Value for money in higher education: Committee launches inquiry

15 September 2017

The Education Committee launches an inquiry into value for money in higher education. The inquiry examines the use of graduate outcomes data, social justice and progression of disadvantaged students in higher education, and the quality of teaching across institutions.

Inquiry background

A recent survey showed that only a third of students believe their course offers them value for money. The results of the annual Higher Education Policy Unit and the Higher Education Academy student experience study in 2017 showed that just 35% of respondents believed their HE experience represented "good" or "very good" value for money. The number of students saying their university was "poor" or "very poor" value has almost doubled in five years.

The Committee is also interested in the variations in quality of teaching in higher education institutions and the effectiveness of the Teaching Excellence Framework in recognising this. The Committee looks forward to hearing from the new Chief Executive of the Office for Students and examining their role in ensuring that students receive value for money from their education.

Submit your views

The Education Committee invites written submissions by 23 October 2017 on the following issues:

  • Graduate outcomes and the use of destination data
  • Social justice in higher education and support for disadvantaged students
  • Senior management pay in universities
  • Quality and effectiveness of teaching
  • The role of the Office for Students

Submit your views through our Value for money in higher education inquiry page.

Chair's comment

Robert Halfon MP, Chair of the Education Select Committee, said:

"Over recent months there has been increasing public attention on the costs to students and to the taxpayer of higher education. The public scrutiny of vice-chancellor pay has raised wider questions about value for money.

In our inquiry we want to examine to what extent the individual student and the taxpayer receives value for money for this considerable financial investment. Do we benefit from increased productivity from successful graduates? Do students see a greater dividend throughout their careers as a consequence of their degree?

Social justice and the goal of improving young people’s lives and help them progress on the ladder of opportunity should be fundamental to the mission of our universities. We want to explore how far our universities are delivering a good quality service for their students and the extent to which the high salaries of vice-chancellors are linked to positive student outcomes."

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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