Westminster Higher Education Forum

The future for degree classification in the UK

Morning, Tuesday, 10th December 2019

The Caledonian Club, 9 Halkin Street, London SW1X 7DR

THIS EVENT IS CPD CERTIFIED



This conference will examine key issues for the UK degree classification system.


It follows the recent publication of two new measures by the UK Standing Committee for Quality Assessment (UKSCQA):


  • The introduction of Degree Outcomes Statements whereby each HE provider must set out the steps they are taking to protect the value of the qualifications that are being offered; and
  • A common set of degree classification descriptions setting out the general criteria students should meet to reach each classification level for a bachelor’s degree.

Areas for discussion include:


  • Implementation of the actions outlined in the statement of intent;
  • Reviewing assessment and classification criteria across the sector, and transparency on the algorithms involved;
  • Tackling ‘grade inflation’; and
  • The scope for regulation and the possible future role of the Office for Students in regulating degree classification and outcomes.

The agenda includes keynote addresses from: Professor Andrew Wathey, Chair, UK Standing Committee for Quality Assessment and Douglas Blackstock, Chief Executive, QAA.


The agenda


  • Key findings from the consultation on academic standards: common degree classification descriptions, Degree Outcome Statements, and external assessment;
  • Priorities for delivering the statement of intent;
  • Clarifying grade classification boundaries across the HE sector - classification structures, clear and accessible algorithms, and consistency on student assessment;
  • Best practice in the review and implementation of fair classifications models; and
  • Issues around ‘grade inflation’ - understanding the improvement in degree outcomes, protecting the value of qualifications, and ensuring rising grades match student attainment.


Keynote Speaker

Professor Andrew Wathey

Chair, UK Standing Committee for Quality Assessment and Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, Northumbria University

Keynote Speakers

Dr Andrew Grayson

Associate Professor of Psychology, Nottingham Trent University

Professor Andrew Wathey

Chair, UK Standing Committee for Quality Assessment and Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, Northumbria University

Douglas Blackstock

Chief Executive, QAA

Chairs

Professor Stephen Pollock (Viscount Hanworth)

Lord Karan Bilimoria

Speakers

Alex Bols

Member of UK Standing Committee for Quality Assessment and Deputy Chief Executive Officer, GuildHE Academic

Professor Roger Cullis

Visiting Professor in Intellectual Property Law and Technology, Queen Mary University of London

Tom Richmond

Director, EDSK

Professor Nigel Seaton

Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Abertay University

Professor Nigel Seaton

Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Abertay University

Professor Kathleen Armour

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education), University of Birmingham

Professor Brad Blitz

Head of the Department of Education, Practice and Society and professor of International Politics and Policy, UCL Institute of Education

Meg Price

Vice President Education, Worcester Students’ Union

Dr Geoff Stoakes

Special Adviser (Degree Standards), Advance HE

Martin Birchall

Managing Director, High Fliers Research