UK scrutinizes college ads to crack down on “dead end” courses

The UK Government is demanding more “clarity and honesty” in college course advertising to prevent students from being trapped in “dead end courses.”

Under the new guidance released on July 1, universities will need to include comparable data in their ads regarding the percentage of students who dropped out and their potential to proceed to graduate work or further research after completing the course. I have.

Guidance applies to all forms of advertising and information should be “prominent”, Guidance said.

According to the government, according to the latest data, less than 6 out of 10 students will choose the same university or course if they can make the decision again.

Epoch Times Photo
Minister of Higher Education Michel Donneran will address the delegation at the Conservative Spring Conference on March 18, 2022 at the Blackpool Winter Garden in Blackpool, northwest England. (PaulEllis / AFP via Getty Images)

Higher Education Minister Michel Donneran said the move could clarify what the university is offering, especially for the first degree students in the family.

“I know from the community, especially for the first students in the family, it can be difficult to choose where and what to study,” she said.

Donelan warned against “bold college advertising.” This often promises students a “quality experience, even if statistics suggest that they are stuck on a dead-end course.”

“Just as every ad for a loan or credit card needs to contain basic information such as APR, every college ad has a dropout rate and a student admission rate to graduate school. Or it should contain comparable data on further studies. “

She added: Quality, transparency and fair access are my priorities and this guidance helps students make the right decisions for themselves and for the future. “

“Mickey Mouse” course

The minister repeatedly emphasized the importance of the quality of college courses and criticized what she called the “Mickey Mouse” course.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph In January, she said: “The university invites students to the front door and says it’s social mobility. In fact, it doesn’t help anyone. Then drop out after a semester or a year. They have All I have is the stigma of being in debt and dropping out. “

She said dropout rates could be as high as 40 percent on some courses at UK universities.

“I use the term” Mickey Mouse “because some of these courses are Mickey Mouse in nature,” said the minister who went to the first college of her family.

“People with a background like me are just looking at the course. They don’t have an advisor telling them that this course is much better than that, and they It may end up doing a course that wants to lead them somewhere, and that’s not the case. “

PA Media contributed to this report.

Alexander Chan