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University Value for Money Falls Again

Posted by Richard Ward in , ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

A survey by the Higher Education Policy Unit and the Higher Education Academy, has found that the perceived value for money of attending university has fallen for the fifth year in a row.

The Student Academic Experience Survey found the percentage of students across the UK who thought university was "good" or "very good" value has dropped to 35%.

This marks its lowest ever level and a significant fall on the 53% of students who perceived university as good value or better five years ago.

Students from England, who have the highest tuition fees in the UK, had the lowest opinions of value for money.

The study tracks the views of students about their time in higher education and is based on a sample of around 14,000 current students. The survey found perceptions of value for money had steadily fallen, with the number arguing university was "poor" or "very poor" value for money doubling since 2012.

The study found the quality of teaching provided was an important factor in whether students believed they were receiving value for money.

There was also a view among students that universities were not doing enough to communicate how tuition fees were spent, with just 20% saying they received enough information on the topic.

Director of the Higher Education Policy Unit, Nick Hillman, said: "The survey shows students want universities to provide information on where fees go, taxpayers to cover more of the costs and policymakers to provide stronger arguments for future fee rises."

Tuition fees has been a hot topic during the general election, with Labour promising to scrap fees in England. Meanwhile the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have defended the current system of fees and loans.