Are students unprepared for university study? Let us know what you think

PUBLISHED: 12:17 03 April 2012

Are students being properly prepared for university study?

Are students being properly prepared for university study?


Many universities are laying on extra classes for new students amid concerns that undergraduates are unprepared for degree study, new research suggests.

It comes as education secretary Michael Gove said universities were set to have a far greater role in designing A-level programmes in the future.

Research by Cambridge Assessment warns too much teaching to the test in schools means many students start university struggling to write essays, build arguments, evaluate information and conduct research.

The findings show that more than half of lecturers think that undergraduates are unprepared for degree-level study.

Three fifths (or 60pc) said their universities were providing extra support classes for under-prepared first-year students, usually focusing on writing and independent learning.

And nearly three quarters (72pc) of those questioned said they hadchanged their teaching styles for students who are not ready for university study.

But what do you think? Are A-level courses preparing students for university study properly? Did you feel equipped with the right academic skills when beginning your degree? And what should be done about it?

Let us know by posting your comments below.


  • From the start if a child cannot write its own name, address and 'phone number, also read basic children's books, then stay at home until they can. Any caring parent would give them that vital start.

    Report this comment

    Paul Platten

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

  • I would like to think that students have mastered the basics. I doubt schools do much to foster critical thinking nor is it really encouraged in the UK in general, but this is a skill required. Of course theres lots of examples of dreadfully prepared students making wonderful sterotypes, these may fall into the why am I here anyway catgeory, let me wanda through the arts. The vast majority of business, engineering and science students are well prepared and know where ther going, although its always good to be even better prepared in the competitive world we live in.

    Report this comment

    Paul Morley

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

  • University is for education, not training for a job. In the past it was routine for some graduates to find employment well outside their field of expertise- a good degree was seen as an indication of ability, not necessarily an applied skill. However A levels should give students the skills and knowledge they need to pursue their chosen degree course, and I agree with Carb. about the standards. I can only conclude that the one size fits all GCSE is in turn failing brighter pupils who wish to go on to A levels. I know this is true of double science GCSE, which is so dumbed down it wrecks the prospects of all but the most able who go on to study chemistry physics or biology at A level and probably accounts for many being deterred from studying science. I believe this also applies to History GCSE where the art of writing a good essay based on knowledge seems to be lost to giving subjective opinions on scraps of source material. And English GCSE where pupils can answer questions on works such as Jane Eyre without having read the whole novel.One only has to look at the figures for GCE O and A level passes in the past to realise that the current successes are not all attributable to harder working pupils and teachers.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

  • It's highly unlikely school prepares them for further education. I ad to school one young friend into how to write academically as her 6th form essays were just too juvenile for words. More importantly though is the pressing matter are youngsters fit for working life once they have completed their further education? It would appear not to be honest.

    Report this comment


    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

  • Maybe some students need educating when it comes to shopping. Yes you do need money when using the self service checkouts..

    Report this comment

    banned user

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

  • no jobs for them anyway.waste of time.

    Report this comment

    Tina Hewitt

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

  • Carborundum: Universities offer higher education. Further education in the UK refers to post-16 education in places other than universities. There may well be too much teaching "to the test"; league tables have a lot to answer for in this respect. Education for its own sake is not valued in the UK today as Tina Hewitt's comment makes clear.

    Report this comment

    point du jour

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Other news


British Summer Time officially begins at 1am on the last Sunday in March.


A Norfolk young carers’ charity has been presented with a cheque from the Rotary Club of Holt and District.


Work has been completed in north Norfolk to help save a rare species of butterfly after a grant from a local supermarket.


A concert celebrating the work of the pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff is set to take place at Holkham Hall to help raise money for Alderman Peel High School at Wells.

Most Read

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A confectioner will be hoping that a move of premises will give them the sweet taste of success.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:59

They form one of the fastest receding coastlines in Europe; but the soft sand and clay cliffs of north Norfolk also hold the secrets to the country’s past.

Read more
Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Contract wins with mobile phone networks including Vodafone and Three are fuelling expansion at one of Norfolk’s biggest employers.

Read more
United Kingdom

A £105,000 fund to support community groups across Norfolk and Suffolk has been announced today.

Read more
Norfolk Community Foundation

Three teenagers who risked their lives to save others while on holiday in north Norfolk have been given an award for heroism.

Read more
John Lee

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 3°C


Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Read the Fakenham and Wells Times e-edition today E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter