While satisfied with their degrees, most students do not think that £9,000 a year fees are justified

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
August 14, 2018, 11:00 PM GMT+0

This is despite the fact that the vast majority of graduates are satisfied with the quality of their course and expect to benefit from their university education

Newly released figures from a YouGov Omnibus survey conducted in June reveals that few students studying at English and Welsh universities seem to feel that £9,000 a year is good value for money when it comes to their degrees.

Asked to choose between two statements, only 13% of students agreed that “the standard of education and the increased wages graduates earn mean English/Welsh university degrees are worth the money”.

By contrast, 62% felt that “the standard of education and the wages graduates earn are not enough to warrant the cost of English/ Welsh university degrees”.

The remaining students agreed with neither statement (14%), or said they didn’t know which they agreed with more (11%).

This is despite the fact that 86% of students report feeling satisfied with the quality of their university course, including 25% who are “very” satisfied. By contrast, only 13% said they feel dissatisfied, while the remaining 2% answered “don’t know”.

Fully 59% of those students who are satisfied with the quality of their degree believe that that fees are too high. Even among those who are “very” satisfied that figure is still as high as 45% - with only 22% feeling they are worth the money.

Degree benefits

It is not that students don’t expect to gain anything from their degrees. Seven in ten (70%) think that they will be better off financially over the course of their life thanks to their university education. However, 14% think their degree will make no difference to their lifetime earnings, and 7% believe it will actually leave them worse off.

Likewise, more than eight in ten students (85%) believe that their obtaining their degree will improve their prospects of getting a good job – only 10% believe it makes no difference to their chances.

Nevertheless, such expectations are not enough to make students think the price of a university education is worth it. Six in ten (59%) of those who expect to be better off financially as a result of having a university degree believe they are too high (including 54% of those who expect to be “much better off”).

Similarly, 62% of those who think they will be more capable of getting a good job thanks to their degree don’t think £9,000 a year is warranted, including 53% who feel “much more able to get a good job”.

Photo: Getty

See the full results here

This research was conducted using YouGov Omnibus’s Targeted Research service, which uses the power of YouGov’s panel to reach specific target groups

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