University sites letting down A-Level students

News Web User Aug 18, 2010

With A-Level results published in the UK on Thursday, many students feel let down by the websites of universities they are trying to get into.

University websites are letting down students trying to find information about continuing their studies, a report has found.

Forty-seven per cent of students rated the university websites they visited as part of researching which course to choose as 'poor' or 'average'.

Just 38 per cent of UK students said the information they found helped to answer their questions, according to the report, which comes as A-Level results are being announced across the UK.

The research was commissioned by software company Transversal, which said that many university websites were "not fit for purpose".

Davin Yap, chief executive of Transversal, said: "In these tough times, it's getting more and more important for universities to compete for students.

"However they appear to be shooting themselves in the foot with websites that are not fit for purpose. Choosing a university is one of the most important decisions anyone can make. Universities need to make sure their websites answer the many questions students have," he continued.

Meanwhile, a separate study from Webcredible has found that many students about to go into further education would like to be able to choose course units and apply for a student loan online, though weren't always able to.

Trenton Moss, director at Webcredible said: "This research shows that many tasks that need to be completed when starting university are considered to be tasks that could be completed online.

"Although some organisations do offer online services for some of these activities, universities and other organisations involved with new students should be attempting the ensure that all of these online needs are catered for," Moss continued.

It is estimated that between 140,000 and 200,000 applicants will miss out on a university place this year. Students that didn't get the grades they needed should visit the Ucas website for advice on what to do next.

The findings of the Transversal report bear some resemblance to this Venn diagram published on the excellent Xkcd website.

Meanwhile the media frenzy surrounding A-Level results day, which always falls during 'silly season' when parliament is not in session, has led a number of commentators to point out that many outlets focus almost exclusively on the results of attractive girls, as illustrated by the Sexy A-Levels blog (warning - colourful language).

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