Education Secretary calls for an end to low value degrees

Universities and higher education providers offering poor value degrees are letting down thousands of students and costing the taxpayer millions, the Education Secretary has warned today (26 May). GOV.UK reports

Damian Hinds has called on institutions to drop or revamp courses delivering poor value for money as new analysis shows that on more than one in 10 of all courses, there is a 75% chance that graduates won’t be earning enough five years after leaving university to start making loan repayments.

Mr Hinds has recognised the need for degrees to be both high value to students and the economy, and urged them to make sure they are using the unprecedented levels of data available to them to make sure they are picking a course and institution that is right for them – also considering alternatives like technical education or new high-quality apprenticeships.

The same analysis identified around 20 providers where at least three quarters of all students are still not earning enough to start repaying their loans five years after graduation. While research shows a university degree can improve a person’s earning potential and employability, Mr Hinds believes the figures should be a ‘wake up call’ for universities about their responsibility to deliver the best outcome for students.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said “The opportunity to study at university should be open to anyone with the talent and potential to benefit from higher education. With students and taxpayers sharing the cost of higher education it’s right that we challenge those institutions which could appear to be more focused on ‘getting bums on seats’ than getting students into high quality courses worth paying for.

“That’s why I want universities to be brave and ask themselves if they’re running courses that really help students gain the skills they need for the workforce of tomorrow – if they’re not they should improve them or end them. But if universities think other options like apprenticeships or technical education are a better fit for a student, they should give young people that advice rather than put them on a course that isn’t providing what they need for a bright future.”

As the new universities regulator, the Office for Students (OfS) has made it a condition of registration that a higher education provider must deliver successful outcomes for all of its students. The OfS has the power to intervene where a provider is not meeting this criterion and impose sanctions, where in the most serious cases could include deregistration.

Read the full article Education Secretary calls for an end to low value degrees

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