Now That's What I Call a Failure Rate

90% of students on the University of Central England’s BA Architecture course have failed their finals. Out of 60 students only 6 passed. The university have suspended the course pending an inquiry, leaving 30 prospective students who hoped to start on the course in September to find places at other universities.

British university courses are tough by design. In the U.S., a score of 60%-70% is barely passing, while in the U.K., that’s the equivalent of a “B average”. Grades higher than 70% are considered to be “Distinctions”, the U.S. equivalent of an A.

Yes, I realise that and the entry requirements for British universities, tend to be higher than in the US I believe (although Blair’s plans to match the US percentage of school leavers going on to college may change that). Even given that, a 90% failure rate is unprecedented and reflects badly on the teaching staff as well as the students, which is no doubt why they are holding the inquiry.

Ironically back when the University of Central England was called Birmingham Polythechnic, it was my old college, although I was doing BA Economics rather than Architecture, until I got fed up with student poverty and got a job instead :) .