Office for Students responds to HESA statistics

The Office for Students has commented on the latest statistics from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

Office for Students respond to HESA statistics

Commenting today on the publication by HESA of Higher Education Student Statistics for 2021-22 – which shows a decrease in the proportion of students being awarded first class degrees following successive year-on-year increases since 2011 – Susan Lapworth, chief executive of the Office for Students, said:

‘Today’s figures show a welcome decrease back towards pre-pandemic levels in the proportion of first class degrees awarded to students graduating in the 2021-22 academic year.

‘Last year, members of Universities UK and GuildHE committed to address the rising proportion of first class and upper second degrees and pledged to return to pre-pandemic levels of grading. We welcomed that commitment and will continue to monitor trends in classifications to understand factors that may contribute to the sector’s performance.

‘Left unchecked, grade inflation can erode public trust and it is important that the OfS can and does intervene where it has concerns about the credibility of degrees.  Universities and colleges understand that they must ensure that the degrees they award are credible and properly represent students’ achievement. This is the way to maintain the confidence of students, employers and the wider public in higher education qualifications.’


  1. Higher Education Student Statistics: UK, 2021-22 is published on HESA’s website.
Published 19 January 2023

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