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UK students willing to pay higher tuition fees in exchange for more personal teaching – survey

In a recent survey, nearly half of humanities graduates (44 percent) said they would have readily paid higher tuition fees for more personalized teaching.

The research, commissioned by the New College of Humanities, found that many students wanted more contact hours and feedback on coursework in person rather than via email (68 percent), while over half said they would prefer more regular feedback on their work to help them track progress (51 percent).

Up to 45 percent of them also expressed disappointment at the lack of involvement from lecturers with their academic work, with 48 percent saying they had to personally request feedback if they wanted it.

In hindsight, 47 percent said they would have benefited from smaller lecture sizes.

Professor A. C. Grayling, Master at the college, told the Telegraph: “Students deserve more personalised teaching and feedback they seek. Unfortunately, there is still a stark mismatch between what students want and expect and what’s actually being offered in higher education right now.”

In 2012, tuition fees for the UK’s higher education institutions trebled for domestic students, going from £3,000 to £9,000 – a decision which sparked nationwide protests.

This year, Universities minister Jo Johnson announced plans to further hike up fees based on inflation rates and teaching quality, as the government is pushing for tuition fees to be linked to the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

According to current plans, institutions wishing to charge the higher tuition fee rate of £9,250 will only be allowed to do so if the institution proves it has a high quality of teaching.

These changes have strengthened calls from students for university courses to provide return on investment, with 8 in 10 prospective students (81 percent) agreeing that their university choice should provide ‘value for money’.

Of the respondents who graduated from Russell Group universities (61 percent), just over half (56 percent) said they were disappointed with the value for money their course offered.

The survey’s findings, which are based on responses from 1,000 prospective humanities students and graduates, contradict prior research which have suggested that the majority of students would not be willing to pay more in tuition fees, even at institutions offering high-quality teaching.

The 2016 Student Academic Experience Survey, conducted by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI), found that 86 percent of respondents were against government plans to allow top-rated universities under the TEF raise their fixed upper limit of £9,000 in line with inflation.

Image via Shutterstock

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