University set to abolish public Class Lists

Amelia Oakley 2 April 2016

The University's General Board of the Faculties has taken the first step towards abolishing the practice of displaying Class Lists outside Senate House.

According to a Freedom of Information request made by Varsity, a February meeting of the General Board agreed that a report should be compiled to propose the abolition of the controversial Class Lists, subject to approval by the University Council. The proposal also stated that “classing information would no longer be released to The Independent, and as a result the Tompkins table would cease to be published.”

The move follows a consultation with the colleges and faculties in which “the majority” agreed that the practice of publicly displaying class lists should be stopped. 

Pressure had been placed on the University to make changes to the current system in which students’ names are published alongside their tripos, part, and degree class outside Senate House, by last year's ‘Our Grade, Our Choice’ campaign, whose petition which reached 1,200 signatures. Under the current system students can only opt-out of having their names published if they specified their reasons. The ‘Our Grade, Our Choice’ campaign called for all students to have greater say about how, if, and where their results were made available. 

In November 2015, a circular was sent out from the General Board via its Academic Division to the secretaries of the Faculties and Departments, Senior Tutors and Proctors, seeking views on the “future of published class lists.” This circular acknowledged the 'Our Grade Our Choice' campaign.

The results of the circular showed that the “majority of Colleges were in favour of abolishing public displays of Class Lists” on the condition that class lists should remain available for use by colleges for “legitimate academic purposes.” Only one college opted for “no change” to the current system. 

The General Board’s proposal must be approved by University Council to come into effect, therefore it is unlikely that any changes to the current system would be implemented before the end of this academic year.