Bedfordshire University is an academic hub in the UK. It is based in Bedford and Luton the biggest towns of Bedfordshire county. It saw its creation as a merger between the university of Luton and Bedford campus of the De Montfort University in the year 2006 that was following an approval by the Privy Council.
1.1 Background of the study
The Sunday telegraph of 2004 carried a story asking “is Luton University the worst university in UK?” this was due to the high drop out rate that was followed by a proposal to ease the consequences of the students who had failed their second year exams. However, in the same year The Sunday Times awarded this university the best new University of 2004 award. This was prior to its merger with Bedford campus and subsequent rebranding. A QAA was conducted in 2005 that led to a qualified opinion about the universities academic standards. However it noted that appropriate action was taken by the management and the report was signed off in 2007. After the merger, the University was rated University of 2007 by the Times higher Education supplements. In 2008, the university underwent a down sizing that sow 30 staff members voluntarily rendered redundant. The reason behind this was due to high costs of operations.
1.2 statement of the problem
The university due to what it has cited as high operational costs has increased its fees on to the students. This has led to critique as the same article stated that Bedfordshire University is one of those Universities in the UK that use a low proportion of their incomes as expenditure to staff. The students will find it hard to bear in future due to this. There are internal problems that the university faces more so managerial problems with staff. It has been criticized for its association with uncredited institutions such as Institute for Optimum Nutrition. Besides, in 2008 a website in UK labeled one of its courses “shocking” due to the student’s-to- staff ratio. However, a QAA audit in 2009 gave the University a “confidence rating”. However, the university will have a hard future in maintaining the students after it has revised its fees to high levels.
1.3 Research objective
- To establish whether rise in fees has an effect on the students
- To establish whether the rise in fees will affect new enrolments
- To establish whether the new fees will lead to drop out of students
- To establish if the new tuition fees will lead to quality tuition services hence pulling more students to the university
1.4 Research hypothesis
The rise in tuition fees will not have significant affects on the students in UK.
1.5 Scope of the study
This study will be carried out to students in Bedfordshire University in UK.
1.6 Significance of the study
This study will be used by the University in their projections and policy issues.
2.0 Literature review
According to a study by Donovan Hand's journalistic adventures in Feb. 2011 on the wider impacts on the rise of tuition fees, the number in drop out has increased as compared in 2010. Many students have dropped out to pursue a job or apprenticeship due to the rise in school fees. This study also reveals that there has been an increase in the number of enrollment despite the rise in the tuition fees. In 2011 there has been a 35 % increase as compared to the previous year. It further states that of those interviewed, 80% of the students would still apply for university admissions despite the fees. 70% of the samples have a feeling that the quality of teaching g will not improve by the increased tuition fees.
Empirical evidence by McCluskey points out that the rise in fees will lead to deep social and economical effects. He observes that “,” there are more and more people being priced out of higher education and therefore don’t have the same kind of opportunities most of us have and therefore don’t have the same access to a middle class lifestyle that many of us who graduate college do.” He also observes that intellectual exploration is a key pillar in building democracy. Where higher education will not be accessible there fore democracy will be on its death bed.
The methods of data collection to be used in the study will include interviews and Questionnaires. The face to face interviews will be intensely used in getting first hand information from students while f or the university management and staff, telephone interviews will be conducted. Open ended questionnaires will be used on the students. This will give them a space to express their opinions at a wide scope as compared to the closed ended one.
3.2 Research design
The data collected from the above sources will be analyzed by use of inferential statics. Liner regression analysis will be used to show the relationship between the rise in fees and student drop out, enrolment and the university revenue from fees.
The systematic random sampling will be used in selecting the sample student who will be involved in the survey. A sample size of 5000 students across the various schools of the university will be selected. The sample size selected will be in the budgetary limits of both time and funds.