Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Watchdog Orders Universities to Offer Value for Money

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Watchdog Orders Universities to Offer Value for Money

Article excerpt

Byline: Tim Ross Education Correspondent

UNIVERSITIES must tell students how many lectures they will attend amid concern that undergraduates are not getting value for money, a watchdog said today.

Growing numbers of students are making complaints against their universities after tuition fees rose to more than [pounds sterling]3,000 a year. Universities could now introduce more formal "charters" setting out students' rights, while some colleges already have legal contracts between undergraduates and tutors.

Anthony McClaran, chief executive of the Quality Assurance Agency which oversees university standards, said students needed clearer information.

"There is an increased student interest in the detail of what is on offer - issues like the contact hours that they are going to receive and the staff who are going to be teaching them," he said. Some students do not understand how much independent study will be expected of them, in contrast to the education they received at school. …

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