UK degree algorithms: the nuts and bolts of grade inflation

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on July 16th, 2018 by steve

“Concerns about UK grade inflation are now such a regular feature in the media that most of us are probably in the terminal stages of grade inflation fatigue. It is also the case that the term itself is interpreted in two different ways leading to two (intertwined) debates where both require a different policy response …” (more)

[David Allen, Wonkhe, 15 July]

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Crying ‘grade inflation’ dismisses students’ achievements at university

Posted in Teaching on June 22nd, 2018 by steve

“On Thursday morning, I travelled to another university to act as an external examiner for one of their degrees. Before I left the house, I listened to the Today programme. On the show, I heard Tom Richmond from the think-tank Reform complaining that universities were ‘handing out incredible numbers of top degrees’ because the system allows them to ‘mark their own homework’ …” (more)

[Alice Bennett, New Statesman, 22 June]

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Too many firsts risk universities’ credibility, says think tank

Posted in Teaching on June 21st, 2018 by steve

“Universities risk losing their credibility due to ‘rocketing’ grade inflation, a think tank has said. According to Reform, the proportion of firsts awarded almost doubled between 1997-2009 and rose by 26% since 2010 …” (more)

[BBC News, 21 June]

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UK university figures show up to fivefold rise in first-class degrees

Posted in Teaching on June 14th, 2018 by steve

“British universities have been handing out higher-class degrees at an unprecedented rate over the past decade, according to detailed figures released by the higher education regulator. The figures, from a selection of universities taking part in the government’s latest teaching excellence framework, known as Tef3, show huge variation …” (more)

[Richard Adams, Guardian, 13 June]

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Grade inflation: a clear and present danger

Posted in Teaching on May 18th, 2018 by steve

“Grade inflation is endemic in our higher education system. What’s more, its pace appears to be accelerating and neither high tariff nor low tariff institutions are immune. The regular newspaper articles showcasing the latest growth in firsts and 2:1s have become an expected feature of the summer, yet the sector still shows a failure to truly grip this nettle. Too often, debates over whether it really exists are still taking the place of genuine attempts to reform …” (more)

[Iain Mansfield, Wonkhe, 17 May]

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Lecturers face investigation if average mark below 2:1

Posted in Teaching on February 1st, 2018 by steve

“Staff at a Russell Group university have been told that they will face investigation over their grading if they award average marks lower than a 2:1. In an email seen by Times Higher Education, lecturers at Queen Mary University of London’s School of Business and Management are told that they must remember what is called the ’60:60:60 principle’ when assessing students’ work …” (more)

[Jack Grove, Times Higher Education, 1 February]

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Grade inflation could be the next battleground for higher education

Posted in Teaching on January 26th, 2018 by steve

“Data published by HESA in January 2018 shows that more than a quarter of UK undergraduates completing their studies in 2017 were awarded first-class honours. In 2012, the corresponding figure was only 18% …” (more)

[Allan Howells, Wonkhe, 25 January]

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Making the grade too easily?

Posted in Teaching on August 22nd, 2017 by steve

“It’s mid-summer, and so of course it’s the time of year for breathless comments about grade inflation in universities, and particularly about the number of students being awarded a top grade in their final examinations and assessments …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 21 August]

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Impact of Grade Inflation Must Not Be Overstated

Posted in Teaching on February 14th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The news this week that the number of first-class degrees awarded by Trinity has increased by 33% between 2013 and 2015 will likely evoke concern that this is the latest symptom of a general trend of grade inflation in Irish third-level sector. Indeed, with some courses seeing as many as 61% of graduates awarded a first, one could probably be forgiven for thinking …” (more)

[University Times, 12 February]

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Grade inflation: doesn’t bother me

Posted in Teaching on June 16th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“The recent and impressive study on grade inflation in the IoT sector comes at an appropriate time. Exam boards are coming to an end and the various drivers of student grades are fresh in our minds. There is absolutely no doubt that grade inflation is occurring, ie third level students are getting higher grades and doing so even when their second level performance would suggest that their grades should be getting lower …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 16 June]

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Grade inflation: the fire that will not be quenched

Posted in Teaching on June 14th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Grade inflation is a fire that simply will not be quenched, at least in so far as the Institutes of Technology are concerned, according to the latest data collected and analyzed in Paper 11 published by the Network for Irish Educational Standards …” (more)

[Network for Irish Educational Standards, 13 June]

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Grade Deflation

Posted in Teaching on November 21st, 2014 by steve

Ireland“Consider the data presented below. It’s a plot of the percentage of H1 and H2.1 degrees from a single third level programme over an 11 year period versus median CAO Points at entry. The lack of any correlation between the two variables is striking …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 21 November]

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Grades Are Based on Merit, College Insists

Posted in Teaching on October 28th, 2014 by steve

Ireland“There is ‘internal consistency’ in the awarding of first and upper second-class honours degrees across the past ten years, Trinity College Dublin has said. The comment has been offered as a response to a recent Irish Times report that Trinity students are more likely to graduate with a first or 2.1 degree than students in any of the state’s other universities …” (more)

[Patrick Lavelle, University Times, 28 October]

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Grade Inflation at Third-Level #MyTwoCents

Posted in Teaching on October 17th, 2014 by steve

Ireland“Why is it that if students work harder and get better grades that the media latch on to the ‘grade inflation’ bandwagon? This week the Irish Times blasts that ‘DCU, UCC award more “firsts” in new indicator of grade inflation’ and that some students ‘have a much higher chance of graduating with a first class honours degree than other college-goers’ …” (more)

[Careful With That Axe, Eugene, 17 October]

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Experience is more important to bosses than college degrees

Posted in Life on October 16th, 2014 by steve

Ireland“Amid concerns and debate about the existence of grade inflation, more than half of small business owners surveyed here believe a third level qualification is becoming increasingly devalued, according to a poll published yesterday …” (more)

[Colm Kelpie, Independent, 16 October]

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Are Irish university students getting smarter?

Posted in Teaching on October 15th, 2014 by steve

Ireland“Are students becoming smarter or are university honours qualifications becoming easier to obtain? Controversy over grade inflation rumbles on with pressure being exerted from inside and outside of the educational system …” (more)

[Irish Times, 15 October]

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Grade inflation?

Posted in Teaching on October 14th, 2014 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Joe Humphreys (‘Are university grades being inflated to suit jobs market?’), October 13th suggests that companies demanding a first or 2.1 for entry level jobs or internships is a factor in the proportion of such degrees awarded …” (more)

[James Quinn, Irish Times, 14 October]

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Grade Inflation Again!

Posted in Teaching on October 13th, 2014 by steve

Ireland“This is my last post for a while due to changing circumstances. It’ll be back in the New Year I hope. One of the core drivers of the grade inflation debate is the idea that the ‘quality’ of the student intake should correlate (strongly?) with the grade distribution on exit …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 13 October]

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DCU, UCC award more ‘firsts’ in new indicator of grade inflation

Posted in Teaching on October 13th, 2014 by steve

Ireland“Students attending Dublin City University (DCU) or University College Cork (UCC) have a much higher chance of graduating with a first class honours degree than other college-goers, new figures show in a fresh indicator of ‘grade inflation’ …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 13 October]

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Are university grades being inflated to suit jobs market?

Posted in Teaching on October 13th, 2014 by steve

Ireland“Education may be priceless, but increasingly the marketplace is putting a monetary value on a 2.1. For a long time, people wishing to do postgraduate studies had to obtain this grade, or higher (a “first”), in what was meant to be a marker of academic aptitude …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 13 October]

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