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PwC Launches Grad Scheme for 2.2 Graduates

Feb 19 2010 00:14
Lawrence Weetman
Professional services giant Pricewaterhouse-Coopers has launched a new graduate scheme aimed at "talented" students who do not meet their usual entry requirements.
Is the new graduate scheme aimed at Imperial College students?

Pricewaterhouse-Coopers have this week launched a new graduate recruitment scheme designed to assess candidates by much more than their academic qualifications.

Most top employers currently require a degree classification of a 2.1 or above, however the new "Inspired Talent" scheme will invite applicants who only achieved a 2.2 degree-level qualification.

We wanted to create an opportunity and a window for exceptionally talented students who have demonstrated exceptional achievements beyond the academic.
Sonja Stockton, head of recruitment

Sonja Stockton, head of recruitment for PwC, specifically singled Imperial College students out as the kind that would benefit from the new scheme.

She told the Financial Times that students who went to Imperial College London stood a worse chance of getting a 2.1 than at a less prestigious institution.

She added that many students miss out on a 2.1 classification as "they were doing extraordinary and enterprising things", such as starting charities whilst at Univeristy.

It is expected that the scheme will be incredibly tough - candidates will have to prove themselves as valuable as the other 1,000 graduates that PwC will take on this year and PwC says that anywhere between 5 and 75 people from the scheme could be taken on.

It shouldn?t be necessary for a competent, inspired applicant with a 2.2 from Imperial to prove that they have done 'extraordinary and enterprising things'.
Jonathan Silver, Deputy President (Education)

Candidates will have to show an incredibly extraordinary level of extra-curricular activity and complete an exam in intellectual rigour and agility.

Ms Stockton said: "It is getting harder for employers to distinguish between the mass of degree qualifications in the jobs market at the moment. People develop at different stage of academic life and those that demonstrate exceptional drive, capacity and entrepreneurial spirit can have great careers with us. We've no doubt that we will discover real gems".

PwC has been listed as the Top Graduate Employer by The Times for six years in a row, priding itself on employing the "finest" talent.

The new scheme is particularly good news for Imperial College students, where departments regularly fail to meet Imperial's target number of "good honours" degrees.

Last year's Deputy President (Education & Welfare) of Imperial College Union, Hannah Theodorou, told Live! that if departments weren't meeting the 70% target for 2.1s and 1sts then this "either means that we are taking in poorer-quality students than in all of the other departments or the teaching in that department isn?t bringing them up to scratch".

A 2.2 is not only perfectly respectable, it is arguably academically equivalent to at least an upper second from many institutions.
Jonathan Silver, Deputy President (Education)

Current Deputy President (Education), Jonathan Silver, told Live! that a graduate scheme targeted at Imperial students would understand that, due to Imperial College's reluctance to "inflate degree classifications", a 2.2 is "not only perfectly respectable, it is arguably academically equivalent to at least an upper second from many institutions".

Silver continued: "It shouldn?t be necessary for a competent, inspired applicant with a 2.2 from Imperial to prove that they have done 'extraordinary and enterprising things'. It would be more appropriate to adjust for the standards required for each degree class at Imperial, and treat applicants from Imperial that have lower second class degrees as if they had achieved an upper second from another institution. It is, sadly, true that employers place far more emphasis on the degree class achieved than on the awarding institution".

The DPE did welcome "the first breach of the otherwise universal rule of using the 2.1 as a minimum requirement", however he did have reservations. Silver said that "consideration of an applicant?s extracurricular achievement and skill is very important, and should be taking place anyway based on CV and interview".

What do you think? Should employers consider all applicants, regardless of degree classification? Are you a student who missed out on a 2.1 at Imperial? If so, how have you been affected? Post your comments in the discussion below.

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Discussion about “PwC Launches Grad Scheme for 2.2 Graduates”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
1. MMS   
Feb 19 2010 09:49
 

Brilliant, no need to do any academic work anymore!

