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Half Australian students don’t think their degree is worth the money

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There is real trouble when half of all Australian Uni students feel that their degree doesn’t prepare them for work and aren’t worth the money spent.

Even though 93% of students believe that completing a degree improves your chance of getting a job that is related to their field of study, 49% don’t believe their degree is worth the money it costs.

When it comes to why students feel as though they aren’t getting value for money, the leading response was that it will take years to pay off their student loan (55%), followed by; they don’t think they have learned enough to feel job ready (19%); they could have learned everything in the workplace (16%); and they don’t feel like the education standard was high enough (10%).

Interestingly, South Australia had the highest percentage (65%) of students saying it is worth it, compared to Victoria who had the least satisfied students (42%). Males and females were on par in this sentiment, and internationally enrolled students were more likely (by 7%) to feel appeased by their decision compared to their local counterparts. 

Recurring commentary throughout the research also highlighted that students were not happy about rising costs in university fees, lacking resources to provide feedback, and inadequate availability of study support. If tertiary educators changed these, students would feel more satisfied with their education. 

Michael Larsen, CEO of Studiosity who commissioned the research says, “Although a high percentage of students have questioned whether their degree is worth the money, the fact that institutions are escalating their investments in student satisfaction is a promising sign for the sector. When universities respond to this feedback and implement appropriate initiatives, the levels of student experience will increase, which is impressive considering the data also stated that 77% of students said university was what they expected or even better than expected.”

51% of students who stated that their degree was worth the cost attributed their response to the following reasons; it will help them secure a job (53%), they have learnt skills that they will be able to use forever (29%), and they have learnt skills they wouldn’t have obtained anywhere else (18%). 

Prof Judyth Sachs, Chief Academic Officer at Studiosity, adds, “University is a significant investment and students in Australia are divided when considering the value they receive. However, the data interestingly revealed that a significant number of students are not only attending university simply to receive their qualification, but to develop and improve their life and soft skills related to teamwork and organisation.”

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