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Universities Receive 20,000 Complaints From Students 'demanding More' For £9,000 Fee

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http://www.independent.co.uk/student/news/universities-receive-20000-complaints-from-students-demanding-more-for-9000-fee-9476384.html

Over 20,000 students paying higher tuition fees have made complaints to their universities within the last year - up ten per cent on the previous, a Freedom of Information request has shown.

The Universities Minister David Willetts said this figure shows students are demanding more from their education for the maximum £9,000 fee they can now be expected to pay annually.

The FoI request by the BBC asked 142 universities how many complaints and appeals they had received since 2010. The results from the 120 across the UK who responded revealed the highest number of student complaints being upheld between 2012 and 2013 than ever before.

The amount paid out in compensation by universities has also risen to more than £2 million since 2010, the request found.

Many of the complaints stemmed from students appealing their grades, but others focused on the content or structure of courses.

"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," Mr Willetts said.

"When there's a fee of £9,000, the university is obliged to show what they're doing and provide a decent service."

£9000 a year of course I want a good pass mark! It's what I'm paying for.

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If I had to retake my course it would cost a forune:

Foundation year, first year, second year, third year 9k+6k living expenses

The there is the 1/2 living expenses I needed to claim due to the placement wage not being enough to live on.

£63k of debt for a degree in electronics of which most graduates will never find a job since most of the design is now done abroad.

You would be luck to earn £22k starting salary then progress to £35k outside London after 10 years. If you wanted to buy an average house £180k more debt.

It's not worth it, you'de be better 'self employed' on tax credits and selling junk on ebay from your council flat.

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If I had to retake my course it would cost a forune:

Foundation year, first year, second year, third year 9k+6k living expenses

The there is the 1/2 living expenses I needed to claim due to the placement wage not being enough to live on.

£63k of debt for a degree in electronics of which most graduates will never find a job since most of the design is now done abroad.

You would be luck to earn £22k starting salary then progress to £35k outside London after 10 years. If you wanted to buy an average house £180k more debt.

It's not worth it, you'de be better 'self employed' on tax credits and selling junk on ebay from your council flat.

University was always a sledge hammer to crack a nut, if it was purely about education you could learn the stuff in a year in the town you live in. But displacing youngsters turns it into a rite of passage, a gravy train for BTL speculators and a boost to debt and GDP. It's all a Blairite dream.

It seems to me that these days a person's whole life from 0-25 is about realising their parent's dream of sending their kids to Uni ...it's just unbelievable. What about gaining the knowledge on the job.

Edited by crashmonitor

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If I had to go back to uni, I seriously wouldn't study in the uk

Study abroad for a cheaper university option
Overseas universities are undercutting their UK counterparts with courses taught in English

According to a report from the Institute of International Education, the number of European master's courses taught in English has mushroomed to over 6,600, up 42% in the past two years, with the Netherlands, Germany and Sweden leading the way.

more here...

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£63k of debt for a degree in electronics of which most graduates will never find a job since most of the design is now done abroad.

Yet recruiters are contacting me today offering £70K electronics jobs (which are no good to me since anything over £50K is taxed too highly). I needed an electronics grad last year offering £25K starting (£32K after 2 years). None applied so I hired from abroad instead.

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I can't see why for part-time study the fees are so high for many courses......must be ripe for technology takeover/replacement for many degrees, some are not worth the paper they are written on whilst others offer very poor value for money as they stand. ;)

Edited by winkie

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I can't see why for part-time study the fees are so high for many courses......must be ripe for technology takeover/replacement for many degrees, some are not worth the paper they are written on whilst others offer very poor value for money as they stand. ;)

It all about the monopoly of degree accreditation controlled by the state and used to extort money from the population

https://www.gov.uk/recognised-uk-degrees

A classic rentier scenario and typical of the way the UK operates on so many levels

Edited by stormymonday_2011

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It all about the monopoly of degree accreditation controlled by the state and used to extort money from the population

https://www.gov.uk/recognised-uk-degrees

A classic rentier scenario and typical of the way the UK operates on so many levels

I agree it has become a money making business monopoly of a kind.....there should be better other ways of evaluating a prospective employees ability/skill/potential.....The big employers and the small should as I am sure many do create their own systems and proceedures......think of the time and money that could be saved for very many people. ;)

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If I had to go back to uni, I seriously wouldn't study in the uk

more here...

You'd almost certainly have to learn a foreign language to do it on the cheap. Can you show me what Degrees and Masters are available in English without tuition fees? Last time this came up it was quite hard to find courses. Maybe the Netherlands.

Edited by davidg

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University costs in the UK, as in the US, are arguably simply a factor of credit availability. The cost has little to do with quality of education but is rather fixed by the ceiling of the Goverment-backed loan provided. University fees are a form of quasi-QE. Nearly half won't be repaid. Unlike QE, however, the individual cost to those taking out the loans is obvious.

