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Are Degree Grades Worth the Same? - Consistency and Dumbing Down watch

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    (Original post by charlotterg5)
    Would I agree that Liverpool doesn't have sh*t on Oxford? Yes. I'd be deluding myself not to; Oxford is the best university in the country. There's no way I'd get in there. Liverpool on the other hand is my hometown, and a pretty decent university so I'm more than happy to go there even though Oxford it ain't.

    With regards to comparing it to Oxford Brookes, I don't really know how the two compare. Doesn't really matter to me, tbf. I've made my decision
    That's a much nicer way of putting it!! Different universities suit different people for different reasons. I never applied to Oxford, nor do I like the city so wouldn't ever study there. But, then again, some high-flying A-levellers love the place and would kill to go there.
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    (Original post by hebe001)
    I hate to admit it, but a first or a 2.1 from oxford is going to be more well regarded by employers than a first or a 2.1 from most other universities...
    To be fair, though, that isn't the debate here. The higher external or social value of an Oxford degree is clear to be seen. Everybody knows that an Oxford degree potentially 'gets you places'. Rather, the question is as to whether these two 2.1 qualifications reflect an identical quality of performance on the part of each candidate.

    As the article demonstrates, the question is--at present--unanswerable. To answer it would require a comprehensive and comparative analysis of both marking systems and the manner in which those systems are employed. But even then, the findings would prove little. Unless university degrees are marked externally--and not just moderated--this question will forever remain unanswerable. For me, I quite like the current system. I like the fact that degrees can't be directly compared. I like the fact that an Oxford degree isn't automatically better than a degree from Oxford Brookes. Why should it be? Every university is different, every course--even if it's of the same title as others--is different, and I think that this brings an exciting element to education. I start my MA in October, in a different university and a different department. And as much as I loved my BA course, I don't want my MA to be the same. I want a new challenge and a new experience. I want to start from scratch and prove myself again.
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    (Original post by Smtn)
    According to league tables, you're way out. Otherwise good point
    According to Wiki, Liverpool has spent nearly all of the time in the mid-30s to late-40s:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Univers...mic_reputation

    Oxford Brookes has spent nearly all of the time in the 50s:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxford_...mic_Reputation

    There are plenty of times when Liverpool is in the 40s and Oxford Brookes in the 50s. I don't think 5-10 places is a great difference. Oxford Brookes 55, Liverpool 45, Oxford 1 or 2. Liverpool is most certainly closer to Oxford Brookes in the tables.

    I won't support the tables though, but it's useful to cite because they take the wind out of most peoples sails on TSR.
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    (Original post by oo_Lucinda_oo)
    I'd actually agreed with everything else you'd said so far and thought you argued it well, but what is that supposed to mean? And what relevance does it have?
    Elitist students do not solely exist with the 'old guard' (e.g. Oxbridge, Scottish ancients, Durham etc). You will see students who play up the differences between their university and those perceived below theirs, whilst playing down the differences of those who are perceived as above. In fact there was a thread ages ago where someone spoke of being treated unfairly because she's at Brookes by a Leeds student, with the Leeds student citing the lack of high places Brookes feature in league tables. Shouldn't have really attended Leeds then.
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    (Original post by Nicholas Urfe)
    To be fair, though, that isn't the debate here. The higher external or social value of an Oxford degree is clear to be seen. Everybody knows that an Oxford degree potentially 'gets you places'. Rather, the question is as to whether these two 2.1 qualifications reflect an identical quality of performance on the part of each candidate.

    As the article demonstrates, the question is--at present--unanswerable. To answer it would require a comprehensive and comparative analysis of both marking systems and the manner in which those systems are employed. But even then, the findings would prove little. Unless university degrees are marked externally--and not just moderated--this question will forever remain unanswerable. For me, I quite like the current system. I like the fact that degrees can't be directly compared. I like the fact that an Oxford degree isn't automatically better than a degree from Oxford Brookes. Why should it be? Every university is different, every course--even if it's of the same title as others--is different, and I think that this brings an exciting element to education. I start my MA in October, in a different university and a different department. And as much as I loved my BA course, I don't want my MA to be the same. I want a new challenge and a new experience. I want to start from scratch and prove myself again.
    Very well said :yes:
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    (Original post by Smtn)
    According to league tables, you're way out. Otherwise good point
    League tables mean nothing, but you are correct in that Aston is quite a bit higher than Brookes (generally).

