Official statistic: Key performance measure 19

Students who believe university provides good value for money


Percentage of undergraduate students who answered ‘Yes’ to the question:
‘Considering the costs and benefits of university, do you think it offers good value for money?’

We are working on a target for this measure

What does this show?

We want to measure whether students think attending university is good value for money.

This uses polling data commissioned by the Office for Students. For the baseline measure, Natives asked 2,097 people in January-March 2020 'Considering the costs and benefits of university, do you think it offers good value for money?' This measure shows the percentage of undergraduate students who answered ‘Yes’.

About the measure

  • Frequency: Annual
  • Population: Undergraduate students who are domiciled in the UK and who answered the value for money question. Measures for other subgroups are given as background information below.
  • The measure: Respondents in the population who answered yes, given as a percentage of the respondents in the population who answered the question.  
  • Data sources: Polling by Natives for the Office for Students. 2,097 respondents fall into the KPM population, of whom 2,094 answered the value for money question. The question was piloted from 20-24 January 2020, and was live from 10 February to 23 March 2020. The majority of responses were collected prior to the introduction of the strictest national measures to control the spread of coronavirus.
  • Available: KPM 19 will be updated in spring 2021.

Interpreting this measure

Natives surveyed only a subset of students. There is a risk that the views of this subset differ from the views of students more generally, simply because of random variation. There is also a risk that the method of data collection (which is a form of volunteer sampling) introduces bias. It is not possible to formally quantify the level of uncertainty around this measure. As a result, this measure is best used to understand in very general terms students’ perception of value for money and to note large changes in this perception between years. It is not suited to detecting smaller changes, or to drawing more precise conclusions.   

These results are broadly consistent with the findings on value for money from the Advance HE and Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) Student Academic Experience Survey. In 2020, 39% of undergraduate students reported higher education to be ‘good’ or ‘very good’ value for money.1

Background information

Further information about how applicants, students and graduates responded to the value for question money is provided below.


KPM population


I don't know (%)







Undergraduate students





Postgraduate students





Recent graduates





1 Neves, J. and Hewitt, R. (2020). Student Academic Experience Survey 2020. Advance HE/Higher Education Policy Institute


If you have any queries about the statistics published as KPM 19, please contact Alice Munro at [email protected].

If you have any queries about our overall approach or on individual measures, please contact Josh Fleming at [email protected].

Published 25 November 2020

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