I do not understand why anyone of average family means, with decent grades and a willingness to learn, would ever consider studying in the UK. It's simply madness. Some subjects (mostly scientific and requiring lab access) cannot be home-schooled over the net. Sadly, however, careers in these subjects will rarely compensate for starting adult life with a £50-60K debt (comprising course fees and higher-than-EU-average UK living costs).

If the UK secondary educational establishment had any integrity they would be (at the very least) compiling registers of EU courses, language requirements (if any) and costs. Generally you should be able to find a decent equivalent of a UK course for around £500 a year.

UK universities should be a last-chance saloon fall-back for those with more money than sense, or those planning on a lifetime of gaming the system.

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Yet recruiters are contacting me today offering £70K electronics jobs (which are no good to me since anything over £50K is taxed too highly). I needed an electronics grad last year offering £25K starting (£32K after 2 years). None applied so I hired from abroad instead.

Interesting. I have a friend who looked for a year in France (his wife is French) for an electronics job having been laid off. In the end he took one on the money you are talking about in the UK after a telephone interview. Wife stayed in France so it is a win win - he had lots of time for going to the pub etc and comes back every couple of weeks for the w'end.

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University was always a sledge hammer to crack a nut, if it was purely about education you could learn the stuff in a year in the town you live in. But displacing youngsters turns it into a rite of passage, a gravy train for BTL speculators and a boost to debt and GDP. It's all a Blairite wet dream.

It's seem to me that these days a person's whole life from 0-25 is about realising the parent's dream of sending their kids to Uni to supplement their kids knowledge by 0.01%...it's just unbelievable.

Yes! If I had to do it today I would go to Germany, or somewhere else in Europe!

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You'd almost certainly have to learn a foreign language to do it on the cheap. Can you show me what Degrees and Masters are available in English without tuition fees? Last time this came up it was quite hard to find courses.

Holland is quite a good bet if you're unwilling/unable to learn a foreign language:

http://www.studyinholland.co.uk/ (and this is a UK resource). Around £1600 fees a year for life sciences for example.

https://www.daad.de/deutschland/studienangebote/international-programs/en/ is also useful. Biomaterial sciences for 235 Euro a semester for example (in English)

The best strategy though is to learn French or German, making yourself more employable by the end of the course, and pay around £400 per year for a much wider choice of course. Sure, parents need to start early with this kind of approach (UK language education is appalling) but why not? We're talking about nearly £50K of debt here after all!!???

Edited by Cozza

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Holland is quite a good bet if you're unwilling/unable to learn a foreign language:

http://www.studyinholland.co.uk/ (and this is a UK resource). Around £1600 fees a year for life sciences for example.

https://www.daad.de/deutschland/studienangebote/international-programs/en/ is also useful. Biomaterial sciences for 235 Euro a semester for example (in English)

The best strategy though is to learn French or German, making yourself more employable by the end of the course, and pay around £400 per year for a much wider choice of course. Sure, parents need to start early with this kind of approach (UK language education is appalling) but why not? We're talking about nearly £50K of debt here after all!!???

Thanks for that. I'd looked at courses mentioned in a newspaper article last year (they talked about German and French courses) and the ones they mentioned were even more expensive than UK courses. :o

Yes Holland would seem the obvious choice. My 9 year old is completely fluent in French so that will save me a load of dosh later.

You'd think the Euros would take advantage of the UK fustercluck and expand their degree offerings. Surely Meejah Studies can't cost 9 grand a year to teach?

Edited by davidg

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Thanks for that. I'd looked at courses mentioned in a newspaper article last year (they talked about German and French courses) and the ones they mentioned were even more expensive than UK courses. :o

Yes Holland would seem the obvious choice. My 9 year old is completely fluent in French so that will save me a load of dosh later.

You'd think the Euros would take advantage of the UK fustercluck and expand their degree offerings. Surely Meejah Studies can't cost 9 grand a year to teach?

Sadly grandes écoles do cost the earth but at least your chances of a good job are quite high at the end of the course. Paying the same to do media studies at Derby probably doesn't give quite the same boost. No way does the teaching of a 100% classroom-based, content-light degree (16-20hrs per week) cost £9K per student per year. So either gullible sociology undergrads are subsidising lab-based courses like medicine/science or it's simply a factor of credit availability.

I'm sure if the fees were raised in the UK to £20K a year, that's what the costs of a media studies course would become. Unis would have to pay more to retain the "best staff". Starting to sound like local council employment isn't it?

The EU does seem to be picking up on this blatant disparity in fees. Even France is discussing English-only courses at university level. They could charge a large premium on top of normal fees and still hugely undercut the UK market, delivering better quality into the bargain. Was indeed hard a year-or-so ago to readily find English courses on the continent. Not so now.

