You get what you pay for

February 23, 2012

John Gill, in his leader ("Something has got to give", 16 February), raises the point that English students who will be paying tuition fees of £9,000 a year from September will expect the teaching experience enjoyed by previous cohorts. If they do not, they will be infuriated.

But it is not just a quality teaching experience that they will expect. This group of students will expect more value for money and a higher-quality student experience than previous cohorts because they are paying some of the highest fees in the world. And who can blame them? Every student, regardless of the level of fee they pay, deserves to receive a quality experience across academic, welfare and support services. If institutions are able to "magically" correct any student experience deficiencies in their provision of service in the next six months to avoid disappointing or infuriating the new 2012 cohort, then our existing cohorts of students will be pretty infuriated that we could not go that extra mile for them in their previous levels of study.

It seems that we are damned if we do and damned if we don't. The key is to improve the experience of all our students across the student life cycle. If we don't, we will be seen to be creating a two-tier system and the message that we will be sending our students is: we only make the effort and put you at the heart of the system if you pay £9,000 a year.

Michelle Morgan, Learning and teaching coordinator, Kingston University

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