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Pending Crackdown on "Degree Inflation" in the U.K.?

August 21, 2017

United Kingdom Universities Minister Jo Johnson said “tackling degree inflation will be a priority” for the Office of Students, the new regulator of universities, raising the possibility that quotas limiting the number of "first-level" degrees could be put in place, the Independent reported. A rapid increase in the number of university students earning the top level, or “first-class” degrees, has led to concern that universities are dropping standards in order to recruit for undergraduate students. The number of first-class degrees awarded has grown by 59 percent since government-capped tuition fees rose from 3,000 pounds (about $3,846) to £9,000 (about $11,539) in 2011. A third of universities now award first-class degrees to a quarter of their students, four times the number that did five years ago.

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Elizabeth Redden

Elizabeth Redden, Senior Reporter, covers general higher education topics, religion and higher education, and international higher education for Inside Higher Ed. She has more than a decade of experience as an education journalist. She holds an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing from Columbia University.

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