Class Lists have traditionally been published outside Senate HouseLouis Ashworth

The creation of a proposal to abolish of Class Lists was formally confirmed on Wednesday in the Cambridge University Reporter, after pressure from students in the 'Our Grade, Our Choice' campaign.

If approved, the proposal means that, with effect from the 1st October 2016, public display of student’s grades in the university and its colleges will be discontinued. Until today, Cambridge was the only university continuing the tradition, after Oxford abandoned it in 2009.

Varsity broke news of the upcoming decision in April, which was subsequently picked up in the national media, after a Freedom of Information request revealed that the General Board of the Faculties had agreed in February that a report should be compiled “proposing the abolition of the practice of public display of Class Lists in any location”.

The proposal will still have to pass through more layers of university bureaucracy before being given complete confirmation.

If approved, the move also means the likely end of the Tompkins table, compiled by ex-Trinity mathematician Peter Tompkins and published in The Independent each year.

There was a note of dissent on the report, which called the move a “poorly-conceived centralising measure”.

The note was signed by Computer Laboratory colleagues Ross Anderson and Alice Hutchings; student representative Cornelius Roemer; and Dr Margaret Glendenning, University Fire Safety Compliance Officer.

It said that “Restricting class-lists to the central administration will make it less likely that failings will be fixed. Prospective students will also be less able to find out which Colleges teach their subject well, and the resulting information asymmetry will decrease the value of a place at Cambridge. It will also be socially regressive, as it will disadvantage people without existing Cambridge connections.”

“Abolishing the Tompkins table will remove a key incentive for Colleges and leave us at a disadvantage to Oxford, which still publishes its Norrington table despite having discontinued the public display of class-lists”, they argued.

There has been a long campaign against the tradition, which many claim can be damaging to mental health and is disrespectful of student privacy.

Last year, opposition to Class Lists culminated in the ‘Our Grade, Our Choice’ petition, which received over 1,200 signatures and called for a greater say for students in the availability of their results.

The consultation process began on the 11th November last year when a circular was sent out from the General Board to the secretaries of the Faculties and Departments, Senior Tutors and Proctors

Referring to the success of the petition, the circular sought their views on the future of Class Lists and suggested a number of options. CUSU were also consulted.

Both college and University institutions took the view that the discontinuation of public displays was in order, but that class-list data should be circulated amongst themselves.

As previously revealed by Varsity, only one College supported the retention of Tompkins table, with the significant majority content on the understanding that Colleges themselves would receive the class-list data.

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