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Informed decisions: Tackling information inequalities in higher education

Wyness, G. Informed decisions: Tackling information inequalities in higher education. CentreForum, London, 2012. Pages: 8.

In this report, CentreForum - a UK-based think tank - outlines five unconventional means and ways of getting information on English universities and their courses into the hands of potential applicants and their parents. These recommendations are formulated in the light of the government’s recent policy which, starting from September 2012, will require all universities and colleges to make standard sets of data (known as Key Information Set) publicly available on their websites. All courses offered at every institution in England will have to provide detailed information on student survey data (student satisfaction, teaching facilities and resources), information on the course itself (expected time spent in learning and teaching activities, assessment methods), information about the cost of the course and financial support available, as well as various employment information on previous graduates.

The report urges the government to do more to ensure that information reaches those from disadvantaged backgrounds, who are generally less aware of the costs, experience and long-term benefits of participating in higher education.