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Universities Aren't Working Us Hard Enough, Say Undergraduates

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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/universities-arent-working-us-hard-enough-say-undergraduates-9877807.html

University students do not believe they are being challenged enough in their studies, according to a new report by the consumer watchdog Which?

Fewer than half of undergraduates believe their academic workload is demanding. Only four in 10 believe their course content stretches them, and fewer than half say seminars are usually worth going to. One in four said they could get away with doing little private study and still get good marks, reports the survey of 4,500 students, entitled A Degree of Value.

Among the graduates surveyed, 18 per cent felt university was poor value for money. They complained of inconsistent teaching quality (53 per cent), a lack of job-seeking support (53 per cent), too few hours of direct contact (47 per cent), and too many cancelled sessions or poor timetabling (45 per cent). Faced with higher fees, 35 per cent said they would be unlikely to go to university now.

Which? said that universities had seen rapid change, but now needed to deliver better value, while the regulatory and complaints system was "no longer fit for purpose".

1 in 5 think it's poor value for money....

Perhaps Universities should offer different degree programmes a nanny degree where you get to take assessments that suit you and you pass or a high risk option where you actually get the chance to really fail?

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My son has shockingly few lectures each week for 9k a year. And nothing in the last term last year apart from exams.
They could squeeze out the breaks and bring it down to 18 months easy.

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My son has shockingly few lectures each week for 9k a year. And nothing in the last term last year apart from exams.

They could squeeze out the breaks and bring it down to 18 months easy.

The model is probably outdated. The vacations were traditionally times when academics caught up with research and other stuff. However, with tuition fees at 9k a year this model really has to be questioned. We had 3 years of 30 weeks each, this could quite easily be condensed into 2 years of 45 weeks each.

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I graduated in 2011 with an MEng in Electrical Engineering from a good university. I got a 1st.

The standard of the course was utterly shocking. I think it was mainly due to the abundance of absolute no hopers in the course that brought the standard down.

The lecturers were very good and library fantastic however. It is partially my fault that I did not learn more.

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University isn't school.

The trouble is, there are now i) students who are keen and realise that as the degree progresses the lectures are there increasingly, just for introduction and guidance and ii) students who think that fees mean they are buying a degree and that failure is an affront. Universities should provide everything a fee-paying student needs if they want to take advantage of the facilities to self-educate in part, some Universities, perhaps fearful of student feedback, also provide a more school-like experience.

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University isn't school.

The trouble is, there are now i) students who are keen and realise that as the degree progresses the lectures are there increasingly, just for introduction and guidance and ii) students who think that fees mean they are buying a degree and that failure is an affront. Universities should provide everything a fee-paying student needs if they want to take advantage of the facilities to self-educate in part, some Universities, perhaps fearful of student feedback, also provide a more school-like experience.

That is supposed to be the case but the reality is that many undergraduate degrees are not much more than A level plus in standard.

This was the case even back in the 1970s at the Russell Group University I attended.

The 3 year Arts degree I took could definitely have been compressed into 2 years .

From what I hear from my colleagues at work their children at University now receive far less in the way of interaction with their lecturers through tutorials and seminars than I did all those decades ago.

While it is true that much of University study should be self generated study the lecturers should be there to challenge their students and to keep their interest in the subject alive. It seems that is not happening which is why the students are p*ssed off. If it is just self study and exams then they may as well sack the academic staff and just give the students a reading list, a library,some essays to write and the date of the examinations.

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From what I hear from my colleagues at work their children at University now receive far less in the way of interaction with their lecturers through tutorials and seminars than I did all those decades ago.

While it is true that much of University study should be self generated study the lecturers should be there to challenge their students and to keep their interest in the subject alive. It seems that is not happening which is why the students are p*ssed off. If it is just self study and exams then they may as well sack the academic staff and just give the students a reading list, a library,some essays to write and the date of the examinations.

I'm currently doing some further study at Uni and I'd have to say this year I could answer both questions I've picked to do without even bothering to turn up for anything, even the reading list is pretty 5h1t and I've got enough ideas from reading here and my own reading to do something far more interesting with the questions than referring back to the reading list.

Guidance on what to write is rather minimal, it will be interesting to see how the first essay I've done gets mark as probably 80%+ of the referenced material had nothing to do with reading list and thrown in a few books written in the 50s and 70s plus thrown in a quote which at first glance will puzzle them as it's not by the individual they'll first think off, but is relevant in an irrelevant way.

So far I only really needed to turn up for the 1st half of the first year where I did learn something new. The rest I wouldn't say was "easy" but I could do without being there.

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I left University 3 years ago. Whilst i was there most of my lecturers were apathetic late 20's/ early 30 somethings who spent their mornings often hungover and their afternoons watching the clock eager to get home. My lectures amounted to 6 hours per week and consisted of nothing I couldn't have learned online in my own time. In fact quite often the lectures were just downloaded PowerPoint presentations from websites. Luckily I only got shafted £3K per year for this, I cannot imagine paying £9K.

Oh, and FYI, of the 14 guys that were on my course I am the only one not working a NMW job.

My opinion is that unless you are doing a degree that will land you a government job you are taking a huge gamble.

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Well, last week

Class of 52 on my present course, about 35-40 turn up regularly.

9.00am lecture. About 25% of students arrived as late as 09.10

I have students routinely send friends along with their dictaphones, which are all laid out in a row in front of me.

And as the students left last week, some said to each other "that was really interesting" - before anyone says anything about the lectures :)

There are some very good students, but there are many for whom University is the wrong place. The latter have been misled and let down, Government has encouraged and the Universities have provided, it's not the student's fault. However, it does mean that there is both much grumbling and almost everyone has to pass.

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I left University 3 years ago. Whilst i was there most of my lecturers were apathetic late 20's/ early 30 somethings who spent their mornings often hungover and their afternoons watching the clock eager to get home. My lectures amounted to 6 hours per week and consisted of nothing I couldn't have learned online in my own time. In fact quite often the lectures were just downloaded PowerPoint presentations from websites. Luckily I only got shafted £3K per year for this, I cannot imagine paying £9K.

Oh, and FYI, of the 14 guys that were on my course I am the only one not working a NMW job.

My opinion is that unless you are doing a degree that will land you a government job you are taking a huge gamble.

That is less than half the number of lecture hours I got on my relatively undemanding Arts degree course in the 1970s and I had at least 2 seminars and one tutorial week on top.

To be fair to the staff who taught me all those years ago they nearly all took their tutorial activities seriously and tried to make the course innovative and testing.

I am not sure that is the case now.

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That is less than half the number of lecture hours I got on my relatively undemanding Arts degree course in the 1970s and I had at least 2 seminars and one tutorial week on top.

To be fair to the staff who taught me all those years ago they nearly all took their tutorial activities seriously and tried to make the course innovative and testing.

I am not sure that is the case now.

O tempora o mores!

- ah sorry, do they not teach undergraduates in latin any more?

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It is amazing a whole raft of other providers haven't sprung up offering better value degrees. Why is that?

Well they have, all those online courses, plus studying abroad.

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