Official statistic

Key performance measure 19

Students who believe university provides good value for money


of current undergraduate students think university offers good value for money, considering the costs and benefits.

Percentage of current undergraduate students who think university is good value for money

What does this show?

KPM 19 measures whether current undergraduate students think attending university is good value for money.

Between February and May 2021, the Office for Students asked 614 students 'Considering the costs and benefits of university, do you think it offers good value for money?' 32.9 per cent answered 'Yes'.

This has fallen from 37.5 per cent reported in the previous year. With a confidence level of 95 per cent, this change is not statistically significant. This means that there is at least a one-in-twenty chance that the change occurred due to random variation.

Further information

  • 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 carried out between February and March 2021
  • Available: KPM 19 will be updated in spring/summer 2022.

Natives surveyed only a subset of current undergraduate students. There is a possibility that the views of this subset differ from the views of students more generally, simply because of random variation.

There is also a chance that the method of data collection (which is a form of volunteer sampling) introduces bias.

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.

During the polling fieldwork for this measure, coronavirus restrictions were in place in the UK. This meant that for most UK higher education students, teaching was carried out online.

The Advance HE and Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) Student Academic Experience Survey (SAES) also examines value for money. In 2021, SAES found that 27 per cent of undergraduate students reported higher education to be ‘good’ or ‘very good’ value for money, a 12 per cent fall on the previous year.

Background information

Percentage of respondents who think university is good value for money

Further information about how UK-domiciled applicants, current undergraduate and postgraduate students and graduates responded to the value for question money is provided below.

Year Student type Total population Yes (%) No (%) I don't know (%)
2020 Applicant 673 43.8 26.4 29.7
2020 Graduate 372 39.5 53.2 7.3
2020 Current postgraduate students 393 45.3 44.3 10.4
2020 Current undergraduate students 656 37.5 48.2 14.3
2021 Applicant 585 43.8 35.2 21
2021 Graduate 288 36.1 52.8 11.1
2021 Current postgraduate students 317 41.6 48.9 9.5
2021 Current undergraduate students 614 32.9 54.1 13


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

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

Published 14 December 2021

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