Ernst & Young Re­moves De­gree Clas­si­fi­ca­tion From En­try Cri­te­ria As There’s ‘No Ev­i­dence’ Univer­sity Equals Suc­cess

The Star (St. Lucia) - - EDUCATION -

Ernst & Young, one of the UK’s big­gest grad­u­ate re­cruiters, has an­nounced it will be re­mov­ing the de­gree clas­si­fi­ca­tion from its en­try cri­te­ria, say­ing there is “no ev­i­dence” suc­cess at univer­sity cor­re­lates with achieve­ment in later life.

The ac­coun­tancy firm is scrap­ping its pol­icy of re­quir­ing a 2:1 and the equiv­a­lent of three B grades at A-level in or­der to open op­por­tu­ni­ties for tal­ented in­di­vid­u­als “re­gard­less of their back­ground”.

Mag­gie Stil­well, EY’s man­ag­ing part­ner for tal­ent, said the com­pany would use online assess­ments to judge the po­ten­tial of ap­pli­cants.

“Aca­demic qual­i­fi­ca­tions will still be taken into ac­count and in­deed re­main an im­por­tant con­sid­er­a­tion when as­sess­ing can­di­dates as a whole, but will no longer act as a bar­rier to get­ting a foot in the door,” she said.

“Our own in­ter­nal re­search of over 400 grad­u­ates found that screen­ing stu­dents based on aca­demic per­for­mance alone was too blunt an ap­proach to re­cruit­ment.

“It found no ev­i­dence to con­clude that pre­vi­ous suc­cess in higher ed­u­ca­tion cor­re­lated with fu­ture suc­cess in sub­se­quent pro­fes­sional qual­i­fi­ca­tions un­der­taken.”

The com­pany of­fers 200 grad­u­ate-level jobs each year, mak­ing it the fifth largest re­cruiter of grad­u­ates in the UK. The changes will come into force in 2016.

Ear­lier this year, Price­wa­ter­house­Coop­ers (PwC) scrapped us­ing UCAS points as en­try cri­te­ria for its grad­u­ate scheme. The au­dit firm be­lieves plac­ing too much em­pha­sis on the scores will mean em­ploy­ers may miss out on key tal­ent from dis­ad­van­taged back­grounds, who per­form less well at school.

A re­port pub­lished last month re­vealed wealthy kids are 35% more likely to be­come high earn­ers than clever, dis­ad­van­taged young peo­ple, even if they are not aca­dem­i­cally gifted.

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