https://dfemedia.blog.gov.uk/2019/03/25/why-the-education-secretary-wants-to-end-grade-inflation/

Why the Education Secretary wants to end grade inflation

Student looking happy with a piece of paper showing his results

In our blog today, the Education Secretary is calling on universities to end grade inflation, whilst we also look at media coverage on student loans and finances at Holland Park School.

Grade Inflation

Yesterday, Sunday 24 March, the Education Secretary Damian Hinds called on universities to end grade inflation and normalise the proportion of first and 2:1 grades being awarded. This received coverage from the Telegraph, the Observer, the Mail, the Times, the Express, the Independent, the Sun and the Mirror.

This follows analysis published by the Office for Students (OfS) in December 2018, which showed that 27% of students obtained a first-class degree in 2016 to 2017, up from 16% from 2010 to 2011.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:

Our universities are world-class and world leading, with four ranked among the top ten in the world and attracting thousands of international students. At the heart of that global reputation is a trust in the quality and high standards of the education provided.

Unjustifiable, artificial grade inflation threatens that. It cannot be right that students in one year are awarded higher grades for the same level of achievement than those in previous years. We owe it to the hardworking students who have earned those top grades to stamp out this unfair practice.

I expect the Office for Students – when they have their full range of powers – to challenge those institutions that record an unjustifiable rise in the proportion of top degrees being awarded.

Click here for more on the bid to end grade inflation.

Student Accommodation

Today, Monday 25 March, the Universities Minister Chris Skidmore gave a speech at an event organised by WonkHE called The Secret Life of Students, at the Royal Institution. This was reported by the Independent, City AM, the Telegraph, the Times and the Sun.

In his speech, the Minister called on private landlords to raise standards for student accommodation, after new regulations came into force last week which could see landlords face court action if they fail to meet standards.

Universities Minister Chris Skidmore said:

Students’ time at university should be some of the best days of their lives and yet I have heard appalling stories of students living in terrible conditions, which can affect their studies and even their mental health.

While there are many landlords who do take their responsibilities seriously, for too long rogue private landlords have been exploiting vulnerable students by failing to provide even basic standards of living.

Now the time is up for these landlords making a profit from shoddy accommodation. These new regulations make landlords more accountable, helping to improve standards, and students should use their powers to make sure landlords face justice where they’re not fulfilling their responsibilities.

For more on this, read the minister’s speech in full.

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