Timebomb: How The University Cartel is Failing Britain’s Students

Richard Tice, Tariq Al-Humaidhi, UK2020, Sept 18, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes
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The premise of this report (157 page PDF) is that British students are getting a poor return for their tuition fees, this largely because the entrenched interests of a university cartel limiting the potential benefits of a competitive system. The authors have no issues with the higher fees, but feel students should get more stuff for their money: "The more lectures, tutorials, laboratory sessions and seminars they receive, in general the happier they are with the value for money of their course." In response, the authors recommend the promotion of two-year degrees, more summer teaching, and a more flexible credit transfer system. This seems to be an extreme reform for what is in fact a fairly mild discontent; across 160 universities no satisfaction rating is less than 71 percent, and only the bottom 8 are below 80 percent. (p.31) That sounds like pretty good grades to me. The problem isn't the education. It's the fees. Via Jim Ellis. P.S. readers will notice that this report contains a great deal of white space - thre's an extra-wide left margin, and numerous pages are blank. I think that UK2020 could get a lot more value for money by removing the white space and offering the same report at half the length.

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