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New report card to be a better gauge of graduates


Every student will be given a school-style report alongside their degrees under a shake-up of the higher education system unveiled by vice-chancellors today.

The report should in future eclipse the current degree system, according to the author of a paper about the scheme, Professor Robert Burgess, vice-chancellor of Leicestershire University.

Under the plan, details of all the extra curricular and volunteer activities and work experience undertaken by students will be logged in a six-page electronic report card alongside individual marks for assignments and an assessment of the students' employability skills.

Vice-chancellors and employers have expressed widespread misgivings about the current degree system – which has experienced a similar kind of "grade inflation" in first class and upper second degrees as A-levels and GCSEs. Employers have said that as a result it has been difficult to select the most talented students.

The new Higher Education Achievement Report (Hear) is to be introduced for every student from last month. Already half of the UK's universities have made plans to bring it in and many of the rest have said they would follow suit if it was given an official blessing by university vice-chancellors.

Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of Universities UK, the body which represents vice-chancellors, added: "Hear will enable institutions and students to demonstrate the wider skills and experience that higher education has to offer and employers are interested in."