Letter: Grades of error (1)

June 15, 2001

Sir Harold Kroto is absolutely correct in saying that a single number performance indicator "takes no account of important variations in the disparate educational factors offered by various institutions" (Letters, THES , June 1).

But this argument applies equally to the performance of individual students in any one of these institutions.

Until universities accept that the single grade awarded at the end of a student's degree studies is equally inappropriate and ought to be replaced by a detailed profile, much of it based on a student's portfolio - which is the equivalent of institutional self-evaluation - their case for Quality Assurance Agency reform is deeply flawed.

Lewis Elton
Professor of higher education
University College London

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