2.  
Feb 19 2010 11:13
 

Yes MMS but you have to have actually done something extraordinary or inspiring too. ;-)

What about people who have 3rds ?

4. MMS   
Feb 19 2010 11:52
 

@2 Good point.

5. @3   
Feb 19 2010 14:55
 

Get a job as a morse code translator...?

Feb 19 2010 16:04
 

My work here is done......

Feb 19 2010 16:09
 

See minute 6.

http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/pls/portallive/docs/1/55133696.PDF

See kids, it is possible to make a difference.

8. as in   
Feb 26 2010 23:15
 

honestly, if you can't even manage a 2.1, you really shouldn't be aiming for top-tier jobs. it's easy enough to get a 60% average (doesn't sound too high does it?!?!?!!) and do pretty much anything in your free time. in fact, you could not attend lectures, graze through the notes the night before the exam, and still manage 60%, so i really don't understand why people that slept through everything should be given a break. do your own work ffs

9. tobey   
Mar 04 2010 12:55
 

does anyone know how to apply to this scheme??

10. zainab   
Mar 06 2010 15:30
 

is this just for imperial college students?

11. Editor   
Mar 06 2010 15:52
 

zainab: no, this is aimed at anyone who feels they have a valid reason for not attaining a 2:1 or above.

Students and graduates can find out more about the scheme here: PwC Inspired Talent Scheme.

12. remmie   
Mar 20 2010 09:44
 

great innovation,,,

Mar 22 2010 14:18
 

Well at least one employer is starting to see that imperial 2.2 = 2.1 from other UK unis. Now if only the rest would, I refuse to see my 2.1 = the a 2.1 from...somewhere like the university of Bedfordshire.

Either way, I disagree with the 'if you don't have a 2.1 don't go for good jobs' mentality of some of the posts. That's exceptionally childish to say, because a 2.1 shows what exactly? That you can conform to a regimented method of teaching better than a 2.2 candidate. Big whup. Doesn't mean 2.1 candidate is smarter, just that they smarter within a highly restricted context. In the real world, 90% of the rubbish you learn you won't use, so it means almost nothing that "I got a 2.1 in a subject that i'm never gonna use and by rights probably got by spotting exam trends and milking them"

The idea that >2.1 = smart (or suitable for 'good' jobs) and <2.2 = not smart, is the single most childish thing I've heard in a long time, and I've heard some doozies I really have. I know some absolute geniuses who simply don't like exams and therefore do badly on them, not at all from a lack of intellect.

Mar 22 2010 14:52
 

If you are bad at exams then you probably shouldn't join a firm where most of their vacancies require you to pass some sort of professional qualification. There is no point joining PwC as part of their Desmond Inclusion Scheme then getting sacked because you fail your ACA, Actuarial or other regulatory qualifications that are pretty important if you want to progress.

Mar 25 2010 18:32
 

I agree that 2.1 isn't the only thing indicative of intelligence, academia (especially university academia) is rarely based on understanding and almost always on regurgitation. TBH, regarding the above post, I've heard, and please do verify, that most imperial people who sit ACA examinations rarely fail them. In fact people I've talked to from imperial who have sat the exams have said they're easier than the degree they got from the uni. But then again these are people who scored 2.1s so... either way it can only be a good thing for people who just miss out.

Mar 27 2010 08:51
 

you idiots, it's not a question of intelligence (as is rarely the case outside of academia). it's about work ethic. who would want to employ someone who couldn't even be bothered to get a first in their degree? will they be bothered to put in effort on the job? i don't know the statistics, but i'd be surprised if there weren't a high level of correlation (not causation, obviously).

so stop whinging just because you didn't put in the effort, either.

Mar 28 2010 20:15
 

Wow :| ...heated tempers...

Either way, it should be an interesting scheme. I'm gonna take a middle road between '@13, 15' and 'I see...' and say that whilst a 2.1 is usually a good indicator of intellect and work ethic, it's not the only thing that indicates those things. Which is the whole reason they've brought out the scheme, because they've recognised people have shown dedication in other things rather than just purely academics. Arguably though, people who have done those things should know how to prioritise properly, whilst the extra stuff at uni is all good fun, if you don't focus and work on the degree, you can't really complain when job hunting comes around and you're in the s**t.

