Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Cheap car hire in South West London & other ways of reducing servicing costs

moved to

This year, I own a car as well as sharing one, and feel like a grown-up.

Other people say this about having children. Well, cars are better behaved than children and I make mine work entirely on the rent scene to make money, which is legal for cars but probably not for children.. Here is the proof: a cheap car hire in South West London SW14 8BP near East Sheen, which is a road called Avenue Gardens. If you check the price it's probably cheaper than car hire from a garage- a price in the thirties per day.. Hiyacar's calendar only shows on the smartphone versions of their site but the web version has a search function that knows what day the car is available.

Car club or car hire in South West London, East Sheen, Richmond on Thames
  • There was a link to Easycar but they were like a budget airline to deal-with, and wound-down. Turo of the USA and Drivy Getaround of the US and France can both insure car trips in the UK. If you want this car via Drivy Getaround, just let me know and I'll re-activate the listing for the day you want.
Small 4 door


automatic with fabric seats

built-in radio, bluetooth, and miles per gallon estimate which usually says over 48

split rear seats

similar to a car club with a remote controlled key safe and low daily rates, but no membership fee

As the miles mount-up on my mum's ex-runabout I realize what a careful choice she made in getting one of those three-cylinder Toyota / Peugeot / Citroen 5-door hatchbacks with zero car tax and next to no maintenance. I also realize that other people do a thing called car servicing and I made a list of some of the servicing and MOT prices people pay. If you rent a car, you don't have to bother; there is no catch. If you own a car you have to think of something.

In theory, each car servicing deal deal comes with its own list of points covered, and nearly all of them are "check", as in "check steering gators".  I had to google what steering gators are, but remember from my car maintenance adult education class circa 1988 that there were timing belts to check, timing adjustment to fix at "top dead centre", and spark plugs to sandpaper and bend to the right distance between prongs, using a special booklet of metal sheets at different thicknesses. None of this is mentioned in the prices; it doesn't seem to be needed so much on modern cars, except perhaps as a way of getting money back from a below-price offer by upselling over-priced parts to a customer like new oil or spark plugs or wiper blades. Peugeot dealerships have the price list on a web site and it is several tenners for the smallest thing. Fifty quid to change the dust in the carpet. It's a rip-off.

As I chase bargains I realize that I chase something odd.

Other people chase something odd too. Other people look for the same genie and get caught-out when Servicingstop or Fixter offer MOT and services at less than the cost of collection and delivery that's part of the deal. Then Rogue Traders or the BBC or The Guardian do a report on how mechanics have over-charged for un-necessary work in order to make-up. They would, wouldn't they?  So do Halfords and Kwik-Fit according to threads on moneysavingexpert.

Then I look for mechanics on Dealzippy and Groupon willing to stamp a service document and clear my conscience about safety checks, when all they have done is "check". I think that if the car is well checked, then I can get it done by a mechanic or do a DIY job if it is the sort of thing you see in a Haynes manual. Even the minimum MOT list is mainly "check". A bit like the routine for checking fire extinguishers in which landlords are meant to check that a fire extinguisher has water in it by lifting to check weight, and tick paper; that's all. Or those Portable Appliance Checks that big organisations do on the kettle plug, to say that it has been inspected by a qualified kettle plug inspector.

Most of the car checks are simple and simply mean "look at and tick". This in a private place, without witnesses, and without time to do the job carefully, money to employ the best mechanic, or a video to get proof of doing it. Really, what I'm chasing is a garage with a postal address and a rubber stamp that says "serviced", rather than a mechanic, and even that small overhead costs money. I don't want to pay what it costs, so I scheme about going-in with the car and supplying my own spares and somehow hoping that a mechanic can check the car, pay for a garage building and stamp my MOT and service record for next to nothing while paying commission to Motoreasy or Groupon and maybe even collecting the car. Motoreasy are cheap on MOT but expensive for servicing so I guess that's how they make-up. Maybe the service garages on Groupon can just stamp the service record for what they earn, while repeating the MOT safety check.

