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The proportion of scholars in England awarded first-class levels continues to extend – rising by 80% since 2010-11, the college watchdog says.

The Workplace for College students, warning of grade inflation, says for nearly three-quarters of universities such will increase in prime grades are “unexplained”.

The College of Surrey elevated its proportion awarded first-class levels from 23% to 47% of scholars.

Training Secretary Damian Hinds warned towards “unfair practices”.

“Worries about grade inflation threaten to devalue a college training within the eyes of employers and potential college students,” mentioned Susan Lapworth, director of competitors for the Workplace for College students.


The upper training watchdog additionally examined why the proportion awarded prime levels might need risen from 16% to 29%, resembling college students arriving from faculty with higher .

However the evaluation discovered a lot of the rise couldn’t be defined.

The figures confirmed over 40,000 extra college students graduated with firsts final summer time than within the cohort of seven years earlier than.

Mr Hinds mentioned that if universities have been giving many extra prime levels with no professional purpose, it was unfair on those that had studied to the identical commonplace in earlier years.

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Damian Hinds has warned that grade inflation is unfair on college students from earlier years

“We owe it to the hard-working college students and establishments who play by the foundations to stamp out this unfair apply,” mentioned the training secretary.

“Right now’s figures are disappointing and threat compromising the general public belief within the excessive requirements of our universities,” he mentioned.

Large will increase

The watchdog confirmed the modifications in college students awarded first-class levels between 2010-11 and 2017-18, together with:

  • Imperial School London from 31% to 46%
  • College of Huddersfield: 15% to 40%
  • College School London: 24% to 40%
  • Durham College: 18% to 38%
  • College of East Anglia: 14% to 39%
  • College of Northumbria: 16% to 35%
  • College of West London: 13% to 34%
  • Staffordshire College: 14% to 34%

The research additionally checked out these awarded both first or upper-second class levels (2:1s). These now account for the good majority of levels.

Within the College of Bristol, 92% of scholars are awarded both a primary or 2:1 and at Cambridge 94% attain this threshold.

And there have been large will increase within the proportion of scholars awarded these two prime grades regardless of starting college with comparatively low A-level grades.

Amongst these going to college with grades under three Ds at A-level, seven years in the past about 40% have been awarded the highest two grades – and that has risen to above 70%.

The training secretary has beforehand warned universities to stop “spiralling” grade inflation.

However this pattern has continued and the Division for Training now says universities have been given a “stark warning” that this wants to alter.

“Universities are decided to sort out unexplained grade inflation,” mentioned Dame Janet Beer, president of Universities UK.

“The sector’s collective will to take possession of this problem is powerful, as we recognise it’s essential that we maintain the boldness of scholars, employers and the general public, within the worth of a college qualification.”