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University challenge

New, private institutions offering a single, shorter course could be much more cost-effective

By Chris Goodall   October 2010

Morecambe’s seafront: unfashionable coastal towns are ideal settings for new universities

British universities are poor value for money. A typical institution provides about 12 hours of teaching a week for fewer than 26 weeks a year. For this they receive between £6,290 and £9,290 a year per student, from tuition fees and the government. Meanwhile, secondary schools in England get £4,800 per pupil, and teach 30 hours a week, 39 weeks a year. In effect, secondary schools cost about £4 per hour for each pupil, while universities cost £24.

Universities, then, are needlessly expensive—which is why we must create a…

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