How Can UK Students Make Informed Higher Education Choices for Less Money?

8 months ago

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Higher education in the UK is becoming less available to students from low-income families. According to the latest survey conducted by Office for Students, only 38% of respondents believe “tuition fees for [their] course represents/represented good value for money.” Meanwhile, the other 52% of respondents disagree with the statement.

The Department of Education is developing a comparison-type system for prospective students to help them assess the ratings of degree courses, under government proposals. The system will attribute gold, silver or bronze awards to a degree course. Also, the details about “post-degree employment prospects, potential earnings, and dropout rates” will be made available.

The idea behind the system development is providing potential undergraduates with more information and exposing poor-quality teaching. According to the UK universities minister, Sam Gyimah, “students [will] get the value for money they deserve from higher education”. This initiative is the next stage of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) meant to assess universities using a range of criteria like student satisfaction and post-graduation plans.

TEF Initiative: First Results

The first TEF results and awards were announced last summer. Even the most high-profile universities were at risk of getting a bronze award: Bristol, the London School of Economics, King’s College London, Liverpool, Soas University of London and Goldsmiths. This is a bad outcome for these educational facilities meaning they won’t be able to raise their fees after 2020.

Supposedly, the subject-level awards and details will be made available to public the governmental and university websites. Sam Gyimah believes “the new subject-level TEF will give students more information than ever before, allowing them to drill down and compare universities by subject.” Not only this will help local applicants, but also international ones in making informed choices. Also, initiatives like TEF will ensure students get the education they expect for the money they paid.

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