We’re doubling our firsts, but they’re calling it ‘grade inflation’
Guys, the word you’re looking for is ‘congratulations’.
Normally a pat on the back is due when you’re performing well, but not for us.
A recent study conducted by economist Bernard Rivers, former visiting fellow at Cambridge University, states the proportion of first class degrees handed out by Cambridge University has risen from 10 per cent to 24 per cent in just over fifty years.
But wait. Doesn’t this mean we’re getting smarter? Well no. The study has fuelled fears of falling standards in Britain’s higher education system.
Apparently, the percentages of students awarded firsts “vary significantly” from subject to subject. For example, between 2000 and 2014, 17 per cent of law students received firsts in comparison to 47 per cent of education undergraduates.
There seems to have been “no significant growth” in firsts for people graduating in science subjects according to Rivers.
69 per cent of chemical engineering students got either a first or upper-second, but subjects like English and History had 97 per cent of the top two classes awards to students.
Always the optimist, it adds that there is “no evidence” to suggest that dishing out more high grades is due to higher quality of students.
“There needs to be far greater consistency and fairness for graduates than there is at the moment, where individuals of similar ability studying different subjects can come out with contrasting degree results,” Rivers told The Independent.
Because solving equations in quantum physics is exactly like analysing a Shakespearian text.
A Cambridge University spokesperson said: “The university is satisfied that our quality assurance processes are robust, and that our classing systems recognise student achievement appropriately.
“The general increase in the number of firsts mirrors the position nationally, and Cambridge’s figures are in line with those at other Russell Group institutions.”
So stop telling us education marking is being too soft.