My take on the unexplained increase in degree results, as reported in the media this week, is that it is due to students working harder and being more motivated, not that universities are artificially increasing grades, and it would be a disservice to the students and to universities not to explore and measure this properly.
It is well documented that millennials are cleaner living than us children of the 60’s and 70’s, drinking less alcohol for example and eating less meat. It is certainly our experience at ACS International School, where we have children from the UK and all over the world, that what this new generation has in common is a determination to be different and better than us.
In fact, we could almost call them ‘Generation D’ because they are so driven and determined to do things differently, whether that is how they live, how they treat the world, or how hard they work.
Our research among university admissions officers in 2017 showed that almost three quarters, 73 per cent, said students are putting more effort into considering their university choices before they apply than they did in the past. I think this effort carries on right throughout university life.
Students want to get value for money for their degrees in a way which we didn’t, no surprise with tuition fees at £9k a year when for us it was free, and are also incredibly focussed on their career and life choices.