Office for Students

Grade inflation fears prompt new voluntary code for UK degrees | Education

Students will need to “consistently demonstrate” exceptional initiative and problem-solving skills to be awarded first-class honours in their undergraduate degrees, according to a new framework to be adopted by UK universities. The framework is part of a new voluntary code on degree classifications, designed to address fears that universities have been guilty of inflating grades. The code also calls for universities to display detailed figures on the degree classes awarded, and explain any changes in the proportions awarded. While students…

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Education secretary backs review of university admissions | Education

The education secretary, Gavin Williamson, has backed a review into university admissions, including a fresh look at whether school leavers should only apply for places after receiving their A-level results. Williamson said recent developments, such as the steep rise in unconditional offers to sixth-formers, reopened questions over the admissions system and its calendar, as part of a review being carried out by the Office for Students (OfS), the higher education regulator for England. “I recognise that we need to review…

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Black academics bear brunt of university work on race equality | Education

Earlier this year, Maxine Thomas-Asante asked her university if she could pause her work supporting black, Asian and minority ethnic students. She was running for office at her students’ union, finishing coursework and preparing for her final exams. “I had to say I’m going to take a break.” For the past two years, Thomas-Asante, co-president for democracy and education at Soas University of London student union, has attended meetings, panel discussions and focus groups, created mentoring schemes, organised events, listened…

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University vice-chancellor given £270k payoff after resigning | Education

The vice-chancellor of De Montfort University, who resigned earlier this year in advance of an investigation that has since identified “significant and systemic” failings in governance, was awarded £270,000 on his departure, it has been confirmed. Dominic Shellard left his £350,000-a-year post in February, just before the universities regulator, the Office for Students (OfS), launched a formal investigation into the Leicester institution. Revealing its decision on Monday, the OfS said: “We found weaknesses and failings in the university’s management and…

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Universities urged to hire staff to investigate sexual harassment | Education

Universities should hire specialist staff to investigate hate crimes and sexual harassment against their students, according to a report commissioned by the higher education regulator for England. The institutions were also urged to encourage greater levels of reporting of such incidents, and hold sessions on consent for undergraduates and postgraduates, along with “bystander training” for students and staff to encourage prevention. The report by Advance HE evaluated more than 100 pilot schemes funded by the Office for Students (OfS) and…

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