London-based courses seen as ‘best value for money in England’

International students in particular are likely to rate the value of their course, despite paying higher fees

三月 9, 2023
Source: iStock

Students studying in London are more likely to feel their course is good value for money and report higher levels of happiness than elsewhere in England, according to a new analysis.

Despite paying higher fees, international students in the capital are more likely than their domestic counterparts to rate their experience as good or very good value (41 per cent to 35 per cent), London Higher finds in its new report based on the 2022 Student Academic Experience Survey.

Those studying at smaller, specialist institutions tend to be happier and think their courses are serving them well – which the organisation said was “likely thanks to smaller staff: student ratios and the nature of intense specialist provision”.

The findings could be explained partly by the high proportion of domestic students who commute to their university from a family home in or near London, therefore avoiding high accommodation costs, the study, Living and Learning in London – produced with the Higher Education policy Institute (Hepi), finds.

London’s higher proportion of mature students will also have boosted the city’s scores. Those aged 25 and over are more likely than those aged 21 and under to say their experiences have been better than expected.

Students in London who did feel their experience had been worse than expected cited teaching quality and a shortage of in-person peer interaction as the most likely reasons for this, alongside long-running industrial action that has led to cancelled classes.

Diana Beech, the chief executive of London Higher, said the report revealed “some really positive data” around how students perceive their studies in London.

“Along with the positive, however, we must remember that there were still students who felt their experience was worse than expected and, as the UK region set to see the biggest growth in student places over the next decade, we must address the underlying issues for this,” she added.

The report recommends more research into how students from different backgrounds may require different teaching provision and how London’s universities can best meet the needs of their diverse student bodies.

Despite the capital’s reputation as a sometimes lonely, unwelcoming place, the report finds that students in London are significantly more likely to rate their life satisfaction at nine or 10 out of 10 than any other part of the UK. They are also the most likely of students from all UK areas to say they never or almost never feel lonely.

Nick Hillman, director of Hepi, said there were “serious and valid concerns” about the cost of living in London, which “may deter people from studying there” but this data “clearly shows that the decision to study in London is paying off for most students that have made it”.

Sir Anthony Finkelstein, the president of City, University of London, said the report “sets the record straight on the London student experience”.

“It highlights the range and quality of London institutions and the benefits of studying in an incredibly rich and diverse global city,” he added.

To him, the “most intriguing” finding was “the way in which employment and employability arising from the unique embedding of London institutions feature in the student experience”.



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