20th December 2017

EPI Response to Inquiry on ‘Value for Money in Higher Education’

In September 2017 the Education Select Committee launched an inquiry into ‘Value for Money in Higher Education‘. 

The Education Committee sought views on the following issues:

  • Graduate outcomes and the use of destination data
  • Social justice in higher education and support for disadvantaged students
  • Senior management pay in universities
  • Quality and effectiveness of teaching
  • The role of the Office for Students

EPI has now published its written evidence. In this submission, we propose issues which ought to be considered, rather than providing recommendations on specific policies.

You can read the submission in full here


The perception of value for money in higher education has worsened over the past few years, which is concerning at a time when university population is expanding at a high cost for the taxpayer. The government should take a wider view of what constitutes value for money, to include social benefits beyond just monetary returns. The government should also carefully consider the impact of factors beyond the control of universities when considering the value for money of individual institutions. Further research is needed on how the benefits of value for money vary across population groups and whether higher education provision could be made more diverse to reduce costs whilst also meeting the needs of students.

Further information about the Select Committee’s inquiry can be found here