University 'value for money' in decline according to survey

University value in decline says survey

The number of students saying their university was "poor" or "very poor" value had almost doubled since 2012, according to a survey published by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) and the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

Based on a sample of of approximately 14,000 current full time students, the 2017 Student Academic Experience Survey asks how hard students are working, how satisfied they are with their lives and what they think of recent government policies.

Nick Hillman, Director of HEPI and co-author of the report, said:

‘The survey proves beyond all doubt that the student experience differs depending on ethnicity, the type of accommodation and sexual orientation. Such factors have a direct impact on how engaged students are with their studies as well as on their overall quality of life. For a truly great academic experience, we need to think ever more deeply about how to respond to the individual characteristics of each student.

‘The election has seen a lively battle for student votes. 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. Above all, the Survey confirms higher education transforms lives but also that it does not currently help all students equally.’

Principal author Jonathan Neves, HEA Head of Surveys, said:

“The positive responses to our new questions about learning gain and on teaching quality are encouraging. But the feedback also shows that there is important work required to address the less positive academic experience of minority groups, and to realise the potential benefits from studying alongside non-UK students.

“The decline in perception of value is of concern, and highlights how complex this issue is. It’s revealing that only 19% of students believe they receive enough information on how their fees are spent. And this suggests that institutions need deeper engagement and personalisation of approach with students at every stage of their higher education experience to meet their expectations better.”

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