Clarity for student buyers

February 10, 2011

In response to government proposals to introduce market-driven changes to higher education, the Higher Education Funding Council for England is consulting on the information that universities will be asked to provide to prospective students. This includes an enhanced role for the National Student Survey.

Research by the Institute of Education, University of London, Enhancing and Developing the National Student Survey (2010), which was commissioned and accepted by Hefce, shows that the NSS cannot be used to construct meaningful comparisons among universities and subjects.

The Hefce proposals to standardise information do not go far enough to prevent universities from "mis-selling" their courses by reference to spurious rank orders.

We call upon Hefce and Universities UK to adopt a code of practice on the use of information to regulate the way such information is used.

John Holmwood, University of Nottingham

Bev Skeggs, Goldsmiths, University of London

John Brewer, University of Aberdeen

Sarah Amsler, Aston University

Paul Bagguley, University of Leeds

Hedley Bashforth, Bath University

Gurminder K. Bhambra, University of Warwick

Clare Birchall, University of Kent

Anne Boran, University of Chester

Roger Burrows, University of York

Ian Burkitt, University of Bradford

Judith Burnett, University of Wolverhamton

Joseph Burrage, University of Portsmouth

John Campbell, School of Oriental and African Studies

Joyce Canaan, Birmingham City University

Ross Coomber, Univeristy of Plymouth

Joel Cohen, School of Oriental and African Studies

Daniel Conway, Loughborough University

Tim Dant, Lancaster University

Karl Dayson, University of Salford

Hannah Durrant, University of Bath

Nick Ellison, University of Leeds

Michael Farrelly, The Open University

Natalie Fenton, Goldsmiths, University of London

Robert Fine, University of Warwick

Ivor Gaber, City University and University of Bedfordshire

Darren Garside, Bath Spa University

Kenneth Gillan, University of Manchester

Dave Green, University of the West of England

Paul Hoggett, University of the West of England

Tracey Hill, Bath Spa University

Gabrielle Ivinson, Cardiff University

Julie Kent, University of the West of England

Alexander King, University of Aberdeen

James Ladyman, University of Bristol

Louise Livesey, Ruskin College, Oxford

Michael Loughlin, Manchester Metropolitan University

Avril Loveless, University of Brighton

Linnea Lundmann, University of Warwick

Dawn Lyon, University of Kent

Alpesh Maisuria, Anglia Ruskin University

John MacInnes, University of Edinburgh

Esther McIntosh, York St John University

Stephen McKay, University of Birmingham

Cahal McLaughlin, University of Ulster

Vanessa May, University of Manchester

Lucy Mayblin, University of Warwick

John Moore, University of the West of England

Philip Moriarty, University of Nottingham

Kate Nash, Goldsmiths, University of London

Richie Nimmo, University of Manchester

Michael Northcott, University of Edinburgh

Julia O’Connell Davidson, University of Nottingham

Karen O’Reilly, Loughborough University

William Outhwaite, Newcastle University

Samir Okasha, University of Bristol

Daniel Orrells, University of Warwick

Theo Papadopoulos, University of Bath

Lynne Pettinger, Essex University

Martin Pill, University of the West of England

Adrian Piper, APRA Foundation

Deborah Potts, King’s College London

Larry Ray, University of Kent

Madeleine Reeves, University of Manchester

Brian Rosa, University of Manchester

Enzo Rossi, University of Wales, Newport

Anew Sayer, Lancaster University

Robbie Shilliam, Victoria University of Wellington

Chris Shilling, University of Kent

Jonathan Spencer, University of Warwick

Hans Steinmuller, London School of Economics

Alexander Smith, University of Huddersfield

Bruce Stafford, University of Nottingham

Liz Stanley, University of Edinburgh

Aian Vatcher, University of the West of England

Terry Wassall, University of Leeds

Nicholas Watson, University of Glasgow

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