Nadhim Zahawi is planning a crackdown on Mickey Mouse deals, the Mail on Sunday can reveal.
Universities must publish the dropout rate and graduate work results in every advertisement they publish for a degree, just as loans must be advertised in advance via the APR, according to plans being reviewed by the Secretary of Education.
This would apply to both physical and online ads for courses and would aim to ensure students are not “misled” when applying, insiders said.
Mr Zahawi wants to see stricter criteria for university entry and restrictions on courses that don’t offer good job prospects while burdening young people with debt.
Universities must publish the dropout rate and graduate work results in every advertisement they publish for a degree, just as loans must be advertised in advance via the APR, according to plans being reviewed by the Secretary of Education
A Government source said the aim is to fight universities that cynically offer such “stupid” degrees as “David Beckham degrees” even though they know they are unlikely to result in better career or earning prospects for young people. They pointed out that some management degree programs have a dropout rate of more than 50 percent.
Ministers are currently discussing proposals to introduce a ‘no C in Maths GCSE, no university’ rule to significantly tighten admission criteria.
The tougher measures are designed to push students into other avenues, including apprenticeships.
A senior government source advocated requiring C-level math for all university applicants. However, the plan is controversial and others want a softer version of students who need to pass either math or English at GCSE or have at least two A-level Ess in order to enter university.
This would apply to both physical and online ads for courses and would aim to ensure students are not “misled” when applying, insiders said (stock image).
The talks are part of a Department of Education consultation on introducing minimum qualifications for access to student loans.
Robert Halfon, the Conservative MP who chairs the Commons Education Select Committee, said: “I hope they proceed cautiously on this. Some people who are very bad at math might get a degree in history.
“Instead of denying someone a place at university, we should offer them a refresher course during their studies.”
The Department of Education is concerned that “not all students receive the same high quality of instruction” and that many end up saddled with student loan debt for courses with poor job prospects.
An insider familiar with the talks said: “The problem with universities is that they see themselves as part of a free market, but they aren’t because they make taxpayers pay.”
These plans are part of broader reforms separate from the forthcoming white paper on education, expected later this month.
Mr. Zahawi plans to use the white paper to make educational and career paths more attractive to young people. This involves an overhaul of T-Levels, or technical qualifications, with the aim of making them as prestigious as A-Levels.
The talks are part of a Department of Education consultation on introducing minimum qualifications to access student loans (stock image)
T Levels are developed with employers to “robust employer standards,” according to a source, and offer students a 45-day internship.
A Government source said: “For ambitious parents and children, what we need to achieve is that following a career path is as prestigious as an academic or university one. People shouldn’t feel like they have to go to university,” adding that career paths shouldn’t just be viewed as “hard hats and safety vests,” but also highly technical jobs, including working on film sets.
Mr Halfon said: “Instead of university, university, university, it should be skills, skills, skills. This is why getting the T values right is so important.
“We should encourage more students to pursue T-levels and apprenticeships – unlike most students who go to university and don’t get good jobs despite the great loans they get.”
Other measures expected to be announced in the white paper include new “Covid catch-up measures”, including targeted support for children who have fallen behind during the pandemic.
New targets will be set for students passing the English and Maths GCSE for 2030, which will be more ambitious than pre-Covid levels.
The white paper will also include a plan to have all schools run by academy endowments, which would give them more autonomy from local government.