Degree classifications may be subject to overhaul

US flagDegree classifications at the University of York may be subject to a radical overhaul after six members of the elite Russell Group announced plans to trail the American grade point average system.

Although the University has not released plans for any changes, management are considering a number of options.

The GPA system awards undergraduates a grade between zero and 4.25 throughout their course. At the end of the degree, students are awarded a grade point average.

The Higher Education Academy, a charity based at the University of York, will monitor the GPA trial and Sir Bob Burgess, vice-chancellor of Leicester University, will oversee the pilot.

Prof Phil Levy, deputy chief executive the charity, said:  “It is essential that the proposed national GPA system is thoroughly tested in different institutional contexts.

“Only by doing this will the sector and wider public be able to understand whether GPA will enhance the student experience, both while they are studying and after graduation as they seek employment or further study.”

The grading scheme is believed to be fairer than the 200 year old system of First, Second and Third class degrees. Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leeds, Nottingham, Sheffield and Southampton have opted to partake in the trial.

The University of York is also considering a degree classification system that would split existing classifications in half, giving higher and lower grades for each degree class.