University: Students Look For Cost-Effective Degree, Says Logicalis Poll
“Value for money” is the top priority for the next generation of undergraduates, according to a survey that polled 1,000 13-17 year-olds.
Prospective students are not interested in a city’s nightlife or student facilities and are instead looking at the financial returns, with the possibility of a ‘student consumer’ emerging.
The Logicalis report found that three-quarters of those surveyed thought that a yearly fee of £9,000, the maximum a university can now charge, was too much.
The poll also found that 63 per cent thought that current rates do not offer value for money, while the majority thought that fees should remain below £3,000 a year. Student fees had put off 40 per cent of those surveyed from attending university.
With such a large financial outlay, prospective students are looking directly at what they will gain from university, and how they can minimise their costs.
Speed degrees appealed to more than half of those surveyed, in which they would complete a degree for half the price in half the time.
Fifty per cent said that staying at home to avoid accommodation costs was a good way to counter rising tuition fees.
This new breed of students act more like demanding consumers, with 75 per cent saying they would complain if they didn’t receive the experience they expected for the prices they’d paid.
Chris Gabriel, head of solutions at Logicalis, stressed that universities need to change along with their ‘customers’. He said:
"Every year tens of thousands of students set about proving their worth to gain hard-fought University places. Our survey... shows it's now high time that Universities prove their worth.
"The introduction of higher fees has made the university experience more akin to a business service, with students in the driving seat.
"Universities will need to compete for the brightest students - and the fees, league table results and revenue that come with them.
"Those establishments that understand and embrace changing student priorities - career over fun - must get the processes in place to meet the expectations of a cost-conscious student generation.
"Distance learning, shorter degrees, enhanced learning resources and social channels for greater interaction with expert lecturers, as well as demonstrable statistics of alumni employment, will all help universities stay ahead of the competition."