We surveyed a sample of over 1,000 students to understand their attitude towards university fee reform. This report shares key insights into the narrowing of provision, commercialisation of universities and student purchase rationale.


Our survey suggests young people require more clarity around the transactional value of education, they view university as a transaction to boost future employability and want to prove value for money. They are willing to pay more to gain a better return of investment, with 71% willing to pay more to study a course with better employment outcomes and improved salary expectations.

Evidence collected demonstrates students feel uncomfortable with a ‘one size fits all’ approach to pricing, preferring a bespoke fee which represents their experience and the services they access.

Students are comfortable with the concept of variable fees, with 42% willing to pay more for a better-quality education and experience and 53% agreeing they should not pay for the services they don’t use. to university fee reformCOMMERCIALISATION OF UNIVERSITIES

As savvy consumers, students are active and well informed; they expect clarity around what they’re buying into and share concerns about the lack of transparency from institutions.

The ever-changing landscape of higher-education has caused the sector to become more of a market place; results revealed respondents feel strongly about having the right to refunds, discounts and offers, just like they would when purchasing a product or service.

91% of students believe they should be refunded some of their fees if lectures strike and their lecture is cancelled and 54% would refer a friend to go to their university if they got discounted fees.

It’s not about paying less. The value lies in the quality of education, teaching and student experience. This is made evident by the high value they place on TEF rankings, desire to learn from experienced lecturers and willingness to pay more for smaller tutor groups.

Want to find out more about what students think of university fee reform? Download the full report findings to explore what students determine value for money at university and the relationship between fees and social outcomes.

Download full report findings