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    • TSR Community Team
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    TSR Community Team
    Students will be given "formal contracts" with universities, so they can challenge them over too few teacher hours or if facilities are inadequate, says uni minster Jo Johnson.

    As uni fee have sky rocketed over the past few years, Johnson has said this needs to be put in place to insure students are getting value for money. Although he rejects calls to scrap tuition fees, he was warned universities to stop "excessive" pay for vice-chancellors.

    You can read more on the story here.

    What do you make of this? Is it a good idea? Will it help you get value for money?

    I feel very sceptical about the excessive pay to top university managers being capped. Governments have said this sort of thing before about highly paid top executives in other public sector organisations and it has made no difference.

    The formal contracts stuff sounds plausible, but in reality it will be a fig leaf for high (and possibly even higher for some institutions) tuition fees and no escape from student debt.

    Shame they are saying nothing about the ways in which promises are being broken on student debt repayments and the way the Student Loans Company are allowed to impose arbitrary penalties and move thousands onto abruptly onto higher interest rates.

    The government are not to be trusted on student debt and not to be trusted on tuition fees.

    It is a good idea, but I would think that with all those fees most universities would then just use the money to bolster their in-house legal team to fight any contract breaches or make the contract breach complaints really onerous.

    Most students won't have the money nor the time to instruct their own legal council unless the SU is willing to provide a free service.

    I like the idea, but I doubt it can work very well

    I can see the contracts now:

    STEM students: we promise you an average of 30 hours contact time a week including at least 12 hours of practicals. You may have the opportunity to work alongside lecturers or PhD students and contribute to original research.

    Humanities/social science students: we promise you an average of 4 hours contact time a week and a library card. The library has three copies of The History and Social Influence of the Potato.
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    And how much will this cost?
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