"Dumbing down of university grades revealed. The full extent to which British universities have inflated degree grades and are awarding far more firsts and upper seconds than in previous decades have been revealed…I bet Warwick, Bath, Cambridge, Northampton University, Sunderland, Teesside, Greenwich, Liverpool, John Moores, Coventry, Hertfordshire, Kent, Bournemouth, Sheffield Hallam, Northumbria and East Anglia universities have a very healthy attitude to all the fashionable buzz and bogey words.
Northampton University, formerly Nene College of Higher Education, saw a sevenfold rise in first class honours between 1997 and last year, with the proportion awarded jumping from 2 per cent to 14 per cent.
Firsts awarded by Sunderland have quadrupled since Labour's 1997 election victory, from 3 per cent to 12 per cent, and at Teesside they have risen from 4 per cent to 14 per cent. The proportion of firsts awarded by Greenwich University in London tripled from 4 per cent in 1997 to 12 per cent last year, as did the number at Liverpool John Moores, also from 4 per cent to 12 per cent. Firsts awarded by Coventry University have almost tripled since 1997, up from 6 per cent then to 17 per cent last year.
Hertfordshire University saw the proportion of firsts rise from 8 per cent to 18 per cent over the 13-year period, while Kent University saw a rise from 4 per cent to 15 per cent. The number of firsts awarded by Bournemouth University has more than doubled since 1997, from 5 per cent to 12 per cent last year; while at Sheffield Hallam the rise was from 5 per cent to 13 per cent, at Northumbria from 6 per cent to 15 per cent and at the University of East Anglia from 7 per cent to 15 per cent."
Buzz = Equality, diversity, cohesion, difference, enrichment, globalisation, political correctness and postive discrimination.
Bogey = Racist, Fascist, Neo-Nazi, little Englander, Anti-Semite, dinosaur, bigot and indigenous.
The most outrageous statistical 'improvement' from the above list was seen at Northampton University.
At its 'Equality and Diversity' page, we read:
"WE CELEBRATE THE DIVERSITY OF OUR UNIVERSITY (AND WIDER SOCIETY)… HISTORIC INJUSTICES AND INEQUALITIES ARE RECOGNISED AND ACTION TAKEN TO REVERSE THE EFFECTS OF THEM. This is supported by legislation to tackle unlawful discrimination (based on age, disability, gender, RACE, RELIGION OR BELIEF AND SEXUAL ORIENTATION).
There are also legal requirements for all public bodies, including universities… to CHALLENGE PREJUDICE AND PROMOTE POSITIVE ATTITUDES… and where appropriate to UNDERTAKE POSITIVE ACTION.
Equality and diversity work at The University of Northampton is the responsibility of all staff and students but IT IS OVERSEEN BY AN EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY ADVISER.
WE ALSO HAVE A FORMAL EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY ACTION COMMITTEE, Chaired by our Pro-Vice Chancellor… (Professor Nick Petford - Vice Chancellor; Dr Frank Burdett - Pro Vice Chancellor; Professor Peter Bush - Pro Vice Chancellor; Mr John Hoskinson - Pro Vice Chancellor)…
The University of Northampton is PRO-ACTIVE AROUND EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY ISSUES in the following ways… BY RAISING THE PROFILE and encouraging debate and research on EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY ISSUES THROUGH PROJECT WORK AND OTHER ACTIVITIES, for example, AN ANNUAL WEEK-LONG DIVERSITY FESTIVAL COMMEMORATING HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY, BLACK HISTORY MONTH AND LESBIAN AND GAY HISTORY MONTH…
By supporting those who wish to celebrate religious and other festivals and events… By running courses and modules at the University that include covering equality and diversity themes.
By running… ethnic minority student mentoring schemes. By assessing what we do for equality impact. By making equality and diversity training available to all staff."
Elsewhere the University prospectus says:
"The University is GLOBALLY RENOWNED'.Why are we not surprised?
Here’s another wager I’d be happy to wage. I bet Nick Petford, Frank Burdett, Peter Bush and John Hoskinson didn’t vote BNP, National Front or England First in May 2010.
Or, for that matter, for anyone else who would have dared to put the British first in the land where our ancestors are buried.