Analysis: When achievement goes beyond the simple first or 2:1
THE increase in first degree classifications reflects the hard work of our students.
When taking account of the high calibre of entrants from our schools (with the Higher pass rate increasing from 75.2 per cent in 2011 to 76.9 per cent this year) and the increased competitiveness of the employment market, it is not surprising that today’s university graduates are working harder than ever to achieve good results.
The graduates who leave Scotland’s universities, with their hard-earned degrees, are making an early and positive impact in the labour market. Official figures found that Scotland’s universities are producing graduates with the highest rate of positive destinations in the UK at 88.5 per cent and the best average starting salary in the UK at £21,500.
Employers have given us a very clear message, too: almost four in five who recruit someone straight from university consider them well-prepared, according to the latest Scottish Employer Skills Survey. This verdict is based on graduates’ ability and attitude once in the job, not the degree classification that helped get them there.
The degree classification system cannot fully reflect the skills, attributes and experiences that a graduate acquires in the four or more years of their degree. That is where the Scottish four-year degree comes into its own, allowing our students the time to mature as self-reflective learners as they broaden their knowledge and skills. A simple first or 2.1 classification is not the full story. That’s why universities in Scotland have been involved in piloting the Higher Education Achievement Record (HEAR) and why more will adopt it.
HEAR will be a personalised and complementary document to a student’s degree that will reflect the wider student experience and the broad set of skills they have acquired. When we asked graduates from the 2012 cohort what advice they would give to someone starting at university this year, a common thread was taking hold of every opportunity and making the most of the experiences and services on offer at university. The process of developing a student’s HEAR record will be supported by academic staff encouraging them to be more reflective about how their skills sets relate to future career prospects.
Let’s be proud of what students are achieving, and give them the opportunity to demonstrate it in ways which go beyond degree classification.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North east