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University chiefs urge degree grading shake-up

University vice-chancellors acknowledged today that the degree classification system is out of date.

They said it needs to be changed to reflect the full scope of a student's achievements and activities during their time at university.

Giving evidence to the Commons University Select Committee today, Professor Geoffrey Crossick, representing the 1994 Group of research-intensive universities, said: "I think we ought to be moving to something like the Higher Education Achievement Report (Hear), which actually provides the outcome of a student's time at university in a much broader picture of their achievement in a whole range of things.

"This could include details of courses they have taken and other activities," he said.

He added: "A 2.1 doesn't tell us very much."

Professor Les Ebdon, chair of the Million+ group of universities, told the MPs: "The degree classification system is outmoded."

He added: "As a chemist, I know that there are strong practical skills I would like to be able to identify. The Hear will allow us to do that."