School-style reports ‘may replace traditional degrees’
School-style reports could replace traditional degrees in future under a shake-up of the awarding system, it was suggested today.
A working group chaired by the vice-chancellor of Leicester University, Professor Sir Robert Burgess, said it is important that students have a comprehensive record of all their achievements at the end of the degree course.
From this September, students will be given a detailed record of their university achievements, alongside their final degree award.
It is set to include more information on academic courses, such as module marks, as well as details of volunteering work, any prizes a student has won, additional qualifications that can be verified by the university and any other positions held, such as the captaincy of the hockey team.
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More than half of UK universities have already confirmed they are to bring in the record, known as a Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR).
The introduction of the electronic record, similar to the reports children are given at the end of the school year, was recommended in the final report of the working group on the issue.
Professor Burgess 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,” he said.
“The HEAR is designed to encourage a more sophisticated approach to recording students’ achievements in the 21st century. It will benefit students, employers and higher education institutions themselves.
Our previous report identified the damaging obsession with ’first’ and ’upper second’ degree classifications and it is now clear that this is not enough detail for students and employers. The aim of the HEAR is to provide the wider picture of a student’s achievements.”
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