The system is not all glum. A lot of people pay about £168 - call it £170 - to an independent garage for MOT and service (according to The Guardian in 2014 quoting whocanfixmycar) plus any vital repairs and parts, and it's too much to pay but there is a living in it for good independent garage mechanics. If you leave your own oil, filter, wiper blade and brake pads in the car they can't over-charge you for using their own if they decide to do the work.

Bookmygarage.com lists prices from independent garages. They don't charge the garage a referral fee for the service - they charge the garage a £170 monthly subscription - so there's less incentive for a garage to get cheapskates for a one-off rip-off and more incentive to try to get repeat customers. They can also put the details online because they loose no referral fee by putting it all in public. But £170 is still an amount of money. For me, it's about eight days' car hire for a car hired two days a week. For a garage that services several cars a month, that's one car's takings used-up just to pay for the listing and they probably pay for other directories and referral agents as well, such as Whocanfixmycar who charge the garage £10 for referral and £60 for listing.

Here is my solution. Suppose someone makes a car pit and stand in a public place, and allows anyone to drive their car onto it and see the steering gators from underneath, maybe in some way that allows them to wobble the wheels to check for looseness, and turn them to check for brake tightness and squeeze the be brake pads to check thin-ness as well as checking of tyre tread for thin-ness. And puts a poster on a wall saying what has to be checked for MOT and servicing. And provides some automated way of logging on to car diagnostic systems to that, quite often, the driver can double-check what they see on dashboard lights against results on some app like Torque or whatever. And allows any checks to be recorded on camera for free in some public archive that renters and buyers can see if they want for free.

The solution would make the checking process record-able and do-able for the cost of the time for someone with the right kind of skills. For about half the population, or something like that.  A lot of skilled people who are rich in money but poor in time would continue to use garages for MOT and servicing, maybe paying for collection and delivery, but those with general skills and middling money and middling free time could do the work themselves. A lot of other people are poor in skill or health. They might have a lot of trouble parking in the right place and using the robots and sticking to the facts, but the public place and the chance of asking passers-by to help or to walk-past and learn as a by-stander would all help - it would be a free first guide to car servicing for any teenager who wanted to study further.

There is a lot of detail to be worked-out. When I google things like "mobile car service trailer", I don't see the thing in my mind; I see a scissor-lift on a trailer, but I am sure the problems are solvable. I suppose that breaking and car tread could be checked by a robot for example. Once the problems are solved, all that is needed is for a Ministry of Transport delegate to sign the MOT for - what price? - £20? £10? Maybe changing the oil for something filtered from the last similar car. That would be a decent service at a decent price.

Oh there is an even simpler system. If the government MOT website did the same as Bookmygarage.com, that would save £170 a month out of your local garages costs, but I am not sure if government ministers and civil servants are the best people to do it.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Emission Zone Consultation

I filled-in the form that says "do you want to pay more tax by being fined for small contraventions?"  At the top it says

Have your say on changes to the
Ultra Low Emission Zone &
Low Emission Zone

There is some evidence here

There is a form here

A lot of people fill-in these forms and write
"yes: I want to be part of a big bossy system without thinking of better options".
Shitbags. Which may sound rude but that's what the people who want more fines and rules and zones think of the typical person who gets fined, and of course they get fined themselves now and then as well because we all do by mistake.

So this is what I wrote on the final "further comments" section:

I am against everything!
I need to write a more careful response based on the headings of your evidence document, but I probably won't, or won't be well informed, so here is something off the cuff.


I think there must be a lot more to be done to trap particles in plant leaves, because I see no new hedges or schemes at all. No honeysuckle, no virginia creeper, nothing. I can't remember the name of the dutch plant developed for the purpose, with a name that's a pun on dope smoking, so I googled and saw that "plants to reduce particle pollution levels the most", "how do trees reduce air pollution", and  "pollution preventing plants" are common searches and guess that there are plenty of expert advisers who could suggest the best possible plants to use as hedges while something is planted anyway, perhaps in pots to remove when a better plant can be found to make a hedge on the central reservation of Edgeware Road or the crash barriers of Westway.


