Over a third of the 15,000 UK students have said they don’t think the £9000 tuition fees per year are justified. The findings are revealed by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) and the Higher Education Academy (HEA). Many have said the increased fees have not mirrored the extra time spent with lecturers with only 10 minutes extra on average being assigned to the student. The survey found that in the first and second years of their degree, undergraduates have an average of 14.2 hours of “contact” time per week, in stark contrast students from 2012 only a fifth of students believed they were getting poor value for money.
When asked what their top three priorities would be for institutional expenditure, 48% of UK students polled said “reducing fee levels”, followed by having more teaching hours and reducing the size of teaching groups (both 35%).
The study also found that students didn’t attend around 10% of lectures as they didn’t find them informative and all of their study notes were online.
University Minister David Willetts entered the debate by saying that Universities need to “up their game”, as students expectations are always increasing. He agreed that institutions need to be doing much more than just offering lectures in a room full of 200 people taking notes. He added: “The days where the academic experience is simply sitting in rows with 200 other people taking notes from slides on a screen that you can access online on your laptop, universities now have to do far better than that.”
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