Universities are facing claims of inflating grades as 63 percent of stundents at NUI Galway receive a first or upper-second class honours degree.
NUI Galway has one of the highest rates of students receiving an honours degree after Dublin City University (72%), University College Dublin (71%), and University College Cork (69%).
According to the the Irish Times students at Trinity are most likely to come away from their degree with a first class honour at 20 percent.
The Network for Irish Educational Standards said that the Higher Education Authority pressures universities and colleges to award higher grades.
Brendan Guilfoyle of the NIES warned that if everyone is receiving honours it dilutes the value of a degree.
The HEA disputed any accusations that it exerts pressure on grading, saying it is a matter for individual institutes.
Pointing to the result of national employers’ survey which showed strong satisfaction with graduates, the HEA added that there is no evidence for a decline in degree quality.
The State watchdog for third level institutes, Quality and Qualifications Ireland, said students are working for higher grades because more and more degrees are needed to access employment and further education.
This has lead to changes in the system at third level institutes so students can receive more feedback on how to bring up their grades according to QQI.