Universities are now devoting large chunks of time to trying to help students to understand that they need to put their own effort in – and often the more (if well focused) – the better. It’s incredibly frustrating when a student looks at their timetable and thinks they only have 3 hours of work for a module, when they should be doing 2-3 times that in their own work alongside:

How many people actually work at the Bank of England?” went the question when I was a trainee there in the 1970s, the answer being: “About half.” That jibe has often run through my mind as evidence has mounted of a sharp decline in the academic effort required of UK undergraduates.

Mercifully British universities are now shoring up their weakest flank. That is the heartening message to be taken from the Higher Education Policy Institute/Which? Student Academic Experience Survey, published in May of this year. From a historic low six to seven years ago, UK undergraduates have on average increased the time they devote to study during term by nearly two hours a week.

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