Jun 18 2010 01:14
 

Much of what I'm seeing here are comments written by academic traditionalists with no sense of practical knowledge. A 2.1 does NOT prove anything in real life/work and does certainly not reflect a persons ability to contribute at a highly efficient level to his/her work place. What people tend to forget is that marks at Unis are given according to quotas and only a selected amount of people are allowed to achieve 2.1s or first. At situations where teachers have been biased against certain students for whatever reason, these students automatically fall victim to the dreadful 2.2 category whereas others with 'more preferable' characters but with the same level of intellect receive 2.1s or firsts. It is clear that this way of assessing students is wrong and should definately be subject to review. On a sidenote, i can tell you that many of my friends who graduated with 2.2s have worked themselves up to decent positions in companies because of their strong determination, will and intellect.

Jun 19 2010 01:15
 

True what 1ster said. I had a friend who graduated last year, and simply because his final year project co-ordinator didn't like the fact he voiced dissident at the markers inconsistency, he was accused of plagiarism and graduated with a 2.2 rather than a 2.1, suffering a 40% deduction in his final project. Not something that is provable at all, and because only internal mechanisms, which are sadly very poorly explained, are employed, he could not challenge the mark. It's sadly an all-to-common story where despite all the makings of an excellent student, he was robbed his marks by bias of his marker. Again and it appears appears as though nothing is being done to fix it either.

20. Maria   
Jun 27 2010 00:01
 

There are so many factors involved in falling short of a 2.1/first. I had straight As throughout my schooling- GCSE and 4A at A level... I've had a really bad time in my personal life for the past 4 months and have just got a 2.2 in French and Chinese from the University of Manchester. I am really upset. What bugs me is that a 2.1 in a non-academic, mickey mouse degree, or even actually an academic degree from an ex-poly uni may be viewed as better than a degree like mine from a fine institution. I hope employers look out for institutions firstly and grades secondly. If you can get into a prestigious University, then already it should be taken at face value that you have a decent brain. Sometimes yeah of course there are simply clever lazy students who should have worked harder, but I think it is great that grad schemes such as this one look at the full picture or should I say CV/person and take account of mitigating circumstances. I think it is great that there are some grad schemes that are not forgetting the 2.2s.

21. @19   
Jun 27 2010 09:36
 

I think there is more to this story than you are revealing - if this friend of yours was actually accused of plagiarism, then the case would go to Registry to be investigated, the marks wouldn't simply be deducted. Registry would then look for actual evidence of plagiarism, not just accusations.

22. @21   
Jun 30 2010 21:06
 

Gotta agree with 21, I doubt they would just deduct marks without some kind of evidence, sounds a bit far-fetched. But then again plagiarism is an extremely vague concept, as defined in the law and even by Imperial, and it is also very difficult to prove. If it's straight forward as in a cut and paste job then its easy, but apart from then, that's when it becomes blurry. Anything can be classed as plagiarism, if shown in a certain light (or if examined by someone who wants to find plagiarism - but then why would the examiners, not the project leader WANT your friend to have plagiarised?). Even the exchange of ideas, if pushed to an extreme, could feasibly be classed as plagiarism. Similarities between coursework pieces (even through skeleton code as is the case with Computer Science which is a segment of code that's exactly the same for everyone) could even be cause for plagiarism in an extreme case. It's a horrible card for a student to be dealt, that is assuming the student is innocent, simply because of the fact anything can be defined as plagiarism, and also becayse the appeals success rate is apparently abysmal, so if they say you did it, you're not getting those marks back even if you genuinely didn't. And if what was said in 18 and 19 actually hold any truth, and I have no reason to doubt they probably do, the uni might well encourage 'plagiarists' to be found to push down average grades to conform to their degree classification boundaries. It's not completely unthinkable that 19's friend 'plagiarised' and got savage cuts, but it is pretty unlikely unless he did plagiarise at least a portion of his project. Oh well...lesson is, its a crummy world we live in where sometimes hardworking and honest people get trampled on, and lazy and conniving people don't. What can you do?

