Latest Issue

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…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect