A survey from student loan firm Future Finance has revealed that four out of every five students in the United Kingdom hold high expectations of the universities that they attend, saying they would like to get their money’s worth out of the time they spend there.
According to survey results conducted by NUS Insight on behalf of Future Insight, the largest specialist student lender in Great Britain, 82% of college students expect more from the universities they attend as a direct result of the tuition fees that they pay. Just 5% of students disagree with this sentiment across the nation, showing that students increasingly expect high-quality teaching and facilities.
In all, 47% of students said that the most important university services include “good teaching and feedback from tutors” and 29% believed it to include “a good program to study.” 12% said “a good university reputation” was most important. At the same time, just 22% believed a more expensive university was worth the additional fees.
Meanwhile, only 7% believed “a good university location” to be an important consideration when choosing which university to attend.
At the same time, Universities Minister Jo Johnson has released a White Paper titled “Success as a Knowledge Economy” that he hopes will increase the transparency and competition among universities in the country. Doing so will let certain institutions extend tuition fees beyond the cap as long as they can show that they are upholding superior standards of education. The cap currently stands at £9,000, or just over $13,000 USD.
According to the survey, high expectations of universities are held by students throughout the various regions of Britain. 88% of students share this view in the West Midlands, while 86% shared the view in both the North West and South East. Meanwhile, slightly more than half of students (56%) in Scotland held a mindset of high expectations for universities. The report suggests that this is due to the lower tuition fees in Scotland.
When discussing fees, 46% disagreed with the idea that an expensive university is worth the additional fees because graduates are more likely to obtain a better job. Just 22% believed the statement to be true.
Just under one-quarter, or 24%, said they do not believe their education will pay for itself in the future. This sentiment is mainly believed to be true in the North West with 29%, closely followed by Wales at 28%, the North East at 26%, and then London at 25%. Meanwhile, Scotland showed the lowest proportion of students to share this belief at just 19%.
“Tuition fees in the UK went into orbit four years ago and since then students have quite rightly become a lot more value conscious. A university education can be a wonderful experience, giving you the chance to learn, develop and go on to fulfill your life ambitions, but it’s also a significant investment. So it’s no wonder students are scrutinizing their university options more intensely as they seek out the very best education and facilities,” noted Brian Norton, CEO of Future Finance, on the findings.
Norton went on to say that he believed an increase in the demand for transparency pertaining to university standards would be witnessed in the near future, such as those encouraged by universities minister Jo Johnson. He added that this allows for more high quality, specialist universities to come into existence.
Carried out between February 19 and March 3 2016, the survey sampled the views of 2,051 students. The survey was carried out by NUS Insight, an independent market research agency as part of the NUS Group, on behalf of Future Finance.
Future Finance offers students in the UK and Germany competitive tailored loans when government loans and bursaries are not enough to cover their expenses pertaining to higher education.