And this is how it’s playing in the UK

Just as we are getting ourselves all worked up about grades in Irish schools and higher education institutions, the issue has also come up again in the United Kingdom. The Conservative Party’s education spokesperson Michael Gove has drawn attention to some research apparently conducted by Durham and Coventry universities (though I have not been able to find any direct details of this) which, he says, shows that it was ‘easier to secure good pass marks at A level now than a generation ago.’

Whether this accurately describes the research is something that we will need to check when details of the study are released, but in the meantime the Tory Party is proposing certain steps which may have a significant impact on universities. What Michael Gove is suggesting is that the universities should be charged with setting the curriculum and the examinations for A levels:

‘So we will take control of the A-level syllabus and question-setting process out of the hands of bureaucrats and instead empower universities, exam boards and learned societies with the task of ensuring these qualifications are rigorous. The aim of the next Conservative Government will be to have a school examination system which is the most rigorous in the world, safeguarded by the nation’s guardians of academic excellence.’

It is difficult to see exactly how this would work, but on the other hand it would be interesting to consider how universities, which often rightly complain that the final school examinations don’t properly prepare students for higher education, might influence the curriculum to overcome issues that now affect secondary education. Perhaps there might be some merit in having this discussion in Ireland.

Explore posts in the same categories: education, higher education, university

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4 Comments on “And this is how it’s playing in the UK”

  1. Aoife Citizen Says:

    . . . which will remind everyone of what a great exam the matric was.

    • Vincent Says:

      OH, I forgot to mention that this is Durham’s own notion of what study Gove is on about. For I couldn’t find anything on the University site either, so I went neanderthal and rang to asked.


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