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Highest grading available for (UK) degrees. Usually abrieviated as a 1st. The province of the brainy or diligent.

The grading and rewarding of thoughts and ideas with perfect little numbers, percentages or alphabetically arranged icons symbolises the constraint of catagorising, classification and stigmatising. Education systems thrive on the importance of delivering people to a goal that can be easily identified on paper or through the verbal without having to delve deeper.

Everyone does it. Remember the first weeks at university?

"So... what did you get?"

This question goes before asking them if they want a drink but it signifies it you are going to buy them a drink or indeed if they should be dumb enough to buy you one! The student who studied in England or Wales with three grade A's compared to the student who got an E N and a U is deemed to be the most collective and smartest. This wonderful structure continues beyond A Levels and into the degree world. One does not get the snobbery of grading as much with the HND/HNC programmes of study as many institutes and persons still consider them to be for students not academically sound. Such bigotry and 'snobbishism' in education is in every single damn institute in the 'academy'. Teachers promote the strenghts and values of Advanced Levels and the BTEC courses are left to the kids in the 'expected grade at GCSE: D' classes.

Hierachry of subjects sees the art based degrees playing second and fourth fiddle to the red brick academic subjects. Cultural studies, art history, environmental research, dance therapy and other subjects that are found amongst the clearance bin of the UCAS systems are courses that promote personal growth and are all too often seen as cop out courses. It is such a pity that Damien Hirst got a grade E in his art A Level. If he had got an A he would have been a famous, creative and imaginative artist and popular culturist...oh if only....

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