Recent student surveys offer some reassurance
A Universities UK (UUK) poll[i] finds that students’ main reasons for going to university are interest in the subject, to start building a career, and because they enjoy learning and having new experiences. Well over 80% agree that university helps them develop skills essential for life and work, with independence, confidence, research and time management scoring highest, and teamwork not far behind. The majority think the Government should do more to emphasise the broader benefits of HE.
At least some understand that there is no gain without pain: HEPI’s Student Academic Experience survey[ii] finds that those who have put in more effort are more likely to say they have had good value for money. Another HEPI survey[iii] finds that university is seen as an important time of transition to adulthood, and suggests that it could: ‘…usefully offer a safe place for challenge and experimentation, helping students to develop adaptability and resilience…as well as traditional employability skills’.
[i] ComRes (2019) Universities UK – Students and Recent Graduates Research – September 2019. https://www.comresglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/ComRes_UUK_Students_and_Recent_Graduates_Research_Final_Tables_September_2019.pdf
[ii] Neves, J & Hillman, N (2019) Student Academic Experience Survey 2019. https://www.hepi.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Student-Academic-Experience-Survey-2019.pdf
[iii] Unite Students in partnership with HEPI (2019) The New Realists: Unite Students Insight Report 2019. http://www.unite-group.co.uk/sites/default/files/2019-09/new-realists-insight-report-2019.pdf