Universities do not deliver us good value for our money, students tell survey

January 17, 2003

Almost half of students think they do not get good value for money from their university course, a survey will reveal next week, writes writes Phil Baty.

It is expected that the annual Unite student living survey will show that 42 per cent of students feel they do not get good value for their £1,100-a-year tuition fee and their other investment in higher education, and 10 per cent think they get poor value for money.

Arts students are the unhappiest - 15 per cent complain of poor value, compared with 8 per cent of science and technology students.

The survey, based on interviews with more than 1,000 students conducted by MORI, will also highlight concerns that the government does not listen to students - just 12 per cent agree that the government considers their views in higher education policy.

This disaffection appears to be having an electoral impact. Of those students who said they would vote if there were a general election tomorrow, votes were split between Labour, with 34 per cent, and the Liberal Democrats, with 33 per cent.

The survey shows that student support for the Lib Dems, who oppose higher tuition fees, has risen steadily over three years.

The survey is expected to show that the trend of rising student debt continues unabated and that the number of students "worried" about debts is increasing. But there is expected to be little change in the average amount students spend on alcohol, which was £20 a week last year.

* Most people would rather see universities close than have students pay high tuition fees, says a poll conducted by the MORI Social Research Institute, writes Alison Goddard.

Just 11 per cent thought students should pay considerably more for a university education. About 70 per cent would prefer more young people to join vocational training schemes instead.

The survey was commissioned by students at Imperial College London. MORI interviewed 1,892 people last month.

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