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Just one in three arts students think degree is good value for money

The number of GCSE drama students in England has fallen by 4%. Photo: Wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock Creative arts and design ranked only above languages and historical and philosophical studies for value for money. Photo: Shutterstock
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Just 30% of arts students think that the tuition fees for their degree are good value for money, according to new research.

This compares with an average of 38% across all subjects, with creative arts and design ranking only above languages and historical and philosophical studies.

Creative arts and design includes performing arts, but as students identified under the broader category when answering the survey, it is unknown how many respondents were specifically doing theatre or performance degrees.

Computer sciences, physical sciences and law were ranked the top three subjects for good value for money by students.

The research was carried out by a consortium of students’ unions and commissioned by the Office for Students, which will become the new government-approved regulatory body for higher education in April.

One anonymous comment from an arts student who was quoted in a report on the findings said: “I don’t feel I receive £9,000 worth of contact time and resources.

“I currently have the equivalent of five hours per week contact time with staff. I have to purchase all of my own reading and printing materials. Although I have access to a lot of online material, I fail to see where my money has been spent other than on new campus development, staffing and subsidising degrees in other disciplines.”

When asked what “value for money” meant to them, students listed a number of factors including quality of teaching, fair assessment and helpful feedback, learning resources and access to social and/or industry connections.

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