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More than a quarter of university students graduate with a First class degree


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The number of students graduating with a first class degree has sky rocketed over the past few years.

Between 2012-2016 there was a 12% increase in the number of university students graduating with a first. 

In 2012 this figure was 18% compared to the 26% of students in 2016-2017 being awarded a first. 

Last year, almost three quarters or students graduated with a 2:1 or above compared with two-thirds five years ago. 

Former Higher Educations minister Jo Johnson confirmed in September that the teaching excellence framework will tackle the issue of grade inflation as universities are under pressure to fill course places. 

The figures introduced by the Higher Education Statistics Agency show a decline in the number of part-time students.

Overseas students have dropped by 1% while those from the European Union have increased by 7%. Most of these students will have applied to their courses before the EU referendum in June 2016.

Another figure published by Hesa shows that there had been a 10% year-on-year rise in the number of first-year taught postgraduates, coinciding with the introduction of postgraduate loans for Master’s students in England.

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