I hoped to see something about the need for safer parks with more wilderness and undergrowth - something that happens at near zero cost. What I see day to day is councils cutting-back undergrowth to prevent gay cruising and suit the tastes of politically active local groups, such as Friends of Barnes Common or Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery (set up under Mayer Rahman). I'm told that Hyde Park has police patrols at night to prevent or reduce cruising after dark, despite the cost to the police budget and the effect of gay cruisers in making parks safer places. I think I saw that the Royal Parks still discourage cycling for no reason at all in some cases as well. Hampstead Heath, run by the City Corporation, has teams of people on public money cutting back the undergrowth to discourage gay cruisers, all paid-for out of our taxes and reduced public services.

So I think there is a need to embarrass and arm-twist councils and the Royal Parks into spending less money on this, promoting wilderness that is good for the environment, and promoting gay cruisers as people who make the streets and parks safer at night.


What scares me is that a visitor or somebody without the internet who is not clued-up will face a big fine by mistake, just for driving an old banger because unable to afford something new.  I think a lot of us have been fined or had a near-miss for driving in the congestion zone by mistake.

I am scared that tired international lorry drivers of travelers or Uber drivers or Hermes delivery people will end-up facing fines, and that the people who can't make a living as mini cab drivers will make even less of a living because of higher costs and difficulty of complying with the system.

I don't have an immediate solution but some kind of first warning system, by which those who broke the rules were given free advice on how to comply with the law, with a possible extra tax on all drivers related to a particular company or customer if
it's believed that that system encourages new drivers to try to use ignorance and poverty as ways of competing more cheaply.

I don't have an immediate response to the types of vehicles allowed to congest, except to say that I don't understand, so that maybe the problem is one of presentation. If the rule where presented as "electric only - and a long list of detailed exceptions", then I might take to it more.

(PS That's one of the scares among other more obvious ones like the zone getting to where I live and me having to pay more.)


I suggest that a lot of the jobs done in central London are pointless. The person who comes to your table at a pub and says "how was your soup?". The person who changes your bed linen in a hotel. The tourist who stays in the hotel without realizing that Cardiff would be cheaper. The visiting head of state, entourage, and police. The culture or sport event like the Olympics (promoted by the Foreign Office to promote Soft Power abroad., as imagined by someone paid more than double the average wage by the Foreign Office, who lives in the home counties when in the UK and does not much use UK public services.)

There is a list of the top 20 degree-awarding colleges by numbers of international students they attract. It's easy to get a number of international students at these colleges in London, I think, and the number is about the same a the number of long distance commuters who commute between regions the UK in or out of the London region. It is a number with the same number of noughts after it. So, a system to encourage international students to go to Lampeter or Coleraine or West Highlands and not the usual boring courses that home students avoid in central London would be good all-round. Maybe the people who promote these courses should co-operate with those from Ireland who do the same thing.

All of these jobs could be discussed more in some way that I don't know off-the-cuff but maybe a series of lectures and discussions or TV programs.


I glanced at the evidence document and saw that the pattern of buying things from China or an intermediate warehouse, rather than from a walk-in chainstore that imports from China or even one that buys from the UK, is likely to lead to more van deliveries over time, with emissions and congestion attached, and so a need for more zones and taxes.

There are different ways of responding to this.


reducing the value of the pound to increase home production

I suggest that the government needs more ways of reducing inflation than simply waiting for the Bank of England to put the exchange rate up (high interest rates leading to high exchange rates) and killing-off UK manufacturing. The effect is for more people in the UK to seek service jobs that are traditionally based in the south, London, Edinburgh, and not the North East or Gwent. So I think it is in Londoner's interest for more ways to be found of reducing inflation when the Monetary Policy Committee thinks there is a danger of it. The job is to un-pick their reasoning, encourage debate, and put to the problem to the public as part of that debate. Oddly enough, some of the economics courses that attract international students to the centre of London are no good at that. That's why the LSE is the second least popular degree-awarding institution on the Guardian University Guide's list by student feedback, second only to University of the Arts.


promoting services like click and collect

I suggest that the regional government of any over-crowded city should try to advertise click-and-collect services at local newsagents and such, as a way to prevent people expecting a delivery at home when they might not be in, so that someone on low wages has to keep driving round and ringing door bells.

