Readers' reactions

January 5, 2001

Last month in The THES. Catherine Belsey called for an overhaul of 'ye olde' exam classifications.

One reason why degree classifications have survived into the 21st century, despite all the arguments made against reducing various intellectual activities to a single signifier, is that classifications provide employers with a ready-made sifting device. Recruiters can at a glance reject applicants who do not possess upper seconds or whatever. But there is no justification for the the myriad methods of calculating these degree classes. The consequence of these variations is that the same mark profile might be awarded a different classification in a different institution or in a different department in the same institution. Is this a fair price to pay for diversity?

Harvey Woolf
Student Assessment and Classification Working Group, University of Wolverhampton

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