Universities criticised for offering unaccredited degree courses

Universities in the UK have been criticised for offering “half-baked” degree courses which are not professionally accredited and make it harder for students to eventually get a job. Students are paying thousands of pounds in tuition fees for these unaccredited courses which are identically titled to those endorsed by professional bodies. As a result, students who take these unaccredited courses may have to take costly additional qualifications before they can get jobs as a result of the unclear marketing.

A letter sent to the Welsh education secretary, Kirsty Williams, said that this practice is a “deception by omission” and is “deeply misleading”. These unaccredited courses are often marketed as being able to “help a student prepare for a career” but lack all the clear advantages an accredited course offers.

Commenting on the issue, a Universities UK spokesperson said that universities are “continuing to improve the information to students about courses to ensure that their experience matches their expectations”. He also added that there is a “range of official data and information out there for prospective students, including information about whether a course is accredited or not”.

Today, there is a proliferation of university courses everywhere, even those offered online. It certainly is overwhelming for young people to make one of life’s major decisions. As educators, we have to guide them and hopefully, imbue them with the wisdom to be discerning about their choice of university and course.

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