Jul 01 2010 11:37
 

Both plagiarism and extenuating circumstances are dealt with formally according to Registry's guidelines, and you won't lose marks for plagiarism without having been invited to appeal and make your case to a hearing panel.

The College's current regs for plagiarism can be found in Appendix 3 of the Academic Regulations: https://www8.imperial.ac.uk/content/dav/ad/workspaces/registry/Procedures%20and%20Regulations/Regulations/Academic%20Regulations%202009-10/Academic%20and%20Examination%20Regulations%202009-10.pdf - though they are subject to change.

If you are accused of plagiarism, you will ALWAYS have the opportunity to appeal, and go through the piece of work in question with a hearing panel to satisfy them that the submission is sound. The hearing panels are extremely accommodating and deliberate carefully and fairly (I've sat on them) and if they cannot prove with confidence that a student is guilty of an academic offence, then they will not uphold the allegation (or they will allow the appeal). This is independent of the marks attained by the student or anyone else, and frequently happens before even the work has been marked.

College's rules for extenuating circumstances have changed recently: you can be confident that the circumstances will be looked at by an independent panel who will treat the matter with respect and in confidence. This is only dependent of the mark you achieve insofar as that they will not account for extenuating circumstances if you have done well anyway.

If they believe you deserve special consideration, then you will be given a fair chance to try again, or be otherwise recompensed for your loss of marks in a way that's acceptable to all parties.

If you believe that a procedure in these policies has not been followed correctly, then this is a very serious matter and you should get in touch with the Union Advice Centre immediately.

Jul 01 2010 15:25
 

Pease define the term "with confidence"... with confidence is a very vague term. I can say, with confidence that 19 it lying, though that's not really provable for example. I have no real evidence, apart from the fact it doesn't sound plausible, but it might actually be true.

Appeals are only useful if successful, and they the potential to enforce harsher penalties at the appeals process is likely designed to deter people trying it. It's be nice if students were given the power to accuse lecturers of plagiarism.... but then we'd lose a lot of lecturers.

Jul 01 2010 15:46
 

@25

When a plagiarism case is presented, upon the presentation of substantial reliable evidence (which is a mandatory part of the procedure), it is generally clear immediately whether plagiarism has taken place or not. The procedure having been followed, with the student given the chance to deny the charge and defend themselves, the panel are in an excellent position to see if plagiarism has taken place. If they are in any way not sure, their decision must fall in the student's favour - and this can happen, but is very unusual.

Appeals can result in an increased penalty, but not simply because an appeal was made against a panel's decision (every student has the right to appeal).

If, at appeal, a penalty is in any way changed, then this will be because additional evidence or allegations have come to light; it will be expected that the initial panel's decision was a fair one considering the evidence available at the time, and it would not be appropriate to change this penalty if the circumstances have not changed.

It is really important to have faith in hearing and appeal panels. They are composed of a selection of independent, experienced academics unknown to the accused/appellant, plus at least one student, and they really do bend over backwards to make sure that the decision is fair for all involved. It is NEVER in the College's interests to punish or exclude students; it has to be done to enforce rules, however, and sometimes to protect other students. If a panel were to make an error of judgement, the appeal could be escalated to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator and put their jobs at risk.

Jul 01 2010 16:02
 

But then again, all anybody really has to go on for that is your, admirable btw, defence of a (lets face it) enormously flawed system. It's all on faith, and tbh what real reason is there to have faith in a system that can indiscrimantly accuse someone of plagiarism, and that even if a person is found innocent the lecturer suffers no penalty at all. How is that fair? Please enlighten me. A lecture can effectively call you, and your academic practice, fraudulent, which its an enormous, and highly insulting claim, and he/she can just get away with it under the current system. In a court of law, a person at least gets damages, but it seems sadly lecturers are immune to reprisal of such actions.

