• Home
  • News
  • News
  • Government announces plans to reduce ‘grade inflation’

joshsandiford
31st October 2018

Government announces plans to reduce ‘grade inflation’

The Universities Minister has said that the soaring numbers of students graduating with first and upper second class degrees in the UK are ‘threatening’ their value
Government announces plans to reduce ‘grade inflation’
Library Student. Photo: LSE Library @Flickr.

The government has announced plans to reduce ‘grade inflation’ in UK universities.

Universities Minister Sam Gyimah said last week that the soaring numbers of students graduating with first and upper second-class degrees are “threatening” their value.

According to figures from the Higher Education Statistics Authority a quarter of all UK graduates secured a first-class degree in the 2016/17 academic year.

Grade inflation occurs when universities award a high amount of top degrees to their graduates. Universities are independent in awarding their grades and can, therefore, award as many first-class degrees as they like.

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) used to assess the quality of UK universities will soon look at how responsible universities are when awarding degrees.

If a university is seen to be awarding an excessive amount of first and upper second-class degrees, their rating of either gold, silver or bronze might be affected.

Mr Gyimah said: “When you look at what makes our universities so prestigious, it comes down to the value of our degrees – they open up a huge range of opportunities and the chance to step into a rewarding and highly-skilled career”.

He added that “the value of those degrees is threatened by grade inflation and that is a problem for students, employers and the universities themselves. These new measures will look at how we can protect our globally recognised higher education system by discouraging universities from undermining the reverence a degree qualification from the UK commands”.

According to Times Higher Education, the University of Manchester awarded 30% of graduates a first-class degree in the 2016/17 academic year. In total, over 80% of students were awarded either a first or an upper second-class degree.

UoM declined to comment on the government’s plans directly but a spokesman told The Mancunion that “the university’s Assessment Framework ensures assessment is fair and rigorous and the degrees we award are as a result of the dedication of our students to their courses.”

Some, including Universities UK, have argued that students might be working harder to achieve their grades due to the added pressure of high tuition fees, which currently stand at £9,250 per year.

 

Josh Sandiford

Josh Sandiford

Deputy Editor

More Coverage

Mayor’s Question Time: Andy Burnham faces questions from Manchester students

Mayor’s Question Time: Andy Burnham faces questions from Manchester students

On September 29 Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, answered student’s questions at a Question Time event, with issues ranging from transport and housing to the monarchy and devolution
Exclusive: SU secures £360,000 in funding to help with cost-of-living crisis

Exclusive: SU secures £360,000 in funding to help with cost-of-living crisis

Exclusive: The SU has announced £360,000 in funding from the University of Manchester to help students with the cost-of-living crisis
Greater Manchester Student Assembly petition for £1.50 cap on student bus fares

Greater Manchester Student Assembly petition for £1.50 cap on student bus fares

Five student unions in the Greater Manchester area, collectively called the Greater Manchester Student Assembly, have written to Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, to petition him for a £1.50 cap on public transport for students.
Oversubscription leads to quarter-million pound pay-out for Manchester freshers

Oversubscription leads to quarter-million pound pay-out for Manchester freshers

Oversubscription has caused over 100 University of Manchester freshers to take £2500 pay-outs from the University to live in Liverpool as the demand for Halls of Residence exceeds the supply.

Popular Articles

Copyright © The Mancunion
Powered By Spotlight Studios

0161 275 2930  University of Manchester’s Students’ Union, Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9PR

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap