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Value Added?

22 Oct 2012, 12:55 UTC
Value Added?
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Busy busy busy. Only a few minutes for a lunchtime post today. I’ve a feeling I’m going to be writing that rather a lot over the next few weeks. Anyway, I thought I’d use the opportunity to enlist the help of the blogosphere to try to solve a problem for me.
Yesterday I drew attention to the Guardian University league tables for Physics (purely for the purposes of pointing out that excellent departments exist outside the Russell Group). One thing I’ve never understood about these legal tables is the column marked “value added”. Here is the (brief) explanation offered:
The value-added score compares students’ individual degree results with their entry qualifications, to show how effective the teaching is. It is given as a rating out of 10.
If you look at the scores you will find the top department, Oxford, has a score of 6 for “value added”; in deference to my alma matter, I’ll note that Cambridge doesn’t appear in these tables. Sussex scores 9 on value-added, while Cardiff only scores 2. What seems peculiar is that the “typical UCAS scores” for students in these departments are 621, 409 and 420 respectively. To convert these into A-level scores, see ...

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