24th October 2018
Daily summary of the latest news and opinions from the world of independent education brought to you by Education Advisers...
Stowe School sends pupils to see Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh to 'open their eyes'
Stowe School has taken a group of sixth-form students to visit Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh on a trip it hopes will make them more aware of their privilege.
“We wanted to take the children outside of their comfort zones,” says Jan de Gale, the teacher from Stowe behind the trip, “to open their eyes and develop their sense of social conscience.”
Twelve pupils from the school, all aged between 15 and 17, spent two days with children’s charity UNICEF, visiting learning centres and child-friendly spaces.
“The point was not to make them feel guilty but to offer perspective,” said Dr Fitz Smith, an English teacher, also leading the trip, “and to look at the privileges we have, not just as people from a first world country, but also a public school.”
Situated in in southern Bangladesh, the camps are home to 700,000 Rohingya, a Muslim minority who have fled persecution from Rakhine state in neighbouring Burma.
Around half of the population of the underfunded and overcrowded camps are children, with around 50 per cent of those who fled without their parents having been orphaned by the conflict.
For the Stowe pupils the experience has been “sobering”. Hearing the stories of what the Rohingya children have been through left the pupils shocked.
University 'grade inflation' to be tackled as first-class degrees rise
A surge in the number of first-class degrees awarded at university has led the government to bring in measures to tackle so-called grade inflation.
Figures suggest that degrees are being "marked up", meaning students are leaving with a higher grade than a comparable student in previous years.
More than a quarter of students now graduate with a first-class degree.
Universities could now be penalised in the government's rating system if they award too many top grades.
"When you look at what makes our universities so prestigious, it comes down to the value of our degrees," said Universities Minister Sam Gyimah.
"The value of those degrees is threatened by grade inflation and that is a problem for students, employers and the universities themselves."
Figures released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency show that 26% of students graduate with a first-class degree, up from 18% in 2012-13.
The increase is part of a longer term trend. In the early 1990s, only about 8% of students achieved a first.
Read more at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-45935193
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