The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

University degree not worth £9000, say 81 per cent of students

Survey results are released as Labour’s shadow universities minister advocates free tertiary education


Four in five UK students value their degrees at lower than they are paying, according to a recent survey by Student Money Saver (SMS), an online news provider. The research also found that 15 per cent of students value their degree at the same amount and only four per cent value their degree at more than they are paying.

This information came out as the Labour Shadow Minister for Universities, Science and Skills, Liam Byrne, endorsed the principle of tertiary education being free of charge.

Speaking to an audience at King’s College London on the 15th February, Byrne said: “Obviously I would love free education. I would want it to be free just like the NHS, but I’m not going to make a promise that is not deliverable.”

Byrne’s statement on the issue indicates that he sees affordability rather than the principle that graduates should directly contribute as the main reason not to abolish tuition fees.

Results of the SMS survey show that students are still largely optimistic their increased earnings will more than cover their university costs, though 19 per cent believe they will not earn enough over their lifetime to cover their degree and nine per cent believe that their degree will not help them earn more money once joining the workforce.

The survey was conducted in November 2014 using a one thousand-student sample. In general, it concluded that students are broadly dissatisfied with high fees and do not believe their degrees are good value for money.

Ed Miliband, Leader of the Labour Party, has recently stated his intention to lower the cap to £6000. As The Mancunion reported last week, this suggestion has been met with strong criticism from the academic community, with Vice-Chancellors from 20 leading English universities signing a letter to The Times stating that proposed cuts in tuition fees would cause substantial damage to the economy and students’ educations.

The survey by SMS can be found here