UK university
Almost half (48%) of the respondents said reducing fees was a top priorityReuters

UK university undergraduates want lower fees and more teaching hours.

According to research from the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) and Higher Education Academy (HEA), which commissioned YouthSight to question 15,046 full-time students, almost half (48%) of the respondents said reducing fees was a top priority.

Maximum tuition fees of £9,000 ($15,200, €11,117)per year were introduced in 2012, with other universities charging £6,000.

The research also revealed that seven in ten (70%) of undergraduates at Scottish institutions, who typically pay no fees, believe they are receiving good or very good value for money, compared with only 41% in England, where fees are typically £9,000.

"The data suggest growing differences across the UK. Students in Scotland generally think they are getting good value for money," said Nick Hillman, the director of the HEPI.

"Meanwhile, students in England are paying much more but receiving only a little more.

"In this election year, students should press all the political parties to say what they will do to encourage universities to offer world-class teaching alongside their world-class research."

The study also found that the benefits of smaller class sizes are clearly recognised by students.

Almost nine in ten (89%) of students felt they gained "a lot" or "quite a bit" educationally when attending sessions with no other students, with similar levels of positivity for tutorial-sized classes of up to 15 students in which interactive learning is most feasible.

Half (50%) of students experiencing classes of between one and five other students find them "a lot [more]" beneficial, while the figure is only 10% for those with classes of more than 100 students.

"The sector has much to be proud of here in terms of student satisfaction, but it is essential that we work together to address the less positive findings from this report," said Professor Stephanie Marshall, chief executive of the HEA.

"Student engagement is key and support at all levels is vital."