Page last updated at 14:53 GMT, Friday, 21 October 2011 15:53 UK

MP says Oxbridge masters upgrades are 'unfair'

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Labour MP Chris Leslie has said that Oxford and Cambridge should no longer allow their students to automatically upgrade their degrees after graduating, describing the practice as "quite unfair".

The Nottingham East MP said more than 60% of employers did not know Oxford and Cambridge automatically upgraded their students from a bachelor's degree to a master's for a nominal fee.

Chris Leslie introduced his bill would end the long standing tradition whereby Oxbridge BA graduates are entitled to a complimentary Master of Arts (MA) title without having to undertake any extra work or study, on 21 October 2011.

Oxford graduates can claim the title four years after finishing their bachelor's degree for a small administration fee.

Cambridge graduates are entitled to claim it six years after their first term of study.

But Universities Minister David Willetts, speaking on behalf of the government, said there was no evidence of harm done by awarding complimentary master's degrees and he was supportive of the tradition.

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