Students and graduates now view themselves as ‘consumers’ who can demand value for money from the institutions which expect them to pay thousands of pounds in tuition fees. New statistics have revealed that UK universities received 20,000 complaints in the last year.
Somewhat bizarrely, the universities minister welcomed the news, saying:
“If there are more complaints because students are more aware of what they should expect of funding and are more demanding, then I think that’s a good thing.
“When there’s a fee of £9,000, the university is obliged to show what they’re doing and provide a decent service.”
A large proportion of the total appeals and complaints relate to cases where students appeal against their grades. But in other cases, students complain because they are unhappy with the content or structure of their courses. Some felt they had received too few taught hours (with lecturers or tutors) – while others had their course relocated to a campus many miles from where they were originally told. The independent adjudicator for higher education, Rob Behrens, said:
“I think the decision to raise the fees has had an impact on student thinking. Students do see themselves more as consumers than they used to. They want the best possible degree they can get.”
We want to know what graduates think, looking back on your university experience. Did your university give good value for money? Was your degree course what you expected? Would you recommend it to someone about to leave school now? Has it helped you to secure a well-paid graduate job? Have your say below…