The prestigious Cambridge University is set to abandon its centuries-old tradition of putting exam results on public display after students complained that it “damages” their welfare and denies them privacy.
The university is preparing to end the practice of posting students’ results on boards on the wall of the Senate House in the town centre, The Sunday Times reported.
The decision will make it impossible for outsiders to draw up academic league tables of colleges.
Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act to the Varsity, the Cambridge student newspaper, show that the university’s general board of the faculties has agreed to draw up plans “proposing the abolition of the practice of public display of class lists in any location”.
The decision comes after Cambridge University students’ union voted last year to oppose the publication of the lists, saying, “The current system denies students privacy with their results and is damaging for the welfare of many.”
In a survey by the union, one student complained, “It is unfair, pressurising and completely out of order that our names and grades are published and stuck up outside Senate House.”
Priscilla Mensah, the union president, told Varsity: “We’re very encouraged by the progression of the campaign to eradicate the negative culture created by league tables and public class lists in Cambridge.”
Kwasi Kwarteng, the Tory MP for Spelthorne and a Cambridge graduate, said, “If modern students can’t get through what people have gone through for centuries, I’m a bit worried about the standards of Cambridge and the sort of people they are letting in.”
“They clearly have no character whatsoever. You can’t hide from moments like this in life,” he was quoted as saying.