Virtual University of Pakistan adopts Relative Grading System

The following was the announcement made by the Rector, Virtual University of Pakistan (Dr. Naveed A. Malik) regarding the university's decision to adopt the relative grading system with effect from Fall 2013:
Dear Students,
I am writing to inform you about some very important changes that have taken place in your academic environment. The Higher Education Commission has recently circulated a Semester Guidelines document that has been adopted completely by Virtual University of Pakistan. Two major changes, that will be beneficial for our students are:
1. Grading on the curve for courses having a large number of students. This means that instead of absolute grades, you will now be competing with one another. All students will benefit from this while maintaining relative positions in their respective courses.
2. The CGPA requirements for graduating from all programs equivalent to 14 or 16 years of education will now be 2.0 while the CGPA requirement for MS level programs, equivalent to 18 years of education, will henceforth be 2.5.
Overall, we are very confident that Virtual University graduates attain a higher level of understanding in their respective disciplines as compared to students from many conventional universities. The adoption of above measures will also ensure that their grades and CGPA become commensurate with their academic achievements.
You will be able to see the effect in the result announcement of the Fall 2013 semester.
If you have any questions, please feel free to write to us at As always, our students’ welfare comes first and we will try to answer all your queries.
With best regards,
Dr. Naveed A. Malik

It is believed by the majority of the students that the Relative Grading System is not better than the Absolute Grading System because it is a means of effecting the real results. The actual performance of the students individually is never depicted and only a (mutually) comparative grading is made. A student actually getting 40% marks but being the top scorer of the class will get GPA 3.8 or as decided by the university. The university or the institute does relative grading only to produce a normal trend reflected by the bell shaped curve. So the university might decide to include as many or as lesser number of students in a particular GPA to reflect a normal curve of the students comparative performance.

This is totally a subjective evaluation of students performance and is never a depiction of the reality. The institutions can use this grading system to show results of their choice and thus reflect a performance that actually never occurs, only for the purpose to gain some recognition. But in reality the contrary might occur, and this subjectivity or bias in reporting might cause a devaluation of the university degree as well as loss of number students enrolled in the university / institution.
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