What seems to have been overlooked is that with around 50% of young people going to university, many gaining admission will be of lower than average intelligence. Not everyone from the top 50% does go to university. Many take other reputable career paths straight from school. This leaves vacancies to be filled and means that below average applicants are successful. There are institutions that take such people and then find themselves catering for them by making the work less academically rigorous.
My advice when assessing whether a university is worth attending is: the harder it is to get in, the better it is. Any institution can have an open door policy but very few can be choosey about who they let in. It may take an extra year but only go to an institution worth attending.