Students react to guidance urging universities to have “honest” adverts
New guidance published by the Department of Education on 1 July 2022 urges universities to include information on drop-out rates and graduate employment prospects in their advertising.
Michelle Donelan, Minister for Higher and Further Education, said that “making such a significant investment in your time, money and future is not made any easier by bold university advertising, which often promise students a high-quality experience even when the statistics suggest they will be stuck on a dead-end course.” She also emphasised the importance of “quality, transparency and fair access”.
Exeposé asked students what they thought of the University of Exeter’s transparency surrounding graduate prospects. One stated “I remember statistics and such being made available at open days, and throughout my degree I have had access to career events and information about my prospective career, but I think this is mostly because I have a clear set career in mind.”
This guidance will help students to make the right decision for themselves and for their futureMichelle Donelan, Minister for Higher and Further Education
Another student, studying Law, claimed that “not a huge amount [of statistics on graduate prospects were made available]. I couldn’t name anything specific. The assumption seems to be that you want to be a lawyer.”
One student remarked that “in terms of resources/career advice/available internships, I think humanities subjects/colleges get left behind a lot in comparison to business/sciences. It would be nice to see more humanities-based research internships on offer, or more career events advertised to us specifically.”
All polled students told Exeposé that they think the University should be more transparent about graduate prospects and drop-out rates.
When asked for comment on the new guidelines, a spokesperson for the University stated that “the University is aware of the new guidelines and will abide by them. All messaging and advertising meet CMA [Competition and Markets Authority] requirements, and we ensure that the University gives an accurate and complete picture of each course through a variety [of] content, including imagery, film, course descriptions and both academic and student testimonials and perspectives.”