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Students ‘unprepared for degrees’

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

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

The study, by Cambridge Assessment, is based on an 18-month research programme that included a survey of 633 higher education lecturers and roadshows.

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

Three-fifths said their universities are providing extra “support” classes for under-prepared first-year students, usually focusing on writing and independent learning.

And nearly three-quarters of those questioned said that they have changed their teaching styles for students who are not ready for university study.

 

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