High-pay potential

October 22, 2004

Potential students would be able to see which degree courses at which universities are most likely to land them the highest-paid jobs under proposals mooted in a government-backed report.

The final draft of the Burgess report on measuring and recording student achievement, obtained by The Times Higher ahead of publication later this month, recommends that the sector "actively investigate" plans for measuring the "added value" of courses, including the potential financial returns to graduates.

A key justification for the introduction of tuition fees was the Government's claim that a university education can add up to £400,000 to earnings, compared with those of a non-graduate. Any league table resulting from the proposals could have a significant impact on what fees universities charge.

The Times Higher reported last week that the Burgess scoping group's central conclusion is that the current system of degree classifications is not "fit for purpose" and should be reviewed. It calls on the sector to investigate "alternative classification systems".

The group, chaired by Bob Burgess, vice-chancellor of Leicester University, was set up by the Government amid concerns that classifications were too crude and a dramatic rise in the number of firsts and upper seconds awarded.

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