With a rise in the number of students gaining a 2.2 degree in 2012-13, there have been claims that these improved grades could be down to arbitrary grade inflation and an increase in pressure on lecturers to get results. Researchers are disputing these claims, however, stating that the trend is in fact a knock-on effect from improving A Level grades.
In 2012-13, 19 percent of graduates achieved a first class degree, 51 percent received an upper second (2.1) and 25 percent received a lower second (2.2), as recorded by the Higher Education Statistics Agency, which monitored the results of full-time first degree graduates across a number of subject areas.
These findings suggest that students are now more likely than ever to achieve higher grades for their undergraduate degrees in economics and in creative subjects, as the standard of learning improves and students become ‘better prepared’ for higher education, as reported in this BBC article.
While tutors can be put under pressure to return higher degree grades on behalf of their institution, it is still thought this rise in grades is more a result of higher student attainment, rather than artificial grade inflation.
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