Edited by Cozza

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Back to the topic - the 20,000 complaints about degree courses. Good File on 4 prog on BBC R4 tonight on this. Apparently universities have paid out 2m in compensation to students for various shortcomings. But almost all have enforced gagging orders as a condition of the students getting the cash...

This includes top uni's as well as bottom of the leaguers..

Listen below...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b045bqtd

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Some universities insist on taking registers - just like school - to improve attendance at lectures.

Can they continue treating students like children when their customers are paying so much?

Good on the complainers I say.

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Some universities insist on taking registers - just like school - to improve attendance at lectures.

Can they continue treating students like children when their customers are paying so much?

Good on the complainers I say.

Actually.. if the students are paying directly AND likely to sue if they fail, then an attendance register becomes vital evidence. If you can prove that a student missed half their lectures then that student really can't complain too much.

Turning students into consumers, and education into job training, has many downsides.

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The EU does seem to be picking up on this blatant disparity in fees. Even France is discussing English-only courses at university level. They could charge a large premium on top of normal fees and still hugely undercut the UK market, delivering better quality into the bargain. Was indeed hard a year-or-so ago to readily find English courses on the continent. Not so now.

At the moment I can pitch up at a French university, say, and if my French is good enough study. The fee is 400 euros. But it is the French govt who pays the difference in costs so there is not too much advantage in attracting a lot of non-French students to these courses. Because French universities are (notionally) not selective and because funding is poor the quality is not great. Still a crap degree at 400 euros is better than a crap degree at 11000 euros/yr.

As you say it may be possible to deliver a degree at less than 9K/year and make a profit; of course the Euro universities have a branding issue as very few feature in the Shanghai ratings. I would venture to say that only the Sorbonne has an international reputation although obviously if you are in an industry sector you may have heard of ETH Zurich etc.

If they are to deliver English language courses in English they would have to attract excellent or native English lecturers, and given the pay of University lecturers in France that is going to be an issue; there are also strict rules about employing lecturers; unless they are part of the French system they can only be hired on maximum 2 year contracts.

In conclusion, I think there needs to be some critical examination of why most degrees are now 9k/yr. What are the real costs etc. I don't think there should be cross-subsidies between cheap degrees and expensive to deliver degrees. There seems to have been a lot of fat catting by senior university administrators as well.

Edited by davidg

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At the moment I can pitch up at a French university, say, and if my French is good enough study. The fee is 400 euros. But it is the French govt who pays the difference in costs so there is not too much advantage in attracting a lot of non-French students to these courses. Because French universities are (notionally) not selective and because funding is poor the quality is not great. Still a crap degree at 400 euros is better than a crap degree at 11000 euros/yr.

As you say it may be possible to deliver a degree at less than 9K/year and make a profit; of course the Euro universities have a branding issue as very few feature in the Shanghai ratings. I would venture to say that only the Sorbonne has an international reputation although obviously if you are in an industry sector you may have heard of ETH Zurich etc.

If they are to deliver English language courses in English they would have to attract excellent or native English lecturers, and given the pay of University lecturers in France that is going to be an issue; there are also strict rules about employing lecturers; unless they are part of the French system they can only be hired on maximum 2 year contracts.

In conclusion, I think there needs to be some critical examination of why most degrees are now 9k/yr. What are the real costs etc. I don't think there should be cross-subsidies between cheap degrees and expensive to deliver degrees. There seems to have been a lot of fat catting by senior university administrators as well.

Many universities in continental Europe teach courses through the medium of English. maybe more Brits should take advantage.

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Many universities in continental Europe teach courses through the medium of English. maybe more Brits should take advantage.

It depends what subject you want to study.

Even if you can find a university that teaches a bachelor's equivalent degree through the medium of English, the big problem is paying living expenses - rent, utilities, food, travel. You can't get a UK maintenance loan to study outside the UK, and most countries don't provide grants or loans unless the student or their family have paid into the local social security set-up, although if very lucky the student might find a scholarship. If the student's family doesn't have the ready cash to pay for three, or often four, years of living expenses, it's a matter of borrowing the money at commercial rates.

Looked into this at length for daughter 2-3 years ago.

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It all about the monopoly of degree accreditation controlled by the state and used to extort money from the population

https://www.gov.uk/recognised-uk-degrees

A classic rentier scenario and typical of the way the UK operates on so many levels

I just read that and if i was a Swede id be livid that some parasitical and clearly not very bright foreigner was coming to my country getting a Masters degree funded by Swedish taxpayers and rubbing it in by doing a thesis on why Brits watch the telly.

There are lots of well paying jobs in the oil industry where a years vocational training will lead to a 70K a year job.

Edited by Corruption

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