original post by nexttime)
I didn't know that about Germany that is interesting. The US of course has 4 year undergrads, which is because their pre-uni education is very broad so their specialist knowledge is starting from a long way back. I think that is the same for Germany actually? Maybe in between? So perhaps unsurprising it takes a little longer?

I think the reason for grade inflation is a cynical money grab. Unis are required to compete for students and want to get donations from alumni - give everyone good grades so they are happy and give good reviews. Maybe there is a little bit of not wanting to deal with complaints mixed in there. I certainly don't think academics not being able to set challenging exams is the reason! Nor that its to do with higher entry qualifications - given how many more people are entering uni now vs in the past the truth is likely the opposite there.

If we're going to change everything dramatically its likely we need to just scrap the 1st/2.1 terminology or it will cause confusion with the old system. I suspect there would be instinctive resistance to calling uni grades 'A' 'B' 'C' etc, but a numerical system (out of 10 maybe) would probably be best. I'd also argue it should be published alongside the actual grade point score too, to allow further differentiation.

I suspect you've seen my position elsewhere: I don't think you can address grade inflation without also addressing the glaring inconsistencies in how different unis award degrees. When you've got Surrey awarding 47% firsts - more than any other uni including your Oxbridge's Imperials LSEs etc - just changing the way degree grades are labelled definitely feels like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

The uni grading system is broken and something needs to be done so that grades are even vaguely comparable. Again as I've said elsewhere, I'd want to see the grades a uni can award be either based on pre-university assessment (A-level or a subject specific test e.g. the tests Oxbridge use), or a national subject-specific assessment after 6 months of uni. So if x uni does amazingly well on their entry level/national assessment, they are allowed to award 50% 1sts, whereas if y uni does very poorly it is only allowed to award 10%, etc. There are lots of ways you could model it. This means that exceptional students at poor unis can still redeem themselves, but that degrees are actually comparable via a validated, mathematical process.

I'm very much leaning into comparing grades from different unis which is extensively debated on TSR and risks upsetting your thread, but i do feel like its impossible to tackle one without the other.
A great post and I completely agree with all you say.

Uni education is changing for the better. Now that students are paying unis are recognising that putting on dull lectures is not enough. The school i work for are doing some work with a top red brick uni to help then with student engagement. The government are also poking their fingers in and we will likely see some sort of uni version of OFSTED. Love them or hate them, they have raised standards in theaching and learning in schools and would have a similar effect in universities too.
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looloo2134
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(Original post by ByEeek)
A great post and I completely agree with all you say.

Uni education is changing for the better. Now that students are paying unis are recognising that putting on dull lectures is not enough. The school i work for are doing some work with a top red brick uni to help then with student engagement. The government are also poking their fingers in and we will likely see some sort of uni version of OFSTED. Love them or hate them, they have raised standards in theaching and learning in schools and would have a similar effect in universities too.
The school I went to has been in the worst 1000 secondary schools in the country for almost 70 years low OFSTED rating has not made any different to the terrible teaching standards at the school.
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ByEeek
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(Original post by looloo2134)
The school I went to has been in the worst 1000 secondary schools in the country for almost 70 years low OFSTED rating has not made any different to the terrible teaching standards at the school.
I'm really sorry about that. But education as a whole has improved.
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