We’ve been campaigning to get students access to more information from universities before they sign up to a course. In a win for us and students alike, the Government has announced reforms to do just that.
A couple of weeks ago Heidi Allen MP’s Private Members’ Bill on higher education was debated in Parliament. With our support, the Bill called for more information on university courses to be released.
And now the Government has said it intends to do just that in a number of proposals announced today. The proposals aim to provide more information to students so that they can make well-informed choices on the course they want to study. Services like Which? University will also be able to provide even more and clearer information on the quality of the teaching and student experience.
The Office for Students
One significant reform is the sweeping away of the outdated system of regulation and replacing it with a new system that puts the interests’ of students first. A new regulator, called the Office for Students, is being set up to represent and protect the interests of students.
Students and graduates have told us of the many problems they’ve found with their degrees, such as inconsistent quality, too few contact hours with tutors and not enough support. The new regulator will be tasked with resolving these problems so that future students get better value from their education.
Are unis complying with the law?
We’ve also consistently raised concerns with universities about their lack of compliance with consumer protection law. The Competition and Markets Authority published advice to universities earlier this year after we found many failing to comply with their legal obligations. The Government now plans to make compliance with consumer protection law a precondition for unis to be recognised as ‘good quality’, which should help sort this out.
It’s about time that there was a strong body that stands up for students, and the Government’s right to recognise that students’ interests should be central to any higher education reform.
A consultation on the proposals will now run until 15 January next year. What do you think about the proposals? Do you agree that students should have more information about uni courses before they sign on the dotted line?