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Gov launches uni comparison website, UK

A university comparison site has been launched by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), providing information on 30,000 undergraduate degree courses in the UK. It also lists the post-study employment rates of universities as well as first hand reviews by students.

"We want students to be empowered, to be consumers"

Although HEFCE had British students in mind when it developed the Unistats site, it says internationals will benefit as well.

“At the moment young people applying to university have to rely largely on hearsay, rumour, talking to friends and family and teachers,” Business Secretary Vince Cable told The Sunday Times. “This site gives them, at a glance, all the information they need to know.”

Data from the National Student Survey give students a first hand look at what a degree might be like

Students can access information on facilities, available courses, accommodation, tuition and how a course is strucutred. Most useful is the comparison tool which allows users to contrast specific courses based on HEFCE’s Key Information Set, which students report finding most useful when choosing a degree.

Data from the National Student Survey – completed by 220,000 mainly final year students in the UK each year – provide first hand feedback on ares such as teaching and facilities in a bid to increase competition between universities and raise standards.

“Underlying the website is a kind of philosophy: we want students to be empowered, to be consumers, if you like. It will put the universities on their toes,” said Cable.

HEFCE says it is in the process of gathering feedback from postgraduate students, including internationals, and suggests there may be a postgrad version of the platform in the future.

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