Chris Ramsey letter to the Times: Schools and universities must work together urgently to improve the increasingly poor experience of many debt-ridden university students

Sir,

Schools and universities must work together urgently to improve the increasingly poor experience of many debt-ridden university students. The latest national student satisfaction survey (News, June 4) makes worrying reading;  a third believe they are not getting value for money, with poor teaching and course organisation also featuring widely. Most worryingly, over a third regret their choice of course, representing a tragic loss of potential, time and money. We must remember students obliged to pay fees are likely to be more critical and expect more. It is also to the credit of the Higher Education Policy Institute and Higher Education Academy that they are now delving into the crucial matter of teaching quality.  However, we all need to improve transition from school to university, prepare students better and look after them better when they arrive. Leading independent schools have already held the first joint conference with university leaders to work out how to achieve this, and it is crucial this work gathers momentum. Not least because there is another threat waiting in the wings. Students can go overseas, study in English, get more contact hours and pay lower fees, so it is time all of us woke up to the problems being faced in the UK before more students do.

Chris Ramsey, Co-Chair, GSA/HMC Universities Committee and Head Master, King’s School, Chester