20 July 2017
University ranked among best in Wales for first class degree students after 9% rise
Wrexham Glyndwr University has seen a 9% rise in the number of students receiving a first class degree.
New figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) reveal the University awarded 23.1% of students with a 1:1 in 2015/16, compared to 13.8% five years earlier.
Wrexham Glyndwr is ranked third in Wales for the highest proportion of student first class degrees behind Cardiff (23.5%) and Swansea (26.4%) and was also ahead of the University of Chester, which saw a 4% rise to 15.2%.
On average, across all UK institutions there has been an eight percentage point rise in firsts since 2010/11, leaving the north east Wales University ahead of the curve.
Vice Chancellor Professor Maria Hinfelaar was pleased with the 9.3% increase, particularly as degree classifications are moderated by independent external examiners, including academics from other universities and people from the forefront of industry in fields studied by the graduates.
“We are pleased to see that the focus we place on the student and learning has led to such a positive result,” said Professor Hinfelaar.
“To have a 9% rise in the number of first class degrees awarded by Wrexham Glyndwr is testament to the efforts of our academic teams in preparing students for the world of work on graduation.
“This is what we do best; collaborate with industry and our communities to tailor degrees and courses so that they are ready for the future."
She added: “As one of the UK’s youngest universities – celebrating our 10th anniversary next summer – I feel proud of our students for achieving such high marks and know we will work hard to ensure this trend continues over the coming years.”
Nick Hillman, director of the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI), believes students are working harder than ever before.
He said: "As you wander round universities the libraries and working environments are full. They're not putting in more hours, but they are more productive in the hours they are doing."
A spokeswoman for Universities UK added: "Every one of our universities is unique, with a different subject mix, student body, faculties and departments and, of course, different course curricula and content, which makes comparison difficult, but this diversity is valued by students and staff and this is a strength of the UK sector.
"The sector has changed significantly since 2010, with universities putting more emphasis on the quality of teaching and investing in learning support.”
The figures, for the academic years 2010/11 and 2015/16, are based on 148 universities and colleges for which there is comparable data, and exclude degrees rated as "unclassified".
Swansea University 13.8% to 26.4% (12.6%)
Cardiff University 16.4% to 23.5% (7.1%)
Wrexham Glyndwr University 13.8% to 23.1% (9.3%)
University of Wales Trinity Saint David 7.1% to 22.2% (15%)
Bangor University 18.6% to 21.6% (3.1%)
Cardiff Metropolitan University 13.3% to 18.7% (5.4%)
Aberystwyth University 11.6% to 16.9% (5.3%)
University of Chester 11.2% to 15.2% (4%)