Fewer Than Half of UK Uni Students Say Courses Worth the Money


According to a recent study from the BBC, four in ten students believe that courses they have participated in are a good value for the amount they paid, with over half reporting they would not retake the course if given the opportunity.

A little over half of participants reported their classes being of good value, while 8% said they were unsure.

The study, which took place between May 1 and May 7 of this year by ComRes, surveyed 1,004 undergraduates in their final year of schooling.  This was done because 2015 was the first year that students paid higher tuition fees of $14,153, or 9,000 pounds, per year.

Results of that survey show that a large number of participants were unhappy when asked whether or not their college courses had been worth the money they had spent on them.  Over half of participating students said if they could do their education over, they would either change their university in order to take the same course, or change courses entirely.  In addition, 3% reported that they would not go to college at all, writes Alexander Ward for The Independent.

“What I would like to see is universities telling their students exactly where their money is going,” Nick Hillman, director of the Higher Education Policy Institute told the BBC.

Hillman went on to say that many universities “don’t have much money” as a result of cuts to government funding.  However, because of the increase in tuition fees, “students are more demanding.”

“What I would like to see is universities telling their students exactly where their money is going,” he added.

After tuition fees increased in 2012, and university grants saw deep cuts made to them by the government, students became responsible for the majority of their higher education costs.  According to Hillman, as this happened, students began to choose courses “more obviously linked to jobs.”

Despite rising expectations of what is to be included in courses, teaching time has barely risen 12 hours per week.  Arts courses promote independent study, with classroom time being as little as 8 hours per week.  Meanwhile, science courses, which offer additional teaching hours as well as access to laboratory and specialized equipment, show a much higher student approval rating.

According to the survey, 75% of those who participated in courses that involved more teaching time such as science, technology, math and engineering, reported being happy with the value of their courses.  However, only 44% of humanities students shared the same sentiment.  Humanities classes typically carry less teaching time.

According to the last national survey completed in the UK, 86% of students had been satisfied with their courses.

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