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Top universities 'are awarding more top degrees'
Thursday, 11 October 2007
More and more graduates are leaving the UK's top universities with better degrees, new research has shown.
The findings, reported in the Guardian, reveal that the elite 20 universities in the UK, also known as the Russell Group, awarded two per cent more 2:1s and first class degrees every year from 1994 to 2002.
The author of the study, Professor Mantz Yorke, expects his research to add to the debate over the quality of degrees awarded to UK graduates.
"My evidence suggests that people who attack colleges and new universities for softening or dumbing down are perhaps a little premature," he said.
And the study comes in the wake of recent figures from Universities UK indicating that the proportion of graduates achieving a first class honours degree increased from 7.5 per cent in 1998 to 11.3 per cent last year.
The Russell Group was established in 1994 as an association of the 20 major research-intensive universities in the UK. Its member institutions awarded over half the UK's total number of doctorates to graduates in 2004-2005.