A new research conducted by a National Union of Students has shown that the time that students spend with lecturers has significantly decreased over the past years. The sharpest decreases are observed in medicine and engineering. The survey also found out that the number of first-year undergraduates who do excellently at their courses has fallen.
The first place at the decrease in teaching hours goes to institutions in the Russell Group
of universities, comprising 20 of the UK's top research universities. At these universities the average time that students spend on tuition and lectures has fallen from 15.6 hours a week to 14.7 last year. The research also shows the pressure on universities that have to accept deep cuts in state funding and give the same quality education to students in spite of the increased tuition fees.
Among the faculties that have faced the biggest decline in time are medicine and dentistry. Students who get their education in these faculties have received only 20 hours of teaching while the previous year the figure equaled to 22.6. Across all institutions in England, the time that students spend weekly on tuition and lectures has decreased on average from 14 in 2009 to 13.4 last year.
This week the NUS survey essays
was published and it highlighted that the proportion of first-year students rating their courses as excellent has decreased from 28% in 2009 to 14% last year. However students are still satisfied with the quality of teaching.