Jul 01 2010 19:15
 

Dude calm down...TBH, everybody know the rules of the game, don't plagiarise or at least don't do it so badly that you get caught.... Funny thing is the most people plagiarise (or cheat one way or another) so I can sympathise when someone gets caught, because so many others go free. LOL, for a slightly different reason, I agree that it's unfair that a student potentially stands to lose years of (possibly) extremely hard work simply for one instance of plagiarism (either suspected or provable). Society is quick to condemn, without ever really considering someones circumstances at all. Everyone hates a thief, even though he is a product of societies failings. Same thing applies here. They're not going to consider why someone plagiarised, but they'll happily condemn you and rob the effort of years of your life.

@ Jonathan Silver, whilst I agree with a lot of what you've said, in principle, lets not be naive. "It is NEVER in the College's interests to punish or exclude students; it has to be done to enforce rules, however, and sometimes to protect other students" - are you being serious?

Imperial has a reputation to protect, as one of the most prestigious and most intellectually challenging universities in the world. You really think they'd weight that as equal to the life of one student? They mark one student down, but maintain their 'Hardline' stance on plagiarism and a degree of infallibility, so their reputation is intact, maybe even goes up. Think in the reverse, if they accused someone, who successfully defends himself from plagiarism charges, and the case is made public, as they are allowed to be under the pdf doc you just posted, Imperial's reputation probably drops a little. The more people who appeal successfully, the more it drops. You catch my drift.

Still like I said, don't do it at all, or don't do it badly at least. If the case of the latter, you really only have yourself to blame dude :p

29.  
Jul 02 2010 20:39
 

Live! Get with the f**king program of news and elections!!!

Jul 03 2010 07:35
 

Sorry 29, I've been in hospital since Monday night (still there now)! I hope that's an understandable reason for not writing anything since then!

Jul 04 2010 23:34
 

"It's all on faith, and tbh what real reason is there to have faith in a system that can indiscrimantly accuse someone of plagiarism, and that even if a person is found innocent the lecturer suffers no penalty at all. How is that fair?"

Sour grapes, much? Other than 19's comment, what evidence do you have that lecturers are accusing students of plagiarism without cause?

Regardless, after students are accused, their case goes before a panel, and as Jonathan says, "If a panel were to make an error of judgement, the appeal could be escalated to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator and put their jobs at risk." That sounds like a fair system to me. The lecturers themselves simply submit the evidence to Registry, why should they be penalised if the panel decides there is no plagiarism whatsoever (I suspect this is rather unusual anyway...).

In a court of law you (may) get damages, but I don't think College's plagiarism panel is anywhere near as public as a court case!

I wonder how a conversation about the PWC 2.2 scheme became Jonathan Silver and 21 vs 27, 25 and 19. LOL.

Regarding the comments - In the end, just don't plagiarise. I'm sure we can all agree that if you don't want to stand accused for something, don't indulge in it. Of course, there's a possibility that you still might be accused, and I can genuinely feel for someone who is in that situation if he (or she) hasn't actually plagiarised. It wouldn't be a stretch to imagine that it does occasionally happen, but the possibility is probably marginal if you haven't done something slightly suspect to begin with. - Once again, unlike 31 I'm not throwing accusations or insinuations out there, I have no idea what 27's circumstances are, so I've no right to judge.

Regarding the topic at hand - the 2.2 scheme - it sounds like it should be good for a lot of students, especially those who just miss out. I'm sure we can all appreciate that the education system is not the ONLY (perhaps not the best either) way to demonstrate the key qualities of drive, intelligence and ambition. A 2.2, can literally be 0.1% away from a 2.1, so to somehow think that, that 0.1% makes so much difference is pretty funny - mainly aimed at comments 8 and 16. Those made me laugh quite a bit.

