DfE tells universities adverts must be honest with prospective students about graduate outcomes – FE News

Universities are receiving new advertising guidelines to end misleading claims that lure prospective students into dead-end courses.

The plans aim to give students real choice about where to study and will clearly identify courses with high dropout rates and poor graduate outcomes.

DfE advises that Announcements to give prospective students better information about university course results

  • Course announcements should now include comparable data on dropout rates and the proportion of students who go on to graduate school
  • Government key push to improve quality, transparency and fairness for students

Under new guidelines released today (July 1), college course announcements will have to include comparable data on dropout rates and the proportion of students who go on to graduate school or are continuing to study. All forms of advertising, including digital, television and radio, should include this data so that students have useful information at their fingertips to make better choices about their study options after 18.

The latest data shows that with hindsight, less than 6 in 10 students would make the same choice of course and university. The new guidelines will help ensure that all students have easy access to basic data about their course prospects, helping them make the right decision for their future.

Higher and Further Education Minister Michelle Donelan said:

“I know from the community I grew up in that choosing where and what to study can be difficult, especially for first graders in the family. Making such a significant investment in your time, money, and future is not made easier by bold university advertising, which often promises students a high-quality experience even when statistics suggest they will be stuck in a dead-end course. .

“So I’ve produced guidance to ensure that just as every ad for a loan or credit card should include basic information like APR, every college ad should include comparable data on dropout rates and the rate of progression of students into graduate jobs or further study.

“Prospective students deserve clarity and honesty and I won’t hesitate to make sure they get it. Quality, transparency and fair access are my priorities and this advice will help students make the right decision for them. themselves and for their future.

This underscores previous calls by Minister Donelan, who has long made it clear that while universities have the right to sell their best features, they must do so in an honest and transparent way that empowers students.

This data should be visible in all forms of advertising, such as being written in the first lines of a web advertisement and being quoted in advertisements made for television or radio, so that students can make an informed decision as well. easily as possible. In cases where this is not possible, such as for new courses with no previous data, universities are advised to include provider-level data.

These directions build on the government’s mission to improve quality, transparency and fairness for students – including tackling drop-out rates and improving graduate progression – with the aim of longer term to help young people get the education and skills they need to succeed, help them find good jobs and achieve their ambitions.

As an alternative to university courses, students have many choices to get where they want to go, and the government encourages students to talk to their school or college about the range of post 16 and 18 options that available to them, including a diploma apprenticeship, apprenticeship and higher technical qualifications.

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