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New benchmark standards for degrees ‘should benefit graduates and employers’


Education and Employment Minister Baroness Blackstone this week welcomed the launch of new standard benchmarks for degrees.

The 22 benchmark statements, produced by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), outline the knowledge, understanding and skills a student should gain from a particular higher education course.

Speaking at the QAA’s launch of the new statements in London today, Baroness Blackstone said:

"Students in higher education are entitled to the best possible opportunities, the highest quality teaching and learning, rigorous assessment and a challenging curriculum. They need to know that they are getting value for money and that they are guaranteed a high quality course. They will be able to use the benchmarks to make an informed choice about their degree and their subsequent employability.

"Employers need to know about the skills and knowledge of the graduates they propose to employ - what they have studied and the standards they can expect of them. Making standards explicit is a key part of ensuring that graduates are prepared for the world of work. It is important that employers tell higher education what they need from graduates. I hope that many employers will take an active role in helping the QAA develop future benchmarks.

"We have a worldwide reputation for excellence in higher education. But we cannot rest on our achievements, nor be complacent in our success. The benchmarks will help us to build on, and consolidate that excellence."


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