I agree with Maria, always unsettling that quite a lot of employers consider 2.1 awards equal from very different institutions. However, most of the most prestigious employers have target universities and I'm sure University of Manchester is one of them. Normally it's the Russell Group Universities, maybe plus some others, so the standard for the best employers is normally pretty high. Then from within those target universities, they look for people with 2.1s. So it's actually pretty hard if you're from a polytechnic somewhere, to try and get into PwC over someone from Imperial who has a 2.1. A lot of big employers to respect Imperial as, quite probably the most difficult uni in the UK, so mostly a 2.1 from imperial is seen as better than a 2.1 from Bedfordshire for example. But, sadly a 2.2 from Imperial, which I would consider much harder to achieve than a 2.1 from a great number of universities, sadly isn't seen as such by these big employers. Thats, unfortunately, in part due to the fact that they can be picky about who they hire, since they have so many people (traditionally) apply, though this year that has apparently not quite been the case. The important thing is not to give up. For example, though it's quite expensive, I'm sure you could fund yourself for the ACCA qualification whilst gaining experience at a smaller accounting firm. Once you have the ACCA, employers wouldn't really care about your degree classification.

Jul 05 2010 16:25
 

Thanks 21.

By the way, don't insult the University of Bedfordshire. Their campus is down the road from my house at home and I'm sure they'll make FANTASTIC PE teachers and hospitality assistants. :)

Jul 05 2010 16:33
 

And btw, if you get a 2.2 from the Engineering departments from Imperial, you know a lot of engineering employers have a minimum entry requirement of 2.2, and even those who actively recruit in Imperial, a lot of them with 2.1 requirements would happily consider 2.2 imperial candidates. I talked to a EEE graduate from imperial (with a 2.2) who joined an F1 Team handling all of the electronics, instead of people with 1sts from bristol, southhampton, etc (which are v. good for EEE btw), exemplifying that there are employers who genuinely acknowledge that Imperial produces high quality candidates across 2.2 degree classifications.

A bit random, but I re-read some of the above and noticed 3 about 3rd Class Degrees. In that case, I suppose you could always do a PGCE in Maths or Science and teach. Aparently it pays quite well and there is a demand for it. All you need is a degree and the relevant GCSE level qualifications - you won't even need a degree in the topic in question.. I think. Other than that... perhaps take a second undergrad degree, or if possible a masters in something, though they are normally 2.1 entries. Hmm... I'll go with teach if you get a 3rd. It's a good honest job, good hours & long holidays, decent pay. I wouldn't know what else...

Jul 05 2010 16:36
 

Sorry about that Jonathan! I was just using an example that had been used before, I meant no disrespect. I actually live in Luton where Uni of Bedfordshire is situated, though I'm actually at the other side of the town.

Jul 05 2010 23:30
 

Sorry, I realise that my comments may have come across as a little confrontational with regard to 19's case. I obviously don't know the specifics, but I am perfectly willing to believe that a lecturer may have reported non-existent plagiarism (they're all humans, and humans are subject to human emotions...).

What I have trouble believing is that this student lost 40% of his/her project marks when there was no evidence of plagiarism. It just doesn't fit with what I have seen of the system: if the system is biased in any way, it's in favour of the student. Several times I have seen true plagiarism either ignored (and unreported), or reprimanded by little more than a slap on the wrist. This is of course unsurprising if you think of students as consumers of a HE product: it's bad business to accuse your customers of any wrongdoing!

You may think this bias benefits us students, but it doesn't - it just devalues our degrees.

@32: You make a good point about engineering firms. In my experience there do seem to be a number of engineering firms which accept students with 2:2 degrees. Of course these firms may have their own technical tests as part of their recruitment process, thus making your degree class less important.

Jul 05 2010 23:49
 

@35

I'm not serious! I live in Bedford, their other main site. We have too little in common with the University of Bedfordshire to be able to mention both in the same breath.

Jul 06 2010 00:42
 

@ 21 I agree actually, I find it unlikely that he lost marks unless some of his work was actually plagiarised. But I don't know the finer details of how the system works, or the specifics of the case in question, and therefore can't really comment on it with any real authority. But maybe Jonathan can...?

