When you look at what makes our universities so prestigious, it comes down to the value of our degrees – they open up a huge range of opportunities and the chance to step into a rewarding and highly-skilled career. The value of those degrees is threatened by grade inflation and that is a problem for students, employers and the universities themselves. These new measures will look at how we can protect our globally recognised higher education system by discouraging universities from undermining the reverence a degree qualification from the UK commands. Universities will be discouraged from inflating students’ results with ‘grade inflation’ one of the key criteria institutions will be measured against in the government’s national rating system, Universities Minister Sam Gyimah announced today (22 October).The Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) rates universities with gold, silver or bronze scores based on a number of criteria including their overall provision, student experience, teaching quality and whether courses are sufficiently stretching enough – the government is also piloting a subject specific version of it.Announcing a second year of pilots to move subject-level TEF a step closer, Sam Gyimah confirmed today that these will also look at grade inflation, with TEF panellists reviewing evidence to see whether universities are taking a responsible approach to degree grading and not awarding excessive numbers of firsts and 2:1s. It means a university’s provider-level rating of gold, silver or bronze will take their approach to tackling grade inflation into account.Grade inflation will be an important feature of the criteria considered alongside how a university is stretching its students through course design and assessment, and through their ability to develop independence, knowledge and skills that reflect their full potential. It forms a key part of the government’s commitment to delivering real choice for prospective students.This is one of the first measures taken by the government to tackle grade inflation, with the plans confirmed in the government’s response to the subject-level TEF consultation.In the last five years alone, figures from the Higher Education Stats Authority show the proportion of graduates who gained a first class degree has increased from 18% in 2012/13 to 26% in 2016/17, which means over a quarter of graduates are now securing the top grade.Universities Minister Sam Gyimah said: The Universities Minister has also outlined in the government’s consultation response that a year of pilots will take place this academic year to see how this works in practice, involving 50 higher education institutions.The government’s response additionally confirmed that plans to extend TEF to subject-level have moved a step closer, meaning individual subjects will also be rated with a gold, silver or bronze rating in the coming years.Subject-level TEF builds on the greater choice being made available to prospective students by letting them look behind provider-level ratings and access information about teaching quality for a specific subject.The new subject-level framework will take into account student feedback, drop-out rates and graduate outcomes – helping students to make the right decision, which for many is life-changing.
… dumps defending champ Lauren Davis from ASB ClassicDEFENDING ASB Classic champion Lauren Davis has been dumped out of this year’s event, humiliated 6-1, 6-2 by the unheralded Sachia Vickery.Having muscled her way through the qualifying rounds, the 22-year-old Vickery made easy work of her American compatriot, winning in just over an hour.Davis, ranked 48 in the World as of January 2018, and who made a name for herself in Auckland last year with her tenacious style and grit, was merely going through the motions by the end of the match.She managed to win just 41 per cent of service points – including just 19 per cent of her second-serve points – and was visibly frustrated with herself. The 24-year-old lashed out in irritation on multiple occasions.Vickery, meanwhile, was far from perfect but nailed more than 60 per cent of her first serves and capitalised ruthlessly on Davis’s implosion.The Florida-based world No.122 will face Veronica Cepede Royg next, following the Paraguayan ace’s 6-3, 6-3 demolition of Spaniard Lara Arruabarrena. The victor is then likely to play Agnieszka Radwanska.“Honestly, me coming through qualifiers, maybe I had a slight advantage because I’d already played a few matches and this is her first,” Vickery said.She added, “Sometimes it’s not such a bad thing, to go through qualifiers. I’m just taking it match by match – I’ve been playing well, I like the courts here and the atmosphere, so I’m just going to keep on playing and fighting.”Vickery defeated Pole Magdalena Frech, Swiss player Conny Perrin and Italian Deborah Chiesa on the way to this week’s Classic main draw.Davis, meanwhile, has won just 10 matches since the start of April.Sachia Vickery, despite not being born in Guyana, would let the world know that her heart belongs to the homeland of her parents Rawle Vickery and Paula Liverpool, and she showed many that she belongs in tennis and isn’t going anywhere.
PHOENIX >> The shades of Kobe Bryant’s former self emerged with each pull-up jumper, drive to the basket and foul shot he made with dependable accuracy.But as they showed in their 119-99 loss on Wednesday to the Phoenix Suns at U.S. Airways Center, the Lakers’ success this season will not solely correlate with Bryant’s. His 31 points on 11-of-25 shooting and 7-of-7 mark from the foul line featured fluid movement, increased athleticism and sharp fundamentals, a comforting sign after he played in only six games last season because of injuries to his left Achilles tendon and left knee. Bryant also hit the 30-point plateau for the first time since shattering his Achilles 18 months ago.“Kobe’s the least of my worries,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said.That’s because the Lakers offered little else as they dropped to 0-2 for the third time in the past four seasons. The Lakers may have spent most of training camp stressing defense after ranking last season toward the bottom of the NBA in most statistical categories. But the Lakers still conceded plenty to Phoenix from 3-point range (16 of 32), points in the paint (36) and double-digit scoring by Isaiah Thomas (23 points), Marcus Morris (21), Goran Dragic (18), Eric Bledsoe (16) and Markieff Morris (12). “We’re not a big 3-point shooting team,” Bryant said. “So we can’t afford to give up 16.”The Lakers also cannot afford to have an offense solely centered on Bryant. Jordan Hill, Carlos Boozer, Wesley Johnson, Jeremy Lin and Ronnie Price shot a combined 10 of 32 from the field. Boozer committed eight of the Lakers’ 13 turnovers.“He’s more than a willing passer,” Scott said of Bryant. “It’s just that guys have to quit watching.”Both Scott and Bryant took particular aim at Lin, who has shot 3 of 10 in the Lakers’ first two games. Scott said Lin played with “indecision” while Bryant said he implored Lin to run the offense instead of him.“I told him that’s a big urban legend of me,” Bryant said. “I want to score. But that means coming off of picks, catching and shooting. You handle the ball and you run the show.” Lin sounded open toward making adjustments, but initially sounded skeptical of the commentary.“I didn’t feel like I was that hesitant,” Lin said. “I felt like when I had opportunities I was trying to attack. I’ll go and take a look at the film and see if that’s the case or not. In my mind, I thought I was assertive and trying to make plays.”Regardless, everything was mostly left to Bryant, whose frustration boiled over enough that he collected a technical foul for the second consecutive game. Bryant was whistled with 2:55 left in the third quarter, showing visible frustration for not being sent to the free-throw line after attacking the basket against multiple defenders. Bryant sounded much more at ease afterward.“In hindsight, the call is not a big deal,” Bryant said. “But getting your butt kicked a little bit, it’s only natural.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error