25 Apr, 2012

Drop in University applications

Universities can expect a decline in applications following the fee increase, according to students. Many even claimed their current course is not worth the money.

survey of more than 100 students and graduates by graduate recruitment website Milkround revealed more than 80 percent of its respondents believe raising university fees will have a negative effect on the number of university applicants. Over half believed the degree they are currently studying or have graduated with is not worth the fee.

Despite this, many students are not willing to compromise on getting the full university experience to save money, rejecting a variety of potential solutions.

Some 35 percent stated they would not consider staying at home whilst studying in order to cut costs, compared to only 24 percent who would see this as a strong potential option.

There was little call for more degree subjects to be available online, with two thirds (66 percent) of respondents dismissing this suggestion.

Nearly a third (31 percent) favoured the alternative of condensing three year courses into two year courses as long as they didn’t lose content. The group was divided when asked whether this should be done by abandoning the first year of courses if the work in this year does not count towards the final grade, with 54 percent for and 46 percent against the concept.

The pros and cons of first years generates debate. Students would save money and time spent on work that does not contribute overall, but many universities argue that the first year is important to establish the transition from A-levels to producing work of a degree standard.

Taking the first year away may lead to students needlessly losing marks that would count towards their degree for simple errors which do not genuinely reflect the quality of their knowledge.

The survey also highlighted students’ astute awareness of the current job market. Seven out of ten believe placement years should be compulsory for all subjects, reflecting that many recruiters now actively seek applicants with experience as well as good grades.

The importance of having a degree has not been forgotten, with over half of respondents commenting that they do not believe they would have progressed in their career faster, had they gone straight into employment instead of attending university.

Milkround  spokesperson Abbie Baisden said: “Students value the University experience as a whole, but resent the rise in costs. The rejection of living at home while studying, and the insistence of more courses to include placements, proves they want their University experience to provide them with more than knowledge on the subject they studied. They expect life skills and experience that will benefit them in their career and beyond – especially with the rise in study costs.”

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