Letter: Inflation deflates 'robust' QAA (2)

March 9, 2001

The analysis of TQA grades in your story illustrates some of the pitfalls of comparing performance by different institutions especially as grades - being a measure of fitness for purpose - are not supposed to be comparable anyway.

But the true picture of the supposed "marked discrepancy" in art and design scores between old universities and colleges is interesting.

Our analysis of the TQA scores reveals the following pattern of average scores by institutional type: FE colleges 19.2; HE colleges 21.1; new universities 21.3; old universities 22; specialist art and design institutions 22.2. It is also worth noting that, out of the four institutions that scored the maximum 24, two are specialist institutions (Central School of Speech and Drama and Falmouth College of Arts), one an FE college (Newcastle College) and one a university (Oxford). Excellence is not the exclusive preserve of any one type of institution.

Patricia Ambrose
Executive secretary
Standing Conference of Principals
London WC1

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