Cambridge don claims rapid grade inflation is down to tuition fees and students working harder

Degree grade inflation is down to tuition fees because students are more motivated and are working harder, a Cambridge don has claimed.

Professor Graham Virgo, Cambridge’s pro-vice chancellor for education, said that a record rise in first class degrees was not a “cause for concern”, adding that students were now more determined to “get the best job that they can”.

His remarks come after figures released on Thursday showed that 100,495 graduates left university last year with top honours, up by 40 percent in four years.

The latest statistics, published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency, have alarmed experts and the university regulator the Office for Students, which has called on the sector to take action to halt the trend.

Critics have also accused universities of “massaging” figures in order to maintain their league table rankings, which reward institutions which hand out higher numbers of first class degrees.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Prof Virgo disputed claims that universities were inflating grades to improve satisfaction rates among students.

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