Since tuition fees have tripled, the expectations of students have risen too. A recent survey from the consumer group Which? asked the opinions of 1,023 students from across the UK on the value for money that their course is offering them. One third expressed that their course was not giving them good value for money and another third assessed their course as poor.
Further than this, only 45% of students expressed that seminars were worth going to and just 49% described their course as "demanding". These results and responses from students have raised key questions about the standards of UK universities with Which? responding that more regulation needs to be put in place to ensure that universities don't fall from high performance. The consumer group argues that universities must provide thorough information about each course detailing exactly what the course would entail.
One student in a different survey of 4,500 UK students, said: "We're already paying too much but then to put it up £500 each year is something that I feel was sneaky." More and more students are expressing huge dissatisfaction with their institutions: Some say is to do with their course and others have experienced issues with their university not taking complaints seriously. The report expressed three statements that should be used as a performance measure for universities: Universities should set standards on how complaints should be dealt with, introduce contracts setting out details of courses that could not then be changed and provide better information to applicants on subjects including precise fees, financial support and career prospects.
However, these statements are not convincing enough for some. Megan Dunn, who is vice president for the National Union of Students, believes that these regulatory statements are not enough to ensure high-quality performance from institutions. She argued that, "the findings of this report should give the champions of high fees and high debt pause to think again about the way they have undermined higher education's status as a public good and willed on a generation of consumers."