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Dumbing down of Degrees

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by Gaidin109, 28 Feb 2010.

  1. Nitefly

    Man of Honour

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    Well, nobody has ever got higher than 75% in an essay on my course AFAIK. 75% pretty much is 100%.

    It's wrong to think of it on that face value. 40% gets you a crap degree that will be poor for employment prospects. +60% you have earned a decent degree. +70% is outstanding. I fail to see any problem with the system - a mere pass is well regarded as crap.
     
  2. stockhausen

    Capodecina

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    I think that there may be a little more to the problems you are encountering than just the fact that you got a 2:2 sunshine.
     
  3. Gaidin109

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    Unless it's done on a curve, I find that 70% for an outstanding degree is a cause for concern. I would be happier with 55% for a pass, 65% for a decent and 85% for outstanding by the scale you suggest. To get less than half marks and still get a pass is diabolical.
     
  4. Nitefly

    Man of Honour

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    :confused:

    Outstanding students are getting degrees that are considered outstanding. In fact, the head of the school of law has told me that "65% or over is an outstanding mark for a law degree at Bristol university". From 60% it gets exponentially harder to achieve more marks. 70% is not a case of getting 70% of questions correct!!!

    Likewise, poor students are getting degrees that are considered poor that will give low career prospects. A 40% will give you a 3rd class degree that arguably isn't worth the paper it's printed on. Again, getting 40% is not a case of getting 40% of questions correct. I would think that most recruitment would consider a third class degree a fail.

    As before, I cannot see a problem with how degrees are marked. The problem simply doesn't exist.
     
  5. Gaidin109

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    I understand that, I just think that the line is too low. What percentage of firsts are awarded now compared to when I graduated in 1989? I would gamble it is higher now, is that because the students are brighter or because the goalposts have been made larger. That's the point I'm putting across. A third shouldn't be worthless, it's still a pass after all.

    You say the problem doesn't exist, it seems that a majority of Professors and Business leaders disagree with you.
     
  6. Nitefly

    Man of Honour

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    There is a consensus that there are many degrees with low standards, but good degrees from respectable institutions are still good degrees. I fail to see any practical point to your complaint since it is incredibly rare that any job will specify a first class degree for recruitment....
     
  7. Gaidin109

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    I agree that a good degree is dependant upon the institution it was gained from, although I have been accused of elitism and academic snobbery by some. My company doesn't ask for first class degrees, it doesn't consider anything less than a 2.1 though.
     
  8. daz

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    As far as I am aware, most universities grade papers to a partially to a curve. This means that your score is weighted slightly based on how everyone else in your year is doing [on that particular module]. This is supposed to mitigate a little against years when there is a particular hard paper for a module, or a particularly easy paper for a module.
     
  9. Nitefly

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    Oh and just to add, nobody has ever got the first class equivalent for my masters degree.
     
  10. Gaidin109

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    That's fine, I did state 'unless on a curve'. I was more concerned with the reduction to 26% to pass to be honest, rather than the top of the curve.
     
  11. sedm1000

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    I suspect that was the precise criteria at your university...
     
  12. Gaidin109

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    It would seem to be the UK standard. I have a Mphys from Oxford, I have a classification as well, but it would seem that all degrees now are Honours degrees, when I studied Honours were applied to the individual exams not the Degree and your standing in the honour school was what counted. I'm obviously getting too old. It would seem I was arguing from a misconception and I apologise.

    I am still concerned as to the lowering of the bar in the case of the Pharmacy students, how often does this happen.
     
  13. Xordium

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    Was chatting to a nurse, at work, the other day about something relevant to this. What he said was since when Universities took over nurse training (before it was the hospitals) assessment, for example drugs calculation tests, had to be marked according to university guidelines. Therefore, a nurse could get a pass whilst only getting 40%. So they could have killed 6 out of 10 patients and that would have been ok :eek: Fortunately the hospitals said this was kind of unacceptable once the senior nurses found out what the universities were doing.
     
  14. sedm1000

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    Pharmacy - a bit of graphology, a bit of bean counting... does it matter?

    There's a pressure for courses, and institutions, to score well - and so there are many cases in which scores are adjusted after the fact. Equally, there is pressure from students to keep courses 'fair' (i.e. not require much thinking beyond the syllabus). I don't think that you can easily say that the system was better 'pre-tables', as there are many anecdotal cases of people walking out of 'leading institutions' with a reasonable degree for very little work. I don't think that can happen any more.

    The bar is lower now at the lower end - I think that everybody is agreed on that. Do we call these 'degrees' or 'certificates' or 'merit awards'? Who cares? So long as businesses can reasonably tell them apart from higher end qualifications (and this can readily be done based on University rating) then the only damage will be the pique felt by those who think their efforts should stand apart from others.
     
  15. Gaidin109

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    It does seem that Where you studied rather than the classification of your degree is becoming more important. I was speaking to my HR director about this today and he agrees, I was concerned that Nix was correct and our policy of institution bias was unfair and that we might be ignoring 'talent'. He told me that our policy was quite standard across our industry, and although we have this policy (instigated by myself), the HR dept do consider others whose CV stands out, which probably says more about how much notice my senior staff take of me than university standards.
     
  16. regulus

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    Not to come across as argumentative Gaidin, but didn't you once said that CV's from non Russell universities won't even get looked at at your company? What would you class as an outstanding CV from a 'lower' university if you're already of the opinion that the degrees are watered down?
     
    Last edited: 10 Mar 2010
  17. SlugForAButt

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    I can't be bothered to read the rest of the thread.
    But my god Gaidin, you are an idiot!
    "Whilst" is grammatically correct and your suggestion of using "isn't" instead of "aren't" shows your grammatical ignorance.
    What is important to note is your hypocrisy...
     
  18. regulus

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    ignore
     
  19. Gaidin109

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    I feel I answered this in a previous post.
     
  20. Gaidin109

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    SlugForBrains, if you wish to take something out of context, then please also quote the rebuttal and apology because I misread the post I was replying to.


    So maybe you should read the rest of the thread, so that you do not look like the idiot you so obviously are. :D