Misleading, even for the Daily Mail !!!!

21 Jan

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I’m always trying to encourage students to read beyond ‘headlines’, and I came across a story this week that’s a perfect illustration of this. University fees in the UK have risen by 300% in the last two years, and as you might imagine this has had a large impact on university recruitment. THis week saw the publication of the final enrolment figures for 2012, which was covered in the Daily Mail with a story headlines ‘Rise in tuition fees leads to 40% drop in university admissions’.

What’s particular wonderful about the Mail’s story is that the second paragraph says “The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (Ucas) revealed that 51,000 fewer students started degree courses last autumn – a fall of 12 per cent – after fees nearly trebled to £9,000 a year“. So the headline says ‘40% drop’ and paragraph two says ‘fall of 12%’. It is not until further into the story that you realise that the ‘40% drop’ referred to in the headline is related only to London Metropolitan University (an institution who’s issues have little to do with the increase in tuition fees). You quite often come across newspaper stories where the headline somewhat oversells the story, but you have to assume this one was deliberately written to mislead !

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