By Daniel Hunter

According to a report by consumer watchdog Which? and the Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi), almost one in three first year students in the UK are unhappy with their degree courses.

Tom Bewick, director and chief economist of International Skills Standards Organisation (INSSO), an international standards setting body and workforce development consultancy, is not surprised that many students feel short changed by their degrees.

“There are new demands being placed on education and training systems worldwide due to globalisation. UK universities will have to start reviewing their offering and its relevance in order to be in a position to compete for the student pound. Since the rise of student fees last year to £9000 per annum, universities are now under increasing pressure to deliver," Bewick said.

“With the growing popularity of vocational training, universities must view the student as the real consumer and ascertain what value they are gaining from the degree courses they are offering. In this way, value for money can be measured better.

"Creating degrees in association with industry and business, particularly given the current economic climate, is the best way forward. The industry-based approach bridges the skills gap, ultimately helping employers to gain access to people who are better skilled and more productive to support a rapidly evolving global economy.”

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