PROBLEMS FACING THE UK UNIVERSITIES

PROBLEMSFACING THE UK UNIVERSITIES

TheUnited Kingdom (UK) universities play a critical role in the workforce and ensuring sustainable economic growth of UK. Theuniversities have been facing challenges in the recent past that hasresulted to transformation in nature and scope of their mission,governance, production and circulation in relation to the society andeconomy ( Barnet et al., 2009). Most of the problems faced by all theuniversities are similar and not unique to any university. Theproblems delay the development and operation of the universitiesthus, solution to the problems has been the focus of most of theuniversities (Simister , 2011).

Inthe UK today, most universities are in the verge of fighting for thetop position in the university ranking. Higher ranking ensuressecuring global talent, increased market share, and edge competitionin latest innovations, ideas and outsource companies. This has been apressure in most of the UK Universities. The universities rankedlower face problems associated with the ranking. To overcome this,the university seeks to invest in all areas of development to ensurethey remain among the top universities (Piatt, 2010).

Mostof the students have a belief that studying in the highly rankeduniversities pave a direct channel to a good paying job. In the UK,this belief has been spear headed by selective employment of graduateby firms as well as the criteria through which some universitiesselect their students for admission. For instance, the OxfordUniversity only admits students from the privileged background andthus the students from poor background are locked out. In the markettoo, there is prejudice in employment. The social status of thestudents who graduate from the ranked universities are depended onthe university they graduate from.

Theranking of the university brings about education segmentation in theUK. This has added to the misfortune most of the university arefacing as well as what the students are facing. This has led tostudents not being able to get access to higher education and exploretheir potential. In the universities context, university are morefocused to improve their position through research as well as seekingfunding and selective admission of the students. The job marketselective employment also has resulted from the university ranking.Therefore, some of the outputs of some universities are given lesspriority, which results to such universities lacking demand in termsof funding, international students as well as motivation of research( Wu &amp Hammond, 2010).

Incurbingthe ranking problem of university, standardization of theuniversity education and setting up bench marks will help reducedeterioration of education. Standardization of the education willensure that all the universities are equal and none has the advantageover the others. This will also ensure that all the students willhave equal opportunity of joining the university and that the jobmarkets are equally competitive. This standardization as a solutionis not a viable solution as ranking is worldwide and not just in theUK.

Thenumber of students in the UK who are seeking higher education havebeen on the rise recently. This has resulted to build up pressure onthe university to accommodate the students. This increase in studentnumber has built up pressure on the universities resources creatingproblems to universities. To curb this, the government have toprovide funding for the universities so that they can expand theirinfrastructure. The universities seek to increase their revenueincome through increase in the fee paid by the students as well asfrom other sources of investments. This being the possible solution,it is not viable as the government have since reduced its fundallocation to institutions of higher learning (Anon, 2013).

Prestigiousand distinct university in the UK normally attracts outstandingstudents compared to the less prestigious university. This gives theprestigious university an advantage over the others leading to theother university getting students who have low qualification. Thishave effect to the professionals who graduate from such university.Standardization of the university can be an effective strategy toequate the universities and overcome the advantage held by some. Thiswill give opportunity for each student to be admitted to anyuniversity of choice. The university that is considered lessprestigious should be upgraded to meet the standard of all the otheruniversities. This will thus make it equally competitive (Crossick,2009).

Mostof the universities of the UK are still developing and requireinfrastructure. The revenue received from the fees paid by thestudents is not enough to cater for such development thus, requiresthe funding. The funding provided by the government too is notequally enough. The company has to seek external funding for itsdevelopment. This includes the United Nations funding as well ascompanies that benefit from the universities research works. Theuniversity also seeks to increase their revenue by raising the schoolfees as well as increase the number of international students andprivate students who pay more (Anon, 2013).

Theuniversity gets some of its funding from donations. This are providedby philanthropic persons or organisations that considers theuniversity as institution that offers the best brand image. Theuniversity uses the donation in the various institutionaldevelopment. To attract more donation provision of quality productsin terms of the professionals and the research output have been keyto the universities operation (Robertson, 2010).

Mostof the universities face the problem of non-employment of itsgraduates as a result of selective employment by most of theemployers. This is due to the perception by most employer thatstudents from non-prestigious universities are less qualified. Thistoo dictates the number of students that such institutions receivesto be admitted. Most of the students prefer the prestigiousuniversity as they are more preferred by employees. The institutionscan embark on country wide awareness to help curb the negativeperception towards the institution and hence encourage their studentsto be employed (Simister , 2011).

Thesize of the student who are enrolled in a university are most likelyto be proportion to the rate at which it develops. The universitydepends on the revenue it collects from the students to venture intodevelopment. The lower the number the less the revenue collected.Seeking and utilisation of fund for development has also been aproblem for such institutions (Anon, 2013). To overcome this theinstitutions have invested in advertisement to increase the number ofstudents that are admitted. Seeking donations and loans has also beenanother strategy through which it enhances its development. Thestrategy is not very effective as it entails increase theuniversities debt load( Beer, 2012).

Mostof the universities intake are private and take internationalstudents rather than the government sponsored students. Recentlythere has been a pressure on the universities to increase the numberof government sponsored students. This has been due to increase inthe number of students sponsored by the government. To avoid this,the universities sets benchmarks up to which the government sponsoredstudents can be admitted. The students from the state owned highschools are distributed to all the university to reduce pressurebuilding up in specific universities. This has been an effective wayof reducing the pressure ( Barnet et al., 2009).

Conclusion

Universitiesencounter many problems today. This involves development,organisational or student based problems. Most of the universitiesuse similar strategies to curb these problems with some beingeffective while others are not. Clear understanding of the problem iskey to formulating its solution. Increase in the number of studentsseeking higher education has been the main source of the universityproblems

References

Barnet,R., Guedon, J.-C., Masschelein, J., Simons, M., Robertson, S., &ampStandaert, N. (2009). KnowledgeInterests and Knowledge Policies: Rethinking the University in thetwenty first century.Rethinking the University After Bologna,: Antwerpen: UCSIA.

Beer,J. (2012). Key Issues facing UK HEIs. OxfordBrookes University.

Crossick,G. (2009). The future is more than just tommorrow: Higher education,the economy and the longer term. UniversitiesUK,113-117.

focus.(2013). The funding challenge of university. universitiesUK.

Piatt,W. (2010). The challenges facing facing the UK`s world-classuniversities and the importance of diversity. TheRussell Group,31- 47.

Robertson,S. L. (2010). challegesfacing universities in globalising world.Briston: centre of globalisation, education and societies.

Simister, j. (2011). Elitism and meritocracy in UK Universities: the UK NeedsInvestment in its Labour Force. HigherEducation Quarterly,113-144.

Wu,W., &amp Hammond, M. (2010). Challenges of university adjustment inthe UK: a study of east Asian Master`s degree students. Journalof Further and Higher Education,423-438.