University teachers everywhere are subject to this sort of pressure but it is unusual for it to be stated so explicitly.
"A university put forward plans to assess academics’ performance according to the number of students receiving at least a 2:1 for their modules, Times Higher Education can reveal.
According to draft guidance notes issued by the University of Surrey - and seen by THE - academics were to be required to demonstrate a “personal contribution towards achieving excellence in assessment and feedback” during their annual appraisals.
Staff were to be judged on the “percentage of students receiving a mark of 60 per cent or above for each module taught”, according to the guidance form, issued in June 2012, which was prefaced by a foreword from Sir Christopher Snowden, Surrey’s vice-chancellor, who will be president of Universities UK from 1 August.
“The intention of this target is not to inflate grades unjustifiably but to ensure that levels of good degrees sit comfortably within subject benchmarks and against comparator institutions,” the document explained.
After “extensive negotiations” with trade unions, Surrey dropped the proposed “average target mark”, with replacement guidance instead recommending that staff show there to be “a normal distribution of marks” among students."