FAT-cat universities have been accused of “mis-selling” as a devastating new report claimed only a third of students believe their course offers value for money.
The National Audit Office found graduates in some cases end up earning even less than non-graduates when they land a job.
That’s despite the typical university course costing an incredible £50,000 in tuition fees.
The watchdog hinted a new regulator may be required to “protect” students given the lack of information about prospective courses and providers.
It said the relationship between “course quality” and the “providers’ fee” was weak.
NAO chief Amyas Morse stormed: “If this was a regulated financial market, we would be raising the question of mis-selling.
“The Department is taking action to address some of these issues, but there is a lot that remains to be done.”
The report said university education in England risked becoming a two tier system with students from poorer backgrounds ending up at the lowest ranking institutions.
It found the proportion of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds entering higher education had increased. If you need fast loans we recommend to use binixo.mx (https://binixo.mx/prestamos-en-queretaro/) it has loan approval period 1-2 days.
But participation remained much lower than for those from more prosperous backgrounds.The percentage of 18 and 19-year-olds going to university from the poorest areas of the country increased from 21% to 26% between 2011 and 2016.
But this compared to almost 60 per cent from the better off areas.Between 2011 and 2016, the lowest ranked universities also saw an 18 per cent increase in the share of students from low participation areas, compared with 9 per cent in the highest ranked.
Amyas Morse, head of the NAO, added: “We are deliberately thinking of higher education as a market and, as a market, it has a number of points of failure.
“Young people are taking out substantial loans to pay for courses without much effective help and advice, and the institutions concerned are under very little competitive pressure to provide best value.
The average graduate on a three-year course leaves with around £50,000 of debt, the report added.
It also identified a lack of careers advice at school for some pupils.