I haven't seen 'true plagiarism' simply given a slap on the wrist unless its in the earlier years - 1st and 2nd years I've seen people not being punished, but 3rd and 4th years aparently they'll be quite harsh about it according to the pdf Johnathan posted earlier. Whilst I am strongly against plagiarism, I find it extreme to give someone a zero for the year, unless it was complete cut and paste, which could be proved beyond a shadow of a doubt, and only if it was for a seriously sizable amount (20%+ for example). In those cicumstances 0 for the year is definitely justified, but its almost unjustifiable to give them a zero (as the mitigated penalty as well), if the above conditions aren't met (in my opinion of course). Still I assume the harsh reprisal is designed to discourage plagiarists, though I've always been an advocate of equal measure i.e. they should really only lose what they stood to gain - so if plagiarism occured on a submission, that submission should be set to zero rather than losing a whole year of marks. Upon repeat however, then I fully agree that it should be a zero because it's just stupidity and arrogance to do it again once you were caught and let off. Something akin to a 2 (or possibly 3) strike system, where first time it's forgiveable (obviously this would need to be considered within the circumstances) but could warrant an automatic 0 for the piece(s) otherwise, and the 2nd is a zero for the year or expulsion, with another a subsequent breach being automatic expulsion. To do it for a first offence, even in the third or forth year, seems harsh to me. Someone in absolute desperation may plagiarise in the last year and potentially stand to lose much more than a first year counterpart. I understand why its done, but it sends out the wrong message i.e. plagiarise early on and then don't do it.

Yeah some engineering firms such as Centrica and Arup, for example, have good reputations and have a minimum requirement of 2.2's. Both also pay quite well and have a number of roles and international opportunities. Having said that though, a candidate would need to be able to demonstrate all of the standard competencies and maybe a bit more to show that they are fully qualified for the role - never hurts to go the extra mile.

@ Jonathan, thats fine then. I thought you may have taken it the wrong way. I agree, both are very different, but both are equally valid as institutions of education (for different subjects of course). I hope I didn't come across as holier-than-thou with the comparison between the two :(

Jul 06 2010 13:52
 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/education/10506798.stm

Thought it might be relevant to the discussion being had about 2.2 degrees, and just about degrees in general... 69 applicants per job, even considering the applicants with degrees in media studies or 'lesser' degrees, thats still a bad number. But I've never personally paid that much attention to numbers except just for interest. I never try to 'tatically apply' if you're good enough, you should be fine... still a larger number than I expected...

Jul 06 2010 15:09
 

@39: From the article: "Degree classification was more widely used as a selection criterion than relevant work experience (34%) or degree subject (33%) or going to a particular university (7%)."

This is really ridiculous...

@38: The PDF which Jonathan posted defines minor plagiarism as "A first occurrence and in which the part of the work in question can be demonstrated to have been plagiarised, either intentionally or unintentionally, and is not judged by the Board of Examiners to form a significant part of that work, considered both by volume and by weight of meaning."

The harshest penalty for minor plagiarism is a zero in the relevant assessment. The harsher penalties (0 for the year, expulsion...) in the table at the end of the PDF only apply for more significant plagiarism, classed as "major plagiarism". Therefore students will not get a 0 for the year unless their plagiarism is classed as major.

I disagree with your assertion that "they should really only lose what they stood to gain", however. If the penalty for theft is having to give back what you have stolen, why wouldn't you keep stealing? If you plagiarise a significant part of an assignment, then the penalty should be more than a 0 for this particular assignment. On the other hand, if you only plagiarise a small part of an assignment, this is "minor plagiarism", and the penalty is capped at 0 for the assignment.

