What is the Government Doing About Graduates Not Getting Degree Results?

Guido wants to know what the Department for Education is going to do about professors refusing to mark final year exams. It seems that the government either doesn’t care, or doesn’t realise that tens of thousands of students won’t get a degree this year… or potentially ever. Rishi did say that universities are “full of people who don’t vote Tory”…so perhaps he’s not interested.

Having ushered in as many young people into universities as possible, it seems baffling that the Tories fail to scrutinise – or even mention – the fact these students may have wasted 3 years worth of time and money. Professors are not unknown to strike; usually they at least bother to mark finalist’s papers. Shouldn’t the government attempt to solve the problem? Obviously this is one strike where they can’t draft in the army to do the marking. They could force universities to get external markers, perhaps get the papers marked in India?

UPDATE: Robert Halfon, Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education, gets in touch to say:

“After struggling through the covid years, students are now being let down by the UCU through this damaging strike action.

Whilst I appreciate some of the work Universities are doing to deal with this – in very difficult circumstances – students have a right to graduate on time, with fully marked exam papers. This must be the priority and I am working with the sector to see what they are doing to look after students affected by this.”

Encouraging words… time will tell.

mdi-timer 6 July 2023 @ 16:16 6 Jul 2023 @ 16:16 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Warwick University Using Lecture Halls for Corporate Events, Yet Moving Teaching Online

The University of Warwick is renting out its 1,200-person lecture theatre as a corporate conference space, despite moving all lectures with more than 50 attendees online for the next academic year. Using the shameless caption “open and ready to welcome you back”, the university proudly advertises its “large, diverse spaces” to prospective clients, which will open at full capacity and are now open to bookings. Guido is sure the students paying £9,250 a year to attend the esteemed university would also appreciate access to the same world class facilities now being offered to corporate clients. If it’s safe for 1,200 corporate delegates, it’s probably safe for a few hundred students…

mdi-timer 16 August 2021 @ 13:00 16 Aug 2021 @ 13:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Williamson: Universities Shouldn’t Charge Full Fees for Online Teaching

With 20 of the 24 Russell Group universities refusing to end online teaching from September 2021, the value proposition for students has come under yet more pressure from both the media and campaign groups. Why charge students the full £9,250 for a few Zoom calls that could be answered from their parents’ homes?

It looks like Gavin Williamson agrees. Speaking to Kay Burley on Sky News, the Education Secretary said:

“I think universities have got to sort of stand up their offer to their own students…they are autonomous institutions, I don’t have control over them, but we would expect universities to deliver a high-quality teaching experience.”

Pushed on whether that meant offering refunds to those who don’t receive that “high quality teaching experience”, Williamson added:

“We’ve got the Office for Students which is targeting universities which have low quality courses which aren’t doing enough…if universities are not delivering what students expect, then actually they shouldn’t be charging the full fees for what they’ve done.”

“Shouldn’t” isn’t the same as “won’t” or “can’t”. As Williamson was keen to point out, the universities are autonomous after all…

mdi-timer 10 August 2021 @ 08:32 10 Aug 2021 @ 08:32 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
LibDems Accuse Government of Letting Down Students
mdi-timer 17 January 2021 @ 10:50 17 Jan 2021 @ 10:50 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Number of Students Going to University Rises

In a surprising turn of events, initial UCAS figures out this morning have shown that 358,860 students have been accepted on to UK degree courses this year, representing a rise of 2.9% on the same point last year. Far from a predicted lack of students off to university, or missing out due to unfair grades, the botched and rushed ‘triple lock’ system does not appear to have prevented a slightly larger number of students going to university than the year before. Who’d have thunk it?

That didn’t, however, stop Gavin Williamson flailing this morning, telling LBC’s Nick Ferrari that he thinks scrapping AS Levels was the right thing to do, before appearing to perform a screeching u-turn in seconds saying “I have to confess I probably would have liked the AS system that they’ve got in Wales today.” No, but yeah, but…

Clear as mud…

mdi-timer 13 August 2020 @ 08:58 13 Aug 2020 @ 08:58 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Major Report Reveals Academic Freedom is in Danger at UK Universities

A new report by Policy Exchange has found those at Britain’s universities with right-leaning, Leave-supporting or gender-critical views are genuine victims of cancel culture, having to censor what they teach, research and discuss with their academic colleagues. Confirming what we already knew…

In one of the largest polls of university academics carried out in recent years:

  • 32% of ‘fairly right’ or ‘right’-leaning academics say they have shied away from openly airing their views in teaching and research, versus only 15% of their centre and left colleagues
  • 40% of Leave-voting social science and humanities academics have refrained from publishing or airing views in research and teaching from ‘fear of consequences to your career’, versus only 16% of those who identify as ‘fairly left’
  • Conservative academics are 2.5x more discriminated against when applying for grants, promotion and publishing manuscripts
  • A known Leave supporter faces an 80% chance of discrimination against getting a job when faced by a four-person panel, versus only 17% for centrists
  • Only 54% of remainers would be comfortable lunching with someone who supported Leave, falling to just 37% with someone who opposes admitting transwomen to women’s refuge centres

Policy Exchange finds that so-called ‘gender critical’ scholars face even more discrimination than conservatives and Leavers. The left-wing University and College Union responded to the findings by claiming: “The idea that academic freedom is under threat is a myth”. As per usual, ignoring the evidence…

mdi-timer 3 August 2020 @ 10:29 3 Aug 2020 @ 10:29 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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