Anorak News | A Question Of Degrees

A Question Of Degrees

by | 16th, March 2004

‘ON present trends, every teenager in Britain should be in possession of at least 10 A-grade GCSEs by the end of the decade.

City Of Firsts

Of them, 98% will go on to get four A grades at A level, the other 2% opting to do the new Baccalaureate instead.

And this orgy of academic achievement will be completed when everyone leaves university with a six-figure debt and a first-class honours degree.

Of course, none of these graduates will be able to spell their own names, but in these days of computers that is no longer considered of great importance.

The Telegraph reports that the halcyon days when academic failure is enshrined in the figures 2:1 are not far away.

Over the past five years, the 19 research-led universities that comprise the Russell Group have increased the number of firsts awarded by 50%.

Almost a third of all Cambridge undergraduates get firsts; about a quarter do so at Oxford.

What makes this achievement by the universities the more impressive is that it has happened at a time when they claim to be stretched to capacity and in the middle of a funding crisis.

That, however, is no excuse for cynics like Liberal Democrat peer Lord Matthew Oakshott to suggest the figures ‘give a sense of dumbing down at our leading universities’.

Far from it. It shows rather that the universities have at last got their head round the logic of the market economy.

Students, after all, will surely be much happier to pay their top-up fees if they know they are guaranteed a top degree at the end of it.’

Posted: 16th, March 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink