Teenagers ‘let down over degree choices’

Teenagers in England are having to make choices about university on the basis of too little information, a report by the Public Accounts Committee warns. The BBC reports

The PAC report says this is due “in large part to insufficient and inconsistent careers advice”.

The report says it’s “deeply concerning” that most students in England don’t have the advice they need to make an informed decision.

“The complexity of the market and the volume of information available makes it difficult for prospective students, most of whom are teenagers, to assess the quality and suitability of higher education institutions.”

The report also warns that students who are dissatisfied with their course are more likely to drop out than switch provider, with only 2% of students transferring provider each year.

PAC chair Meg Hillier said it was “deeply concerning” that the government’s approach to the higher education sector was letting down students.

“The advice available to help students, in the overwhelming majority of cases teenagers, make informed choices is inadequate,” she said.

“Much rides on the ability of the new Office for Students to function as an effective regulator and, as a priority, we expect it to set out in detail exactly how it will approach the task of safeguarding students’ interests.”

Office of Students chief executive Nicola Dandridge said: “The committee is right to highlight the difficulties that prospective students can face in deciding what and where to study. Improving the quality of information, advice and guidance for students is a priority for us.”

Read more on what the report concludes Teenagers ‘let down over degree choices’

Is this the fault of schools careers advice or the universities themselves?  Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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