There has a been pause in grade inflation across universities in the U.K. In the past few years there has been significant increase in the numbers of students who have received a first class degree upon graduating, but this inflation has halted, according to the Office for Students, a higher education watchdog.
Since 2011 the number of students who were awarded firsts had risen by 80%, Office for Students claimed, with last year a record 28% of students earning firsts. This was a serious concern for the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, who stated that this rise could threaten the reputation of England’s top universities.
It is believed that the stagnation in the number receiving firsts is due to pressure put on universities to keep those numbers steady. Although there is a degree of outside moderation, the decision of student’s grades depends on the institution. Therefore, the importance of outside pressure is emphasised by Office for Students.
This follows a similar pattern as the increase in those getting top A-levels results in their final school exams. However, it remains unclear why the number of students achieving top results was increasing in the first place.