Firsts on the line

“The argument that degree classification was, or had become, a burden rather than a blessing was widely contested at that time, even though the evidence that this was so was already overwhelming. People – and this includes academics – are creatures of habit, and like to cling to what is familiar to them. The degree classification process was well known and well tried. The annual round of classification boards were recognisable fixtures in the academic calendar. Employers (we were told) were accustomed to select graduate recruits simply on the basis of the degree classification. Besides, there could be no question of the University of London abandoning degree classification unilaterally. There had to be a sector-wide decision. Yet, on re-reading the published report of that conference, the empirical arguments against classification were strongly put and were beyond contention. And they have become much stronger with the passage of time …” (more)

[Geoffrey Alderman, Guardian, 21 October]

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