UPP is this week launching their annual Student Experience Survey, Work hard, play hard, conducted by Research Academy. The findings of the report will be discussed at a series of high-level roundtables at the Labour and Conservative Party conferences – held in partnership with HEPI.
The research shows the importance of employability with nearly three quarters of students and applicants saying they would be prepared to pay higher fees if it guaranteed them a graduate-level job on completion of their degree. With respondents, on average, willing to pay an additional £1726 for employment security following graduation.
Other findings include:
- 60% of students and applicants say that they chose to go to university to boost long-term earning potential
- Two fifths of students and applicants do not believe their universities are doing enough to help them with employability and work-readiness
- 75% of students and applicants would like to see their institution invest more in employability and work-readiness programmes
The report reinforces a set of findings showing that employability and work-readiness are increasingly important to both students and university applicants in terms of their overall perception of the value of an undergraduate education.
Jon Wakeford, Group Director of Strategy and Communication at UPP said:
“UPP are committed to helping our partners to improve the student experience in the round, which is why we undertake this research annually. It is clear from this year’s findings that employability and work-readiness are becoming more and more important to both students and applicants – perhaps reflecting the way in which rising fees have impacted on young people’s understanding of value for money in higher education. I’m looking forward to discussing these findings in the sector, so that UPP can better understand what can be done to help ensure students feel they are being prepared for the world of work by their degrees.”
Nick Hillman, Director of the Higher Education Policy Institute and former SpAd to Higher Education Minister David Willetts said:
“This important research shows students are both rational and apprehensive. They recognise higher education delivers excellent outcomes on average but they also – quite rightly – want to ensure they benefit personally from a rewarding student experience and a fulfilling career afterwards. That is as it should be, given the time and money they are devoting to studying. Higher education is a transformative experience for most students, but it is always important to listen to students’ views about what can be better and to ensure prospective students know what to expect. I wholeheartedly welcome this report because it reveals what students want as the higher education environment continues to change.”
UPP will publish a second report containing recommendations for Government and universities in the winter.