Is it time to change university grading to a US points system?

There was a time when “a Desmond” (Tutu, aka a classification of 2:2) was seen as a modest degree, awarded to people who had ability but didn’t take their studies too seriously. From Carol Vorderman to J.K. Rowling and David Dimbleby, many a notable figure has left university with a second, or even third-class degree. 

The successful Desmond is becoming increasingly rare, and not just because of degree class snobbery among employers. The proportion of students awarded a 2.2 at the University of Cambridge is now so low that the institution is considering ditching the class system altogether. 

A variation of the classification model for grading degrees has existed in the UK since the 16th Century, when Cambridge began ranking students in the top 25 per cent, next 25 per cent and bottom 25 per cent of a year group. This was replaced by the current first, second and third class system in 1918, but…

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