News ID: 14093
Published: 0344 GMT October 24, 2014

Education standards down in overcrowded universities

Education standards down in  overcrowded universities

University standards are being eroded by a “culture of rack ‘em, pack ‘em and stack ‘em” in which rising numbers of students are squeezed into lectures, it was claimed on Friday.

Research showed almost a third of academics believe quality is being “compromised” because of an increase in the number of students being admitted to courses.

Almost four-in-10 lecturers also claimed they were being increasingly encouraged to inflate results to increase the number of top degrees being awarded, Schools Improvement reported.

It is claimed the move helps universities climb league tables that give credit to institutions producing more students with firsts and upper-second class degrees.

The disclosure was made in a survey of more than 1,000 academics by Times Higher Education magazine.

An academic at one university blamed “money obsessed” senior managers who aimed to drive up funding.

The schola — a lecturer in engineering and technology at a university in the south of England — claimed that managers had encouraged “unethical and immoral recruitment”.

Another academic from a university in the northeast of England claimed that “students on science degrees are barely numerate and don’t always leave much better off”.

The comments come amid concerns over the effect of government reforms designed to increase the number of students going into higher education, with previous controls over admissions being lifted in recent years.

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