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47% of students ‘consider themselves university customers’

Meanwhile, 80% said personalised advice and support are among the top things they desire from their university.

Nearly half of students would describe themselves as customers of their university, new research suggests.

Some 47% of undergraduates said they believed they are a way for their university to benefit financially, according to survey conducted for Universities UK.

By contrast, only 18% said they would regard themselves as a customer of their secondary school.

According to the ComRes survey, 80% of students said personalised advice and support are among the top things they desire from their university.

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(Chris Radburn/PA)

Meanwhile, 91% of students who said their course is good value for money also said they value their relationship with their university.

Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of Universities UK, said: “What is clear from this survey is that students want a personal relationship with their university, rather than the type of engagement they associate with being a ‘customer’.”

“Following the shift to fees and loans-based funding, value for money has become a high-profile issue in higher education.

“The research shows that students view their relationship with their university as unique, they value a personalised and collaborative relationship, rather than a superficial consumer transaction.”

Ms Dandridge added that although students have clear expectations of their university, “they also expect to shape their own experience”.

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