    However I imagined the inevitable outrage that would have ensued had I implied Aston was more on par with Oxford, so thought it best to go the other way.
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    (Original post by NDGAARONDI)
    Elitist students do not solely exist with the 'old guard' (e.g. Oxbridge, Scottish ancients, Durham etc). You will see students who play up the differences between their university and those perceived below theirs, whilst playing down the differences of those who are perceived as above. In fact there was a thread ages ago where someone spoke of being treated unfairly because she's at Brookes by a Leeds student, with the Leeds student citing the lack of high places Brookes feature in league tables. Shouldn't have really attended Leeds then.
    That's the name of the game when everybody thinks of universities in terms of discrete positions upon one, continuous hierarchy.
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    (Original post by NDGAARONDI)
    Elitist students do not solely exist with the 'old guard' (e.g. Oxbridge, Scottish ancients, Durham etc). You will see students who play up the differences between their university and those perceived below theirs, whilst playing down the differences of those who are perceived as above. In fact there was a thread ages ago where someone spoke of being treated unfairly because she's at Brookes by a Leeds student, with the Leeds student citing the lack of high places Brookes feature in league tables. Shouldn't have really attended Leeds then.
    It's ridiculous, and something I'll never participate in.
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    (Original post by Blooroo)
    That's a much nicer way of putting it!! Different universities suit different people for different reasons. I never applied to Oxford, nor do I like the city so wouldn't ever study there. But, then again, some high-flying A-levellers love the place and would kill to go there.
    I'm glad you approve

    Essentially, my original point was that in an ideal world, a degree in the same subject with the same grade from any university should carry the same weight as one from another university. The fact is, they don't. If someone told you they had a 2.1 from some university that didn't even make it onto the league table because it was so crap, you'd be impressed because they obviously worked pretty hard to get it but if they told you that degree was from Oxford (due to it's reputation) you'd probably be more impressed.

    It's kind of the reverse logic for A Levels in that if someone said they got five A's but they went to Eton, I'd be somewhat impressed, but if they went to a school that was in danger of being closed down due to it's shockingly bad performance, I'd be even more impressed.

    In my mind it essentially boils down to which person you think did more work. I know someone at Oxford who was told to read eight novels from the Victorian Era in one weekend in order to complete the topic in a week. I think it's safe to say he had to work harder than my friend doing the same course at Reading who got four weeks on the same topic.

    That's just my guess.
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    I got my wires crossed and thought somebody was referring to Liverpool when it was, in fact, Aston. I still think it's safe to say that Aston is pretty obscure, even if we take league table positions into account - it's been all over the place, staying mainly in the 30s-40s with some placements in the 10-20s, and 50s. What a random selection!
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    (Original post by Blooroo)
    That's the name of the game when everybody thinks of universities in terms of discrete positions upon one, continuous hierarchy.
    Aye. Had a big row with a prospective law undergraduate who was hoping that having Dunelm after his degree would put him in high places solely based on name over everyone else bar Oxbridge. Then he stopped posting in the Durham section and I found he got rejected and is now at Leeds. Karma? Think of the ego deflation!
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    (Original post by charlotterg5)
    I think it's safe to say he had to work harder than my friend doing the same course at Reading who got four weeks on the same topic.
    I have to ask, though: Was it really the same topic? It may have been similar theoretically, or periodically, but I'm sure that the two modules would've been pretty different. Teaching differs everywhere, and so do methods of assessment. I just think it's really difficult to measure who 'worked harder' because people work so differently.
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    (Original post by charlotterg5)
    I'm glad you approve

    Essentially, my original point was that in an ideal world, a degree in the same subject with the same grade from any university should carry the same weight as one from another university. The fact is, they don't. If someone told you they had a 2.1 from some university that didn't even make it onto the league table because it was so crap, you'd be impressed because they obviously worked pretty hard to get it but if they told you that degree was from Oxford (due to it's reputation) you'd probably be more impressed.

    It's kind of the reverse logic for A Levels in that if someone said they got five A's but they went to Eton, I'd be somewhat impressed, but if they went to a school that was in danger of being closed down due to it's shockingly bad performance, I'd be even more impressed.

    In my mind it essentially boils down to which person you think did more work. I know someone at Oxford who was told to read eight novels from the Victorian Era in one weekend in order to complete the topic in a week. I think it's safe to say he had to work harder than my friend doing the same course at Reading who got four weeks on the same topic.

