A while back we asked you guys what you thought of your university tuition fees. We put together a mini survey to find out whether you were happy to pay a fortune or were slightly disgruntled with the huge sum of money that will be piled on top of you come graduation.
When tuition fees were set to increase some universities went all out and stuck them right up there at £9,000 from day 1 whereas others pushed them up to £8,500 and slowly increased them over the following years where they have now also reached £9,000.
People were always going to have something to say, especially when students who started university in 2012/13 were the first year to be cursed with this increase. There is nothing more annoying than hearing people in the year above moan about their debts when their fees are still stuck at a measly £3,000 a year.
We’ve been running the tuition fee survey since the beginning of summer, giving you guys plenty of time to rant and rave about how hard done by you are… or in some cases completely unphased. This is what we found…
We kicked things off by asking how many hours are you in university each week? I know from experience that some universities can be a little bit of a joke when it comes to their dedication to educating, last year I was only in on Mondays and Thursdays (not that I didn’t mind the time off, that is).
With the majority sitting at 39% having less than 15 hours of uni each week, followed by 26% having less than 10 and only 13% having less than 20. They call it full time education but what is full time about 15 hours a week? I know that they call it ‘reading your way through your degree‘ so maybe that is why we have so much time off but if that is the case then why charge us £9,000 a year if we do the majority of the work in our own time?
Our respondents seemed to be in agreement with the next question that we asked. Do you feel that you are getting enough for your money? 39% of you said no and 30% said ‘absolutely not, I feel ripped off’. A few people answered yes absolutely… when I say a few I mean 13% of respondents compared to the 69% in total that are not happy.
Do you think that the quality of your course has gone up in the last 2 years? Opinion seemed to be divided over this question, with all of the answers bringing out similar results. 30% of people thought that their course has gotten worse of the last 2 years, 26% thought that it had improved and 44% answered with possibly making the majority unsure.
I wasn’t surprised when most people answered yes to the next question. If you had known what university education was like in comparison to fees before, would you still have gone? Yes, we love to moan about how we’re being ripped off but in reality nothing is going to change it so whether you’re at university for the experience or it’s the stepping stone that you need to take to get to where you want to go then you’re still going to attend. 34% of you said yes and 43% said most likely with the extremely small percentage saying that they wouldn’t go if they had the choice again at 4%.
We gave you the opportunity to value your university education yourselves. If you had the choice to pay what you thought was worthy then what would it be? Surprisingly 43% of you said that you’d be happy to pay the previous university fees at £3,000. The next majority was at 26% where you thought that below £3,000 is more agreeable, with 13% answering that higher education should be completely free like our Scottish neighbors. I was baffled that 4% of people answered that they value their university course at the current fees that we are paying.
Similarly to A Levels we then asked If the universities were to offer a degree course consisting of 5 full days a week for a year, by the end of which you would be awarded the same degree as what you would achieve now, would you prefer to study this way? Again, the answers were pretty similar. 26% strongly agreed, 30% agreed, 30% said no and only 13% said maybe. I know that I wouldn’t want to do a compact course, 3 years have flown by quick enough and although I am here to get my degree, the experience is still a huge part of it for me as it would be for many of you too.
When it came down to it we wanted to know if the fees would have deterred you from going to university and getting a job instead. You were all together in saying no with 73% of respondents answering the same. Only 1 respondent said that they would have preferred to get a job.
The final hurdle of our tuition fee survey was to hear your personal feedback. A few of you said that the university should include things like printer credits, portfolio folders and text books (I strongly agree). A lot of you wanted more time with your tutors, whether that is through meetings or one on one sessions. Someone said that they wanted better priced food… I’m not entirely sure how that relates to tuition fees but I wouldn’t complain! You also wanted a stronger focus on work placements, I think this may be specific universities problem that they need to overcome as my own university does not stop talking about placement from day 1 of second year.
All in all it seems that we have a lot to say about tuition fees, not all as bad as you might expect. It is an issue that has been in discussion over the summer and something that is of huge importance to any student whether they have just started or graduated. The BBC reported that there was discussion of privatising the student loan system, but what good would that do? It would probably lead to higher interest rates and more of an effect on the future credit rating of many.
You can still get involved in our survey below!
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