The Amount You Paid Per Hour For University Tuition Will Make You Feel Sick

A new study has found that you all could have paid as much as a month's rent for just one hour of contact time with a tutor.

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Remember the days when you'd sit in a lecture hall, hungover after a boozy night out, sending WhatsApp messages to your friend about the hot guy in row three?

Well, each lecture or seminar you attended might have cost your whole lecture hall a whopping £1,000, according to new research reported by the BBC.

Steel yourselves, because this is going to get ugly.

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Research published by the journal Fiscal Studies has found that, on average, economics undergraduates receive the equivalent of just 26 hours of one-to-one teaching over a three-year course, while physics students receive almost three times as much for the same fees.

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'Really, students are paying a kind of university tax rather than tuition fees,' argues Dr Peacey, an economics lecturer at the New College of the Humanities, in London.

'Maybe that's what you want, but we should be a bit more upfront and honest about this,' he adds.

Er, you think?

Since 2012, the majority of English universities now charge UK and EU students a maximum of £9,250 (each year) for the majority of three-year undergraduate degrees.

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Researchers from Bristol University and the New College of the Humanities obtained data from 67 UK universities using Freedom of Information law and found that on average, physics students received 74.6 hours of student-tutor contact, history students received 32.6 hours, and economics students received 26.1 hours.

The study involved comparing the teaching from the likes of history students in a group tutorial, and that received by physics undergraduates who had a mixture of lectures, seminars and laboratories.

Students are paying a kind of university tax rather than tuition fees

As a result the researchers came up with a measure to quantify their results called 'total equivalent adjusted contact hours' (Teach), in order to convert teach time and class sizes into the number of hours of one-to-one contact.

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The study also found that there were vast differences when it came to subjects studied at different universities.

For example, economics students at the top 10 per cent of universities received almost five times as much teaching as those in the lowest 10 per cent.

'How much students must pay in tuition fees makes no difference to how much teaching they receive,' reads the report.

The study's authors are now suggesting their Teach measure should be used by the government's new Teaching Excellence Framework, which assesses teaching quality at UK universities by subject, in order to avoid students getting ripped off for less contact time than other undergraduates.

How much students must pay in tuition fees makes no difference to how much teaching they receive

'If physics students are receiving much more tuition than history students, it could be that both are paying more than the tuition costs but the physics students are being less ripped off than the history students,' adds Pearcey

'Maybe universities offering more contact time would charge more in fees,' he concludes.

This might explain why we can't go shopping this month/ever.

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