A Study of Existence of Grade Inflation Perceived by University Administrators and Teachers at Higher Education Level
Grade inflation occurs when there is an upward trend in awarded grades with the absence of a matching improvement in academic excellence over a period of time. This phenomenon has become a norm in public and private universities of Pakistan. Even though most academic institutions are aware of the dangers of grade inflation, it is typically overlooked because its trend is very hard to measure. In this context, main objective of this analytical study was to examine the identification of existence of grade inflation in public sector universities of Punjab. To achieve the objective of this research study descriptive research design was used. For this purpose, university administrators and teachers’ perceptions were explored regarding existence, intensity and nature of grades through survey questionnaire at university level in Panjab. By using the simple random sampling, accessible faculty members and administrators from nine public sector universities of Punjab were approached via email to participate in an online questionnaire (five-points Likert scale statements, yes/no items and one open-ended). A total 276 filled questionnaires were received which reflected the perceptions of university teachers and administrators regarding the identification of existence of grade inflation from 71 administrators and 205 teachers after reminding them 3 to 4 times reminders with the interval 4 to 5 days. Reliability analysis of the questionnaire was also computed through Cronbach's Alpha Model where the value of 0.814 was deducted which showed that the scale was very consistent and reliable. Collected data was tabulated, analysis and interpreted in the light of objectives of study. Descriptive statistics (i.e., Frequency Counts, Percentage, Mean, and SD) and thematic analysis were applied to obtain the answers of research question. Data analysis revealed that university administrators and teachers’ perceptions data suggested that university teachers in universities of Punjab moderately believe in existence of grade inflation in their departments. Highest percentage (80.8%) of faculty members showed their consensus that grade inflation exists in their institutions. Furthermore, they also showed the consensus that grade inflation occurs to the extent of 58% in their institutions. It was suggested that further studies can be made to explore the measures to control the grade inflation at university level that could support them to develop policies concerning uniform grading system, both at institutional and departmental level. Specific policies, clear criteria, procedures and detailed guidelines for powerful and fruitful implementation of the grading system could be developed.