University fees: More teaching doesn't mean better learning, says student body

'People mistake contact hours for good teaching', claims online student guide Push

Two thirds of English university students believe their degrees offer poor value for money

Friday, June 10, 2016

Students dissatisfied with the value for money of their degree course should not assume that more teaching means better learning, says online university guide Push.   

Figures released this week as part of the annual Student Academic Experience Survey revealed that two-thirds of the 15,000 students who took part in England feel that the cost of their degree does not represent good value. 

Tuition fees rose in England in 2012, and have been capped at £9,000 since then. From the start of the academic year in 2017-18 they will rise with inflation.  

The survey suggests that much of the reasoning behind student unhappiness revolves around a lack of teaching hours.

But Johnny Rich, managing director of Push, says that students should not assume that more time with lecturers equals better teaching.

"The contact hours is a red herring," he told Julia Hartley-Brewer. "People mistake contact hours for good teaching - you can have a lecture with a boring lecturer that is not worth going to.

"The contact hours mostly got in the way of my studying, because I had a lot to read and write. 

"Over time, you're supposed to get to a point where you can almost teach yourself, to show you can be an independent learner, and that's actually what employers really want.

"In terms of an investment [the tuition fee is] one of the best investments you can make in your life and yourself."