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The Best Universities To Go To If You Want A First - Revealed

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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/higher/the-best-universities-to-go-to-if-you-want-a-first--revealed-10489544.html

Students at some British universities are almost twice as likely to be awarded a first class or 2:1 degree than other institutions, it has emerged.

Figures show Oxford University gives the most top honours to graduates, with 92.1 per cent of students get a First or 2:1.

At the other end of the scale, students at the University of Sunderland are the least likely to make top honours, with just 49.5 per cent of their students achieving them.

These are the best and worst universities to go to if you want to achieve a first or a 2:1.

The best

1. Oxford: 92.1 per cent of students achieve top honours

2. St Andrews: 89.6 per cent

3. Cambridge 89.3 per cent

4. UCL: 87.9 per cent

5. Durham: 87.4 per cent

6. Imperial: 87.3 per cent

7. Bristol: 86.3 per cent

8. Birmingham: 84.4 per cent

9. Bath: 84.1 per cent

10. Exeter: 84.1 per cent

The worst

1. Sunderland: 49.5 per cent of students achieve top honours

2. Buckingham: 50.7 per cent

3. Trinity Saint David: 51.4 per cent

4. Glyndwr 53.6 per cent

5. East London: 53.9 per cent

6. Bolton: 54.9 per cent

7. London Metropolitan: 55.1 per cent

8. Newman: 56.0 per cent

9. Bedfordshire: 56.6 per cent

10. Buckinghamshire New: 57.0 per cent

The top ones attracted the best students so get the best results?

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I'd prefer to see the data presented by class of degree, rather than lumping 1st and 2:1s together. I suspect that could be much more revealing.

I also suspect that, at the other end of the spectrum, 'Fails' are now much rarer.

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The top ones attracted the best students so get the best results?

Pretty much I'd have thought. This is a large part of all of the educational institution results - grammar schools, best-schools-in-the-neighbourhood, etc. There is also a strange feedback mechanism, where you're more likely to be led astray at the poorer institutions, while you're more likely to be inspired (by peers, not the teachers necessarily) at the better ones.

Interesting to see that the institutions at the top are all old-school universities, while the ones at the bottom are all old-school polys - apart from poor old Trinity St Davids, which always was the university you'd send your wayward child to anyway (apologies to anyone who went to St Davids - but surely you'd have to agree). The opening up of the education system in the 1980s has arguably resulted in some benefits, but the system has been hard on some of the marginal old polys.

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I'd prefer to see the data presented by class of degree, rather than lumping 1st and 2:1s together. I suspect that could be much more revealing.

I also suspect that, at the other end of the spectrum, 'Fails' are now much rarer.

Oxford used to give substantially less firsts than most universities. Don't know about today.

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Not sure I know much about Oxford. Mate of mine got a 2.1 there, and I would describe him as a rather clever chap. But he didn't get a 1st. :(

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I was told by my lecturers that universities had a set number of firsts they could award (give or take a few) depending upon the external moderators. If there was a high achieving year some may not get a first despite having done so the year earlier due to less competition. They also said top universities got a higher quota as their students were better.

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I was told by my lecturers that universities had a set number of firsts they could award (give or take a few) depending upon the external moderators. If there was a high achieving year some may not get a first despite having done so the year earlier due to less competition. They also said top universities got a higher quota as their students were better.

I've heard this too - not sure if it's true or a reliever for shit students who think they are amazing when they fail.

Anyway, surely 'the best' can't be decided on award alone ;)

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I've heard this too - not sure if it's true or a reliever for shit students who think they are amazing when they fail.

I think my lecturer thought the fear of being beaten to the post would motivate me, but I realised most of the year were dossers :-)

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I was told by my lecturers that universities had a set number of firsts they could award (give or take a few) depending upon the external moderators. If there was a high achieving year some may not get a first despite having done so the year earlier due to less competition. They also said top universities got a higher quota as their students were better.

Nah, I think that's a misunderstanding. If you did award a very high or low PROPORTION, (not number) then the externals might well criticise the programme, and then you'd have to explain yourself. Nowadays it is usually explicit that the external cannot modify marks or awards.

I would look at the split overall of grades across a cohort. And if it was changed significantly I would ask for cohort effect explanations. If these were unsatisfying I would be looking for higher authorities to take action in the following year.

That's not to say that 'elite' unis aren't the worst offenders when it comes to grade inflation.

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Nah, I think that's a misunderstanding.

Not a misunderstanding, but also not something that I took as being gospel either. I'm pretty sure it was said to motivate just to make sure I didn't lose out even though the grades were good.

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They adjust the results too. I did BSc Computing, and one of the modules was SQL. In that module it was purely logic, so each part was either correct or incorrect with no grey areas. Some smart arses got 100%, but everyone's grade was diluted by around 20% as the average result was too high for that module.

This also led to the admission the final two years result was also adjusted up or down to a pre-set average percentage based on everyone's performance. If everyone did badly that year, everyone's grades were slightly upgraded, and vice versa.

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They adjust the results too. I did BSc Computing, and one of the modules was SQL. In that module it was purely logic, so each part was either correct or incorrect with no grey areas. Some smart arses got 100%, but everyone's grade was diluted by around 20% as the average result was too high for that module.

Sounds like tech training. Not education.

100% at A-level (in unambiguous subjects) is trivial, and I expect plenty of technician-skill qualifications are the same. But in a university course it would indicate a serious failure of the department in question. I guess whoever was in charge of that particular module had a technician attitude.

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Oxford used to give substantially less firsts than most universities. Don't know about today.

I have a hunch that the ratio of 1st : 2.1 is higher at the 'newer' Universities than the older

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They adjust the results too. I did BSc Computing, and one of the modules was SQL. In that module it was purely logic, so each part was either correct or incorrect with no grey areas. Some smart arses got 100%, but everyone's grade was diluted by around 20% as the average result was too high for that module.

This also led to the admission the final two years result was also adjusted up or down to a pre-set average percentage based on everyone's performance. If everyone did badly that year, everyone's grades were slightly upgraded, and vice versa.

In my subject there are parts of modules that test 'right or wrong' and therefore mean you can get 100%. Most modules in social sciences and humanities are essay-based and capped at around 85 (a mark, not a percentage) for an outstanding answer. That is part of the UK 'tradition' in marking. Therefore it is seen as reasonable to adjust down the 100% elements to make modules, and programmes, comparable. However in some cases, like so much in UK HE it isn't done consistently or clearly.

The irony is, on these elements where students can get up to 100% they tend to do really badly! Lazy feckers!

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In my subject there are parts of modules that test 'right or wrong' and therefore mean you can get 100%. Most modules in social sciences and humanities are essay-based and capped at around 85 (a mark, not a percentage) for an outstanding answer. That is part of the UK 'tradition' in marking. Therefore it is seen as reasonable to adjust down the 100% elements to make modules, and programmes, comparable. However in some cases, like so much in UK HE it isn't done consistently or clearly.

The irony is, on these elements where students can get up to 100% they tend to do really badly! Lazy feckers!

Don't hold back, tell us what you really think!

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