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University students’ extra-curricular activities to be recorded alongside academic performance

Published: Thursday, 04 October 2012   Category: All Graduate Jobs News

Students at universities and higher education colleges are likely to have records detailing their extra-curricular achievements in addition to their academic performance throughout their course.

Following pilot schemes across the UK, the Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) scheme is likely to be rolled out nationwide in the near future.

The initiative is already being implemented in 90 universities and colleges this academic year, where a more rounded picture of students’ achievements, including sporting, volunteering, employment and student union successes will be recorded. 

Vice-chancellor of the University of Leicester, Prof Sir Robert Burgess, said that there is a damaging obsession with degree classifications – particularly first and upper second class degrees – and concluded that arrangements as they currently stand do not do justice to students and are not enough for employers.

Prof Sir Burgess, who led the work for the sector bodies Universities UK and Guild HE, said: “The UK honours degree is a robust and highly valued qualification. But universities have recognised for some time that a single degree classification cannot do justice to the range of skills, knowledge and experience students gain during their time in higher education.

“In time the steering group hopes that the wider information contained in the Hears will eclipse the single degree classification and, where appropriate, serve as a replacement for it.” 

According to experts, the new system will make it easier for employers to verify candidates’ credentials – which means ‘embellishing’ your CV will no longer be an option!

Is the initiative a good idea?

For those who enjoy immersing themselves in sport or community activities, the scheme is great news. Extracurricular activities will be valued as highly as academic achievements and will be officially recognised by their university and potential employers, upping their chances of being selected from the graduate talent pool.

But what about those who are highly work-focused and do not have enough time to fit hours of sporting or volunteering activity around lectures and private study? While coming across to potential employers as a rounded candidate is important, university students are now paying up to £9,000 for their education, so who can blame them for wanting to centre their efforts around their work and graduate with the best degree possible?

What are your thoughts on the Higher Education Achievement Report? Do you think it is a good idea or should universities stick to their old ways?

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