According to Press Association, there has been a rise in first class degrees as a third of institutions in the UK are passing students with top honours.
The report goes on to cite that 25% of degrees in 2015/16 were firsts, a prominent comparison to the statistics of 2010/11 where only 12 institutions awarded one in four students a first.
83% of students who graduated in 2015/16 from the University of Nottingham received either firsts or upper second class honours in their degrees.
“everyone is going to university now, so there’s more competition”
This rise in numbers has sparked debate amongst students about whether universities internalise their assessments in order to avoid universities rankings to drop in league tables.
Impact managed to speak to a third-year Psychology student who said: “Universities mark their own student’s work, so they are more lenient towards their own [students]. [T]herefore more students are graduating with firsts.”
In regard to the finding of there being an 8% rise in firsts in the last five years, the student goes on to mention that that was “no surprise” considering universities want to keep their high rankings in order to impress prospective students.
“you see more students in the library every day and [fewer] people at the university bars”
Another contribution to the growth in firsts could be a result of students working harder despite contact hours staying the same.
Impact caught up with a second-year Economic student who said: “You see more students in the library every day and [fewer] people at the university bars. Students want to make the most out of their degree because they are spending so much money on it.”
The student goes on to say that “everyone is going to university now, so there’s more competition” and that “students want to achieve top grades” in order to earn the desired graduate employment afterwards.