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High dropout rates on some university courses reveal poor “value for money”, UK education minister warns | Solutionpath US
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High dropout rates on some university courses reveal poor “value for money”, UK education minister warns

Students paying £9,250 fees are being failed by degree courses with high dropout rates, the universities minister Jo Johnson has warned.

Mr Johnson said institutions must urgently review the “value for money” of some courses after research found withdrawal rates of more than 60%.

He said: “I urge these universities to look urgently at courses and take action to ensure that students – and the taxpayer – are receiving value for money for an investment in higher education.

“Dropout rates are lower than they were in 2009, but there is clearly more work to do.”

Students who leave are liable for fees for part of the year, depending on the point at which they drop out.

Lord Adonis, former Labour education minister and “architect” of the rise in fees to £3,000 a year in 2004, said: “For each individual student who leaves their course early, this is a personal tragedy since they’ve invested a huge amount of time, ambition and emotional energy into their course.

“It’s very telling that the institutions where individual courses have dropout rates of 40, 50, 60% are those same universities that have overall drop rates of over 10%. It’s clear that there’s something systematically going wrong.”

Universities will soon have to publish data on applications, dropout rates and attainment, and prove they are broadening access for disadvantaged students, when new laws come in aimed at holding institutions to account.