Archive for March 10th, 2009

Lawcast 116: Professor Geoffrey Alderman on standards in UK Universities.

Today I am talking to Professor Geoffrey Alderman, a historian with many years of distinguished academic service including a spell as Chairman of the Academic Council of the University of London and (1992-93) Pro Vice-Chancellor for Academic Standards. Geoffrey Alderman has campaigned long and hard for quality standards in our universities and yesterday appeared before the Commons Select Committee to put his views and answer questions.

The Independent reported this morning… “Universities should be stripped of their powers to award degrees if evidence emerges that they have “dumbed down”, MPs heard yesterday. Professor Geoffrey Alderman, the former academic chairman who caused uproar last year by claiming lecturers were under pressure to “mark positively” and turn a blind eye to plagiarism, told a Commons Select committee monitoring higher education that there had been a “systematic failure” to maintain degree standards for the past 20 years. In particular, vice-chancellors have permitted and indeed encouraged the decline in academic standards in the desperate search for (a) increased income from ‘full cost’ fee-paying international students, (b) more favourable student retention rates, and (c) high or higher positions in various ‘rankings’ or ‘league tables’ published by a variety of med

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