Libertarian. Enjoys politics, technology, music, food and drink.
The Times Higher Education have just released the announcement that UEL is planning to charge £9,000 a year tuition fees (their fees list).
The Guardian, in their 2011 university list, rate it as the 117th ‘best’ university in the country (only London Met is lower). The university’s average entry point requirement is 180 points (compared to Cambridge’s 546). An appalling 46% of graduates have a job, six months after finishing (compared to Oxford’s 80%). The Guardian’s overall score for the university is 35% (compared to Oxford’s 100%). The Times rank it as the 111th ‘best’ university (out of 113). 46% come out of UEL with a “Good Honours” and they consider it to have a 53% chance of “Graduate Prospects” (compared to Oxford’s 92% and 83% respectively).
I judge University of East London against Oxbridge because they will now charge the same amount for entrance. I blogged last week about my worry that the bottom universities would start charging the full fees, and now they have begun to. It is a disgrace that a university at the bottom of the league table should charge the full amount. If this is going to become the norm then they shouldn’t have pretended to have a progressive slider for fees, they should have used a flat rate of £9,000.
I went to the University of East London and so believe I can speak with some relative authority on the matter. I studied English Literature and know people who studied English at Oxford, Cambridge, Leeds, Leicester, UCL and Manchester. The reading lists at my university were minuscule compared to any of my friends at other institutions. Not only that but the reading lists felt like abridged versions a lot of the time. The level of reading required in terms of theory was far more extensive at other institutions, and I know this because my friends who went to the other universities were, during their time, far better read than I ever was. The peer groups at the better universities are going to be cleverer (evidence clearly based on the average entry requirements for the universities) and so better discussion in class will be generated. The whole standard of education is obviously better in the higher establishments.
I do not mean to wholly criticise my old university: I enjoyed studying there, good discussion was sometimes generated and I still learnt more than I knew before. Yet I do not kid myself that the education I received was on par with someone who went to a Russell Group to study English Literature. I read Ulysses like my friends did, but they read it and studied it for university, we read The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man for our course. Portrait is a brilliant book, but when I once asked my lecturer why we didn’t study Ulysses, she replied “I haven’t read it.”
It angers me that this university will charge £9,000, as I am certain almost all institutions will. I am for universities charging more money, but the way they have implemented this has proved catastrophic in practice.