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University Of Nottingham To Trial The GPA System

The University of Nottingham will be one of several universities from all over the country taking part in a trial adopting the US points grading system this academic year.

As well as UoN, several leading Russell Group universities will be participating in the trial, including Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leeds, Sheffield and Southampton.

The new system would result in replacing the traditional first, 2:1 and 2:2 grade classifications with a points average, meaning that students would be graded from 0 to 4.25 depending on their performance, as seen in the United States.

In the US, the points awarded can be compared to the same lettering system of A-Levels and GCSEs, and boundaries for each grade would be set at each whole number.

“I worry that it won’t be every well recognised amongst employers in this country”.

For example a mark of 4.0 would be considered to be an A, whilst 3.0 would be a B, making 2.0 a C and 1.0 a D. Subsequently, a mark of 0 would then be a fail.

Reported advantages of the scheme include being able to see a greater range between the grades of students, meaning that the final degree score would be more transparent to employers.

A third year Art History student commented “this seems like a good idea, but only if a lot of universities decide to adopt it, otherwise I worry that it won’t be every well recognised amongst employers in this country, making it harder for students with degrees under this system to find a job.”

 “It seems like a tall order to change the whole system”.

Holly Lunness, a second year History student told Impact, “It seems like a tall order to change the whole system. If people want to see a greater transparency in the grading system, they should just print a student’s percentage alongside their degree classification.”

Impact spoke to the University with regards to its position on the matter. A spokesman stated: “We have accepted an invitation by the Higher Education Academy (HEA) to test aspects of a Grade Point Average system in 2013/14 in combination with a number of other universities.  Discussions with the HEA as to the specific activities of Nottingham in this regard have yet to take place.  No decision has been made by the University regarding any action beyond 2013/14.”

Belinda Toor

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Image: comedy_nose via Flickr

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