That's all I can think of off the cuff.

Monday, 12 February 2018


London Economic Development Strategy consultation -

(including the Cultural & Education District (CED))
The Mayor's Budget ... is now open for consultation until Thursday, 12 January 2017.Please email your responses to: GLAbudget a t london.gov.uk My response was an earlier, shorter draft of this page - https://archive.is/zFYd6 ,

two responses
1. how to get more self-critical lobby documents,
2. reconsider the partners for the cultural and education district, currently London College of Fashion, University College London and Saddlers Wells.

1. Introductory quotes in the Greater London Authority budget: response with
a suggestion down the page.

At the same time, I am determined to help London’s future economy grow and create new jobs and opportunities for Londoners.

That is why I am investing in skills, and supporting new and innovative businesses to invest in London.

In addition, I will continue to invest in London’s cultural and creative offering, and in particular the Cultural and Educational District (CED) in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Mayors tend to shake a lot of hands and maintain a high media profile. And represent the public to just a few public services, such as regional transport. So any Mayor of any big town will end-up on a round of meetings and activities about the less factual, more lobby-related things. I don't know which Mayors personally make many decisions and which rely more on their officials, but each Mayor certainly nods when decisions are whisked-past at "meetings with senior officials" days or "briefing" in the diary - a diary which is now published for the London Mayor:
https://www.london.gov.uk/about-us/governance-and-spending/sharing-our-information/publication-scheme/mayor-londons-diary and a similar format here

The harder any Mayor works, the worse the result can be because nobody lobbies for the obvious.

Mayors want to do something about obvious crowding problems like
    • high rising housing costs as a proportion of earnings.
    • long commutes,
    • pollution,
    • rough sleeping, sofa-surfing, lack of B&Bs or landlords who take housing benefit, silting-up of hostels, lack of social housing, etc
    • retention of staff in social services or emergency services.
      But the conventional wisdom of people who have meetings is to favor something. Arts, tourism, inward investment, higher education, sport, fashion (whatever that is), and particular institutions involved. The meetings are not blatantly to bribe or even to lobby, but they put the Mayor face-to-face with a bunch of people and under pressure to understand their concerns and the great benefit that trade / institution A B or C does for taxpayers and voters, often acknowledged in a speech and sometimes regretted in hindsight. Gordon Brown did this kind of thing for Lehman Brothers. I am sure that politicians have done it for the National Tennis Academy. So I have rather cynically called people "lobbyists" on this round of meetings that each Mayor attends.

      Each lobby group wants to crowd more people into town. None puts a price on crowding or crowding-out. Instead they have slick-looking dossiers of figures to say that "Fashion contributes £26 billion to the UK economy", or "International students contribute £26 billion to the UK economy". These phrases find their way into Mayor's briefings.

      Nobody invites the Mayor to a media event to talk about Housing Benefit, or Income Support, or the basic insurance-like services which are depleted with each extra piece of spending on Tennis or Dance.

      Nobody invites the Mayor to a media event to talk about over-crowding, and how to lower the profile of London as a destination, reduce tourism, reduce international study, reduce inward investment, reduce un-necessary jobs, making way for housing or workshops or social care.

      The harder a Mayor works to help these lobbyists, the more damage is done.

      Suggestion: the GLA London Mayor should get more self-critical lobby dossiers, and consider them more critically. Here's how.

      • hire critically-minded economists at GLA economics
      • guarantee them independence to state their opinions direct to the public and tell the public how to check facts on any statements received by the Mayor; I don't know how. Something like the Monetary Policy Committee
      • promise to put any economic lobby dossiers to them for comment, and put the documents to the public for comment at the same time
      • ask the public to point out any sentences designed to deceive. Journalists might respond. Any phrase like "world class" would risk ridicule in the tabloids before a mayor had to read it, and so after a while the Mayor would get better documents.
      With luck, the mayor could stay in bed and good self-critical ideas would be pushed under his or her door, without phrases like "world class" in them.

