Three in four universities ‘breach law on website information’

An recent article in The Telegraph highlights that three quarters of universities are breaching consumer law by failing to tell students what their fees will buy them – according to a new report.

Other vital information universities are not making available includes contact hours they will have with staff and a student’s expected workload, an investigation by consumer group Which? revealed.

The report comes as universities come under fresh pressure to be transparent on their use of tuition fees following their increase to up to £9,000 a year and student’s overall average debt totalling more than £45,000.

Institutions that fell into unlawful category by failing to provide updated course fee information included the University of Cambridge, King’s College London and the University of St Andrews.

The report also said Oxford University could do better when providing information about core modules and details on extra costs.

Separately, the investigation revealed three institutions – Canterbury Christ Church University, Glasgow Caledonian University and the University of Huddersfield – were consistently adopting unlawful practice by failing to provide more than 30 per cent of the information required.

The Competition and Markets Authority published advice in March setting out how consumer law applies to the higher education sector, including measures to ensure information is available to students so they can compare courses and make an informed choice.

But Which? said nearly two thirds of institutions failed to provide students with up-to-date information on course fees, and four in five did not state or provide clarity on any extra fees students may have to pay to complete the course.

Overall it found 76 per cent of the 50 universities it looked at are breaching consumer law by failing to provide prospective students with vital information.

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