    That's just my guess.
    I see what you are saying. I suppose the question is whether our (your?) responses are justified, or just knee-jerk reactions inherited from popular culture that is currently heavily shaped by people who never studied when the new universities existed as universities. For careers such as teaching new universities have exceptional employment rates (some being 100% or close to it). This smashes the employment rates of many art and humanities graduates from Oxford and is higher than Oxford-trained teachers. From this perspective, to question the value of a degree from the position of an employer forces us to ask which employer specifically.
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    So after the yearly arguments that a bacteria could get an A* on a maths GCSE paper, and how A Levels are just SO easy, now we're onto whether or not degrees are getting easier. Excellent.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/...-degree-firsts

    Does this sort of thing really anger anyone else?
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    (Original post by NDGAARONDI)
    Aye. Had a big row with a prospective law undergraduate who was hoping that having Dunelm after his degree would put him in high places solely based on name over everyone else bar Oxbridge. Then he stopped posting in the Durham section and I found he got rejected and is now at Leeds. Karma? Think of the ego deflation!
    lol

    Oh dear! I wonder if this side of his personality came through in the interviews. If his prospective lawyers were educated elsewhere I doubt they would be in awe of his Durham badge of honour (which, I'm sure, is a badge to be proud of, but not be arrogant about...).

    I sometimes wonder how Durham was perceived by A-levellers a few years ago when it was much lower in the tables. At the moment Exeter seems to be gaining recognition whilst Nottingham and Bristol are sometimes slated (to my surprise). This place seems to be very fickle and I wonder if this extended to Durham when it was 10-20 places lower.
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    (Original post by charlotterg5)
    In my mind it essentially boils down to which person you think did more work. I know someone at Oxford who was told to read eight novels from the Victorian Era in one weekend in order to complete the topic in a week. I think it's safe to say he had to work harder than my friend doing the same course at Reading who got four weeks on the same topic.
    Isn't about the quality of work produced? Or do you propose that we give marks for effort? Why do you think it is reasonable to judge academic achievement by the speed at which a topic is dealt with or how much time pressure students face? We still have to know what quality standards the students are assessed to.
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    (Original post by Blooroo)
    I see what you are saying. I suppose the question is whether our (your?) responses are justified, or just knee-jerk reactions inherited from popular culture that is currently heavily shaped by people who never studied when the new universities existed as universities. For careers such as teaching new universities have exceptional employment rates (some being 100% or close to it). This smashes the employment rates of many art and humanities graduates from Oxford and is higher than Oxford-trained teachers. From this perspective, to question the value of a degree from the position of an employer forces us to ask which employer specifically.
    Exactly. I think the university you're referring to for teaching is the University of Chichester. Commonly regarded as a post-1992 university despite having some history dating back to the 1800s. It depends what you want out of a degree, there are parts of the syllabus to a history degree at Oxford that are useless for secondary education. You'll get used to people using employers to mean everyone and anyone, if you haven't already done so. Sometimes it's a synonym for someone who pays high wages only like Magic Circle firms or investment banking. People who think like this will no doubt work until they die thinking their life is pointless without a job, so will work beyond retirement age because they have nothing better to do.
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    (Original post by Nicholas Urfe)
    I have to ask, though: Was it really the same topic? It may have been similar theoretically, or periodically, but I'm sure that the two modules would've been pretty different. Teaching differs everywhere, and so do methods of assessment. I just think it's really difficult to measure who 'worked harder' because people work so differently.
    Clearly that was a fairly superficial statement, I mean, there's so many arguments you could make ie. 'were the levels of depth comparable?' etc. I was just saying that from my observations of two people doing the same course at two different universities, my friend at Oxford has no life and works all the time, and my other friend, though they still work, seems to have a smaller workload. Therefore, arguably, it'd be fair to say that the Oxford guy works harder. Obviously I am by no means an expert or anything

    But essentially, you can't compare degrees from different universities because a lot of the time they're not comparable, so, going back to the thread question, degrees can't be worth the same from different universities.
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    Yeah it pissses me of. Just because people are achieveing more now doesnt mean its because its easier. It is from the guardian and they come under the group newspapers written by ********* who talk aload of ******** also the daily mail are in this group. What does the government what all us to fail.
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    Oh, Christ on a bike. We can't win, can we?
 
 
 
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