* The Association of Graduate Recruiters has told Sir Ron Dearing that the proliferation of degrees has left graduates inadequately equipped for the world of work and employers confused about standards, writes Phil Baty.
The AGR, which represents companies providing over 80 per cent of graduate vacancies, has called for a greater emphasis on vocational skills in higher education.
"Graduates are required to contribute to the bottom line of a business much earlier than in the past," said AGR chief executive Roly Cockman. "They need to acquire more attributes over and above the basic qualifications and employability skills from a degree."
The association highlights widespread demand for greater comparability.
"Greater clarity is needed to identify what any qualification means in terms of skills acquired, to explain the equivalence of different qualifications across different institutions," said Mr Cockman.
The association also made its contribution to the tuition fees debate: "Access to higher education should only be dependent on ability, and not on age or other criteria, nor on the ability to pay up front."