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15 Sep, 2011

Survey Shows Undergraduate Students Not Getting Value for Money

SLOUGH, England, September 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Influenced by a stagnant economy, high inflation, fewer job prospects and rising student fees, a survey of 1000 13 to 17 year-olds reveals a next-generation of undergraduate consumers for whom a university’s ‘value for money’ will increasingly impact their choices in higher education.

Universities will need to compete harder for students’ affections, whose evaluation criteria will no longer focus on course subject or pubs and clubs ratio alone, but rather post-graduate employability and flexible initiatives that maximise the opportunity to study but minimise the costs associated.

Key findings from the survey of 13 to 17 year-olds, which was commissioned by international IT solutions provider, Logicalis, and conducted during summer 2011, reveal that:

  • 65% believe they won’t get value for money from higher education
  • 50% are prepared to forgo the social aspects of university to study from home
  • 75% are more likely to complain on receiving poor service at university if they’re paying higher fees
  • 75% want shorter, ‘quick-time’ degrees to help reduce the total cost of studying.

Unsurprisingly, 83% thought that fees should remain below £3,000 a year.

Chris Gabriel, head of solutions at Logicalis, comments: “Every year tens of thousands of students set about proving their worth to gain hard-fought University places. Our survey of 1,000 13 to 17 year-olds shows it’s now high-time that Universities prove their worth.

“The introduction of higher fees has made the university experience more akin to a business service, with students in the driving seat. Universities will need to compete for the brightest students – and the fees, league table results and revenue that come with them.

“Those establishments that understand and embrace changing student priorities – career over fun – must get the processes in place to meet the expectations of a cost-conscious student generation. Distance learning, shorter degrees, enhanced learning resources and social channels for greater interaction with expert lecturers, as well as demonstrable statistics of alumni employment, will all help universities stay ahead of the competition.”

David Swayne, services director at Logicalis UK, added: “The impact of fees has created a future generation of ‘consumer students’, who look dispassionately at the pros and cons of attending University.  Universities have to make sure that they adapt to this new environment and support both attending and remote or fast-track students, the latter we predict will become a significant sector of society in the future.”

The Logicalis Group is a division of Datatec Limited, a $3.7 billion revenue business listed on the Johannesburg and London AIM Stock Exchanges. For more information, visit http://www.uk.logicalis.com.