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For an academic grade inflation tends to be the least risky strategy. It keeps the students happy, quite often keeps the administrators happy as students seem happy to do a degree of lower standard if it is easier to pass, and that keeps the money rolling in.

In Australia we have a system based on the Scottish higher education model. # year pass degrees, followed by a years honours degree with some variations which require a minimum of 4 or 5 years. We also have government funded postgraduate research scholarships. To get one of these now requires the highest level of honours class I, although it used to include the second level class IIA. As a specified number of these are given to a university which then allocates them based on student results. So if you want to have students doing postgraduate research in your department you must make sure that students are given good results. End result is that students receiving Honours I are increasing in number but are poorer academically.


Ken: Agree with you on the incentives on the part of faculty. This is another example of the perversion of subjective metrics.

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