Today’s news review looks at what we are doing to make sure students get value for money from universities.
Value for money for students
Today, 8 December, the National Audit Office has released a report that says some students do not feel like they get value for money from their universities.
The story has been covered widely, including by the Guardian, Times, Mail and BBC Radio 4’s Today programme with some of the coverage referencing other stories about some senior academics’ salaries being very high.
With more students going to university than ever before it is important that universities continue to offer value for money. That is one of the reasons why we have set up the Office for Students – the new regulator that will hold universities to account – and introduced the Teaching Excellence Framework to assess the quality of higher education teaching.
We know young people recognise that degrees gained from UK universities can lead to rewarding and well-paid jobs – graduates earn, on average, at least £100,000 extra lifetime earnings after tax – and our student finance system has helped make sure more people from disadvantaged background than ever before are able to go into higher education.
A Department for Education spokesperson said:
Our student finance system removes financial barriers for those hoping to go university, with outstanding debt written off after 30 years. We recently announced that the repayment threshold will increase from £21,000 to £25,000, putting more money in the pockets of graduates. We will also be conducting a major review of funding across tertiary education to ensure a joined-up system that works for everyone.
Our reforms, embodied by the Higher Education and Research Act, are helping students make more informed choices about where and what to study, ensuring they get good value for money.
Disadvantaged 18-year-olds are more likely than ever before to go into full-time higher education, including record entry rates at the most selective universities. The new regulator, the Office for Students, will go even further to improve access and participation.
Take part in our consultation of the Office for Students here.