Everyone Gets A Trophy

The vice-chancellor of Kingston University in London has unlocked the secret to minority students achieving better grades, and the solution is as ridiculous as you would expect.

The government has recently announced that it plans to improve how black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) students perform at university, putting the spotlight back on an issue that has blighted the higher education sector for far too long.

The fact is, according to the latest figures, just 66% of BAME students achieved a first or 2:1 degree in 2016-17, compared to 79.6% of white students. This is an issue affecting all universities, and requires a deep understanding of the factors involved and a genuine commitment to addressing the gap. There is no quick fix.

But there is, you see, and it’s right in front of your faces.

Universities could be recognised and rewarded for their progress through metrics-based exercises such as the Teaching Excellence Framework (Tef), which evaluates universities on the basis of their teaching quality and student outcomes. As it stands, a university could be awarded Tef gold while having no black students attaining a first class degree. That clearly does not reflect teaching excellence for everyone. (H/TAOSHQ)

The author is suggesting universities be punished if black students receive lower grades. The author’s plan would effectively eliminate a diploma’s value, because certain students would receive good grades, with or without hard work.