A top businessman is looking to recruit graduates with 2:2s and thirds, claiming that there is no evidence to suggest "obsessive weirdos" with sparkling CVs make better employees.
Rory Sutherland, vice president of Ogilvy Group UK, a communications firm, said he is filled with despair every time he returns to his Cambridge alma mater to find "incredibly focused" and "purposeful" students.
In a light-hearted piece for The Spectator, he wrote: "It's hard to tell the difference between a university and a business school nowadays. Where are all the hippies, the potheads and the commies?"
He suggested that to find an alternative crop of graduates for Ogilvy, the company could place an advert in student newspapers saying: "Headed for a 2:2 or a third? Finish your joint and come and work for us."
Claiming graduates with poor grades would be "far more loyal hires", he said that high fliers at university don't necessarily become the best workers.
"Nobody has any evidence to suggest that, for any given university, recruits with first-class degrees turn into better employees than those with thirds," he said. "If anything the correlation operates in reverse."
Sutherland graduated with a 2:2 in classics from Christ's College, showing that a laissez-faire approach to learning isn't always a bad thing. JK Rowling earned a 2:2 in English, while Carol Vorderman and David Dimbleby both got thirds.
However, a study published last year by the Association of Graduate Recruiters showed that 70 per cent of graduate employers demand at least a 2:1.