University fees in England and Wales are ‘poor value for money’ – survey | Tuition

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A majority of voters say university tuition fees of £9,250 are ‘bad value’, according to a YouGov opinion poll which also found support for graduates in England reimbursing a higher proportion of their student loans.

The poll of almost 1,500 adults found just over half said the current level of fees in England and Wales was poor value for money, while one in five only said it was good value for money.

Graduates were more likely to agree than non-graduates, with 69% of graduates saying £9,250 was bad value, compared to 47% of non-graduates.

The results were very similar when surveyors asked graduates about the education they had personally received: 64% said it would be poor value for money at £9,250 a year, while only 23% said that would be good value for money.

Graduates were also more pessimistic about the impact of going to college. Some 44% said most graduates would be worse off in the long run, while 37% thought most students would be better off because their increased income would outweigh the costs.

Nick Hillman, chief executive of the Higher Education Policy Institute and architect of the tuition and loan scheme introduced in 2012, said perceptions of poor value for money were at odds with the popularity of going to the university among school leavers.

“University demand is higher than it has ever been. It may seem too expensive, but people are still willing to do it,” Hillman said.

The YouGov survey found that many voters appear to support the current tuition fee structure in England and Wales, as well as the government’s recent changes to the student loan repayment scheme in England. But while support was strongest among Conservative voters, there were few signs of enthusiasm for particular policies.

When asked what would be the best way to finance university education, 42% supported the current system of tuition fees and student loans, while 26% supported payment from general taxation and 11 % supported a tax paid by graduates.

The survey found little variation in support for either of the two main political parties. When asked which party they trusted most to deal with education, 26% backed Labour, 19% backed the Conservatives and 6% the Liberal Democrats – but the highest proportion, 44% said they did not know.

In the last two elections the Labor Party has campaigned to abolish tuition fees for undergraduates, but under Keir Starmer’s leadership the party has so far not committed to any detailed policies.

The results showed considerable support for additional scholarships for students from “economically disadvantaged backgrounds”, with 74% in favor and only 8% against. Scholarships for those who “get the best grades” in school were funded at 56%.

There was also support for a new government proposal that would limit student loans to those with minimum entry requirements: 65% agreed that universities “should not be able to offer places to people who do not have a minimum number” of A-levels. , GCSE or equivalent. Only 21% said there should be no entry requirements.

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