      For example the Mayor's budget states that four of the world's top four universities are in London, such as London School of Economics (LSE), and I am sure that their web sites agree. But LSE students on their economics degree give it the worst student feedback of any economics degree at any of the 83 institutions offering economics degrees in the UK. Bottom, according to Unistats. It is a degree with two years of someone's choice of theory followed by one year of application, with the option to study Game Theory but no option to study how to fund the NHS for the next fifty years. I pick this example because I did an economics course years ago, but I am sure there are a lot of example of unpopular institutions presenting themselves to the mayor as popular institutions.

      Any Mayor needs a way to avoid the tiring round of engagements with groups who lure-in to a conventional wisdom and say things like "top university" instead of "bottom university" or "popular" instead of "unpopular", or "world class" and "international student", whatever they mean. Any Mayor would do better to stay in bed and have better, more self-critical information provided by institutions and pushed under the door.

      I have a link to Unistats data about London School of Economics somewhere here:

      I think the same kinds of points could be made about any of the consultations that the Mayor does, so I will concentrate mainly on the Queen Elizabeth Park project.

      2. Response about Cultural & Education District, Queen Elizabeth Park
      Suggestion: the Greater London Authority should scale it down and look for popular colleges to work with instead of the chosen ones - London College of Fashion and UCL

      University College London, University of the Arts' London College of Fashion, and Saddlers Wells dance company are to share a very expensive new development near the Olympic site. I have not followed the story...

      Any 18 year-old who looks for higher education courses will know tables like this,  mainly the ones that compare by course title. This is from The Guardian University Guide, first table quoting all the combined courses at each college, sorted by "satisfied with course" worst first . Expand the image or search yourself on Guardian University Guide if you want a closer look.

      University of the Arts scores least for student satisfaction among degree awarding colleges

      (University College London is more middling, with 84.2% satisfied with the courses and 86.0% with teaching)

      I suggest trying to attract the colleges with best student feedback and best chance of creating jobs, which are probably midlands colleges and probably have less staff time and money to bid, or discuss, or build. A more modest, low-risk idea like using some existing buildings would be much more likely to attract them, as would a promise to deal only with the colleges that students like, and to cap the cost of bidding and discussing.

      I think the method of choosing UCL and London College of Fashion should be published, cancelled, and that a more rational method of choosing colleges should be found and consulted-on.

      If there is no way to scale-down the project and exclude London College of Fashion, maybe it would agree to be taken-over by another college with a different management and no Nike connections as part of the scheme.

      London College of Fashion : the charge sheet.

      University of the Arts and UCL make a lot of money because they provide courses with bad student feedback, as you can see on the table above. When a big famous city-centre institution has an unpopular course, the places still fill because international students who don't check Unistats take the places, and those from outside the EU pay about double the fee, so the college makes a lot of money. That's why these two colleges can afford staff to lobby and to apply for grants and suggest grand development deals and provide PR to make themselves sound like the best colleges, when the table shows one of them as the worst college for student satisfaction and just a shade better for graduate employment.

      To read "London College of Fashion" as part of a scheme to promote UK employment around East London is a bit like reading about grants to Kids Company or contracts to Carillion; they have form.
      • London College of Fashion graduates have mediocre to bad employment prospects.
      • London College of Fashion students give lowest marks to their college for satisfaction
      • London College of Fashion's knowledge transfer partnership scheme is used to promote a course: "we don't do bespoke", the person told me; "I'll let you know".
      • London College of Fashion provided office space and helped claim grants with a company called Creative Connexions, designed to introduce UK designers and manufacturers to Chinese or Indian rivals. It was borne of  political initiatives and received 80% of the Higher Education Funding Council's budget for special projects in the first year or two. So UK taxpayers had to pay to put themