More UK Students are Graduating With a First Than Ever Before

Craig OCallaghan

更新日期 November 5, 2021 更新日期 November 05

Students at UK universities are more likely than ever before to graduate with a first, with nearly a quarter of all students in 2016 receiving the highest grade possible.

A record-high 24% of all graduates received a first-class degree last year and that figure is even higher at some universities. The University of Surrey awarded a first to nearly half of its graduates, with 41% receiving the top degree classification. This is more than double the percentage of firsts awarded at the university five years ago.

The percentage of first-class degrees was also above average among the prestigious Russell Group universities, with more than a quarter of students at these universities earning top honors.

According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency, it’s now more common to graduate with a first than a 2:2, with only 21% of students receiving a lower second last year. 2:1 remains the most common degree, received by 51% of graduates.

Commentators have pointed the finger at universities for causing this rapid grade inflation, criticizing the fact universities can award as many firsts as they like.

Professor Smithers, of the University of Buckingham, told the BBC: “[Universities] have every incentive to [award a high number of firsts]. Students like to have top-class degrees and may choose universities on that basis. If every other university is doing it, you don’t want to be left behind.”

Where to study if you want to graduate with a first

 

University

% of first-class degrees awarded

1

Imperial College London

41.8

2

University of Surrey

41.2

3

University College London

35.6

4

University of Dundee

34.8

5

University of East Anglia

34

6

University of Oxford

33.2

7

King’s College London

31.9

8

University of Cambridge

31.7

9

University of Bath

30.8

10

University of Salford

30.4

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Lead image: School of English and Drama, QMUL (Flickr)

 

本文首发于 2017 July , 更新于 2021 November 。

UK
作者:

As editor of TopUniversities.com, Craig oversees the site's editorial content and network of student contributors. He also plays a key editorial role in the publication of several guides and reports, including the QS Top Grad School Guide.

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