Posts Tagged ‘Higher Education’

eLearning News: United Kingdom Tuition Hikes Deter Access to Higher Education

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

A few months ago we shared two articles about the tuition hikes occurring at Universities in the United Kingdom.  One article, Does Higher Tuition Equate to a Better Education?, covered some basic information known about the tuition hikes in May of 2012 and discussed proposed uses for the extra money being brought into the Universities by the increase in tuition.  In the other article we shared at the beginning of June, United Kingdom Tuition Hikes Follow-Up, we discussed some of the other effects of tuition increases in the United Kingdom.  BBC News recently shared another couple of articles on the topic of these tuition increases.

In Tuition Fees Set to Rise Again Next Year, Sean Coughlan reports that The Office for Fair Access is stating that fees for the 2013 school year will rise to an average of £8,507, slightly above the current average of £8,414.  According to their official website, The Office for Fair Access or OFFA is “an independent, non-departmental public body. Our role is to promote and safeguard fair access to higher education for lower income and other under-represented groups following the introduction of higher tuition fees in 2006-07.” The OFFA attempts to do this by “approving and monitoring access agreements – agreements in which universities and colleges set out their tuition fee limit and the access measures they intend to put in place e.g. outreach work and financial support.” Approximately three out of four institutions are planning to charge the maximum tuition rate of £9,000 per year.  However, after taking into account government and university financial support, the average cost per year will be around £7,898.

In a related article, University Applications from the UK Fall 8.9%, the BBC news discusses particular groups of applicants the recent tuition increases are affecting.  According to this article, the rate of University application is closely connected to family income.  As one would expect, students coming from wealthier families are more likely to apply to the United Kingdom’s University system than students living in poorer situations.  Some interesting facts about University application statistics shared in this article include:

  • Falls across the UK: England -10%, Scotland -2%, Wales -3%, N. Ireland -5%
  • Overseas applications -1.3%
  • Biggest drop among older students
  • Reduction in students applying between England and Scotland
  • Poorer students not disproportionately deterred
  • In Scotland, 40% of students planning to live at home, 20% elsewhere in UK
  • Changes in fees for 2012 have put admissions under scrutiny: England, fees up to £9,000; Scotland no fees for Scottish students; Northern Ireland, £3,465 (for NI students); Wales £3,465 (for Welsh students)

In light of the higher education access issues caused by these tuition increases, some sources predict students will begin to look to alternative sources for education and training.  Students facing financial difficulties may benefit from a blend of traditional coursework and distance learning courses. It is also feasible for students to complete all of their coursework online as the convenience of open ended scheduling with most online courses allow for students to continue to work full or part time.  Either way, it should be expected that as University tuition rates continue to rise in the United Kingdom, students will continue to explore other options for their higher education needs.

eLearning News: United Kingdom Tuition Hikes Follow-Up

Friday, June 8th, 2012

A few weeks ago, we posted an article about the recent rise in tuition for students attending universities in the United Kingdom.  Today we have more information we would like to share with our readers regarding this news.  The increase in tuition for universities has several negative implications for UK students as well as the UK university system.

According to one BBC news report, there has been a 10% drop in the number of people from England applying to study in the UK with the rise in tuition rates.  In other words, there are over 46,000 fewer applicants to the UK University system this year than there was last year.  General secretary of the University and College Union Sally Hunt was quoted in this article as stating: “It should come as little surprise that applications in England are hardest-hit as a result of the government making it the most expensive country in the world in which to gain a public degree education.”

This drop in university applicants seems to be even more severe when looking at the population of students considered to be mature, or the 21 years old and older category.  In an additional BBC News report, the UCAS (the university admissions services) found that there was an 11.4% drop in applications from mature students, as compared to only a 6.6% drop in admissions applications from students between the ages of seventeen and twenty.  This news article also refers to a report called Never Too Late To Learn that suggests that the increase in tuition is a deterrent to mature students as they have a tendency to be “debt averse”.

Another report from the BBC news suggests that students in England are looking for lower tuition in other places.  Students from England are applying to universities in the Republic of Ireland at a 28% higher rate this year as compared to last year.  Almost 2,500 students from the UK have applied to Irish universities so far this year; where as only a little over 1,900 UK students had applied at this same time last year.  The cost of tuition seems to be a major driving force.  Tuition at some universities in the United Kingdom will be as high as £9,000 per year while the tuition and fees charged by universities in the Republic of Ireland come in at a much lower £1,810 per year.

If you are a student in the United Kingdom or elsewhere who is looking for an alternative to these tuition increases, you should consider a distance-learning program for you education or professional training.  Gatlin International is an eLearning provider that serves thousands of students and partners worldwide with offices and multilingual staff in the United Kingdom, United States, France and China.  With an extensive course catalog including offerings in the categories of IT and Software Development, Media and Design, Business and Professional, and Sustainability, among others, students can find exactly what they are looking for to fulfill their education and training needs.  And, Gatlin International is one of the largest providers of online workforce development programs to colleges and universities.  Visit http://gatlininternational.co.uk/ to view our course offerings and learn more about Gatlin International today.

eLearning News: Does Higher Tuition Equate to a Better Education?

Friday, May 25th, 2012

With the cost of traditional college and university programs all over the world steadily increasing year after year, it is no wonder that students are expecting more from the educational programs they are choosing to spend their hard earned money on.  The question is, does the increase in tuition and fees many brick and mortar colleges and universities are implementing mean that students are getting a better education?  A recent article published by BBC News suggests that the answer, as far as the UK is concerned, is a resounding no.

In 2006, England’s universities raised their tuition from £1,000 to £3,000.  A study conducted by The Higher Education Policy Institute found that scheduled teaching hours did not increase with the increase in tuition.  In fact, the study found that teaching hours in 2012 were about the same as they were in 2007, which was about 14 hours per week.  However for some disciplines the weekly average was a mere 7 hours.  This study also found that student dissatisfaction was directly related to the number of contact hours they had with their teachers each week: the fewer hours of contact students had with their teachers, the more dissatisfied they were with the education they were receiving.

A spokesperson for the United Kingdom’s University system said universities are using the increase in tuition to provide students with better libraries and improved IT facilities, more teaching staff, better student support services, and updated communal spaces on campuses.  UK universities plan to raise tuition again in the near future to £9,000.  Hopefully, the UK university system has grand plans for this increase in income because students will obviously expect more when they pay more.  National Union of Students president Liam Burns was quoted as saying: “Whether we like it or not, students going on to campuses this year will feel like they’re paying more and will have increased expectations to match, but there is no evidence that shifting the financial burden to students gives them more power.  Successive governments have forced students to act as consumers of teaching rather than partners in learning and there is no evidence that this has improved universities.”

Discerning prospective university students will most likely shop around for the best value for their education budget.  For many, a distance-learning program is the perfect solution.  Online college and career training courses can often be much more cost effective than traditional university programs.  And if you factor in the convenience of being able to study when and where it works for you, distance-learning programs seem like the smartest choice.

If you are considering a distance-learning program for yourself, check into the many excellent eLearning courses Gatlin International has to offer today.  Gatlin International is a trusted leader in online education and has a wide array of courses and programs for students to choose from.  Course categories include Business and Professional, Healthcare and Fitness, Hospitality and Gaming, IT and Software Development, Management and Corporate, Media and Design, New Age, Skilled Trades and Industrial, Soft Skills, Sustainability, and Teaching English as a Second Language.  As you can see, Gatlin International has something for everyone no matter what type of education or career training you are interested in.  Visit the Gatlin International website at http://gatlininternational.co.uk/ for more information and course descriptions today.