June 20, 2018

University predicted grades system “no longer fit for purpose”

A study from the University and College Union suggests only 16% of predicted grades are accurate.

Lecturers and Head Teachers from the University and College Union have stated that universities in the UK should stop using predicted grades when prospective students are applying for places.

The current system works so that students are offered a place depending on what grades they are expected to achieve in their A-Levels, not what they actually achieve. Out of the 30 countries examined in the study – including Germany, Singapore and the USA – only England, Wales and Northern Ireland use this system of predicted grades. The UCU argues this put the UK out of step with the rest of the world with regards to university admissions.

This report is written round its findings of predictions having limited accuracy. If Lecturers, Head Teachers, and other members of staff think predictions and estimates (because that’s what predicted grades really are) are not good yardsticks to use for admissions, then why should estimates be used in other areas – including, for example, space usage?

From our research here at Axiomatic (online research, as well as conversations with senior estates professionals at various UK and international universities) it is clear many organisations are either not monitoring their space use, or only record data snapshots 1 or 2 times a year. Considering physical space is a university’s 2nd largest expenditure (behind only employees salaries), it doesn’t seem like enough emphasis is placed upon having accurate, reliable, data to base space usage decisions on.

Going back to university admissions, a quote from UCU general secretary Sally Hunt rings true as an effective way to summarise. That “offers (should be) based on actual achievement rather than estimated potential”. This can also be reflected in the way a university manages its space. Decisions should be made using actual data – gathered reliably and accurately – rather than basing decisions on hunches, brief snapshots, or estimates.

Axiomatic, in cooperation with the University of Technology in Sydney, have developed a Space Audit system to help provide Space Planning Managers, Timetabling Staff, and Senior Management with the information they need to make effective strategic planning decisions. The system gathers data from your timetable, and our people counters, to build intuitive multi-layered reports on how your space is being utilised.

Contact us for more information on our University SpaceAudit® solution, or read more about our work with the University of Technology in Sydney here.