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2:47pm on Sunday, 7th January, 2018:
There's an article in The Sunday Times today complaining about a decline in standards at universities. It seem that 11 of the leading universities in the country didn't fail a single final-year student last year. Another bunch (Essex included) failed fewer than 1% of their final-year students.
There are two points I'd like to make here, Sunday Times.
Firstly, we don't fail many final-year students because the ones who are going to fail don't even make it to the final year. In Computer Science, for example, something like a third of them don't even make it out of the first year.
Secondly, although we could let some doomed-to-fail students through to make our standards look good, we're not going to do that because it affects our position in the university rankings. The leading such ranking is the one put together by the Times Higher Education weekly magazine. You might want to speak to them about standards, not the universities that have to dance to their tune...
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