‘Reports’ could replace degree honours system after shake-up

SCHOOL-style reports could replace traditional degrees in future under a shake-up of the awarding system, it has been claimed.

From this year students will get a detailed record of their university achievements, alongside their final degree award. It is set to include more information on academic courses, such as module marks, as well as details of volunteering work, any prizes a student has won, additional qualifications that can be verified by the university and any other positions held, such as the captaincy of the hockey team.

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More than half of UK universities have already confirmed they are to bring in the record, known as a Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR).

The introduction of the electronic record, similar to the reports children are given at the end of the school year, was recommended in the final report of a working group on the issue.

The move could pave the way for the HEAR to take over from the 200-year-old honours classification system at some point in the future. Prof Sir Robert Burgess, chairman of the working group and vice chancellor of Leicester University, said it was “hoped that the HEAR will eclipse the single degree classification and, where appropriate, serve as a replacement for it”.