The universities that are deemed to offer “poor quality” courses are facing strict regulation and fines under new proposals.
The Office for Students (OfS) published a consultation on Thursday 20 January which specifies that it will set thresholds for the number of students who drop out of courses.
Additionally, the ratings of University education will include a new “needs improvement” category as well as gold, silver and bronze ratings.
The OfS said it was seeking to prevent students from receiving “performance below our minimum expectations”, given that they “are likely to pay substantial sums”.
At least 80% of students must continue their studies until their second year of a undergraduate degree, he says, 75% should complete their studies and 60% should continue their studies or professional employment.
The universities who do not meet the thresholds could be investigated, face fines or have their access to student loan liquidity restricted.
This will be part of a Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) which will take place over a four-year cycle and will see the universities rated gold, silver or bronze.
The universities failing to meet these standards would be graded “needs improvement”, with teaching and pursuit figures being released annually.
Yes the universities didn’t participate in the TEF, had their grade suspended, or were rated as “needs improvement,” they couldn’t charge that much money.
Why does the Student Union want this plan in place?
Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive of the OfS, said: “These proposals mark a historic moment in our work to tackle the poor quality of supply in English higher education.
“Students from all backgrounds deserve to take good courses leading to qualifications that stand the test of time and prepare them well for life after graduation.
“Many universities and colleges in England offer high quality courses which deliver positive outcomes for students.
“The thresholds we have proposed will not affect them.
“Rather, they are designed to target poor quality coursework and outcomes that fail students and do not reflect student ambition and effort.”