Overall the plagiarism tariff linked to seems reasonable to me, if applied properly: it allows for a lesser penalty for first offences, and it makes a difference between plagiarism in the first two years and the third/fourth years. The reason that plagiarism in the first two years is given a lesser penalty is that a) these years are worth less b) you may not be perfectly aware of what plagiarism is yet. Remember that since the tariff only applies to major plagiarism, if this is being applied in third/fourth year, you are likely to have been caught plagiarising a significant part of a major project. Plagiarism at this stage really is not acceptable, and this is reflected in the tariffs.

Jul 06 2010 15:43
 

Agreed for the most part, and i think my explanation was probably not that great to be completely fair. I did however say only in the first instance that I feel it should be that you get a zero for the assessment, but I do agree that by 3rd year you should know what does and doesn't constitute to plagiarism, so a harsher punishment is understandable. I would wonder though what 'Major' would constitute to. It's understandable that it could probably, quite easily, be identified simply by comparing the evidence collected, but I wonder what formal definition, if any, could actually be applied to 'major' plagiarism. Still, thanks for clearing that up, I ended up overlooking the minor plagiarism bit in the pdf... my bad.

@ 39 - I found that incredible that a 2.1 preference was at 78% and 7% for the university in question. That's quite saddening considering just the sheer size of recruiters asking for it. I would've thought they'd identify that people should really be scrutinised past just their degree qualification, to their actual ability in a more 'complete' light. Very worrying indeed, but having said that, without trying to generalise, the people who have been used as examples on these articles are from universities such as Lancaster. So I would've considered someone with an imperial 2.1, to be in better stead... I hope... otherwise I would've gone to different uni! The only reason I came here was because I thought it'd improve my employment prospects...

Sep 06 2010 19:49
 

2.2 with OTC, UAS, URNU or other significant extra curricular activity pips a 2.1 with extra time spent in the bar. It's a shame that the 23 year old women with 2.1s from the easiest Universities they could find who fill the ranks of human resources departments can't see this.

43. pat   
Sep 27 2011 23:39
 

I did actuarial science from kent university and graduated with a 2.2. people who think students can get 2.1 while cramming in at last moments are highly unaware of different qualifications out there and how hard they are. Its hard to get in an actuarial scheme for me at the moment because i get filtered out straight away from bunch of students who have done irrelevant degree or easier degree course. I wish there was a way around it where I could explain it to HR department how am I different then other candidates, 33 graduates out of 130+ is not easy!

Oct 10 2011 17:10
 

This is wonderful news as it gives talented individuals who may have had a tough time through university due problems outside university life which stopped them reaching their full potential at university. However I know so many clever individuals who have received a third class honours degree and I think they should be part of the inspired talent scheme because they have not been given the chance to show their full potential.

Dec 09 2011 19:13
 

HERE IS THE TRUTH....A 2.2 DOES NOT MEAN SOMEONE IS LACKING IN INTELLIGENCE/ABILITY, IT MEANS THEY ARE SIMPLY NOT SMART ENOUGH TO UNDERSTAND SOCIETY'S PERCEPTION, AND SOCIETY'S PERCEPTION IS THAT A 2.2 MEANS YOU ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH. IT DOESN'T MATTER WHETHER YOU ARE SMART BUT UNFORTUNATELY HAPPEN TO HAVE A 2.2. YOU WERE FOOLISH ENOUGH TO GET A 2.2 WHEN YOU KNOW WHAT EMPLOYERS CONSIDER TO BE GOOD OR NOT. BE SHREWD. GET YOUR 2.1 AND THEN YOU WILL BE SAFE, AND NOT HAVE TO DEFEND YOURSELF ON 'EXTRA CURRICULARS'

46. AK   
Feb 25 2012 09:56
 

Well I had both my nan and an uncle die during my final year exams, got 57% overall because of it, and was told I was considered for the extenuating circumstance boundary because my results weren't catastrophic and I because I managed to force myself through a final year project and scrape 61%.

How was any of that my fault? How does any of that somehow make me less intelligent then anyone who had a cushy 3 years and got by through cram nights in the last two weeks?

47. AK   
Feb 25 2012 09:57
 

@Correction - Wasn't considered for the extenuating circumstance.

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