UNIVERSITY students across the UK were significantly more likely to get a first in 2017 compared with 2010, a report has found.
Cambrian News reported “Data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency shows that students at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David were almost four times as likely to get a first in 2017 compared with 2010.
Data shows that in 2010, the year the government announced tuition fees would triple, 6.7 per cent of students at Trinity Saint David were awarded firsts.
However, last year 26 per cent received the top grade.
In 2010, 11.2 per cent of students at Aberystwyth were awarded firsts.
However, last year 18.3 per cent received the top grade.
The report, by the think tank Reform, states that universities, competing with each other, have altered the way grades are calculated to increase the number of firsts.
It says there is considerable evidence that the UK’s universities’ degree algorithms, which translate marks into a final classification, are contributing to grade inflation.
Universities claim students are working harder, with better teaching and materials.
Nick Hillman, director of the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI), commented that “universities are essentially massaging the figures”.
He explained: “They are changing the algorithms and putting borderline candidates north of the border.”
A spokesperson for the University of Wales Trinity Saint David said: “The university’s degree classification is aligned to sector practice and is subject to robust annual external scrutiny.”
Aberystwyth University said the massaging comment was not referring to Aberystwyth as it is well below the 2017 26 per cent national average which had risen from 18 per cent in 2010.
And it said it takes great pride in the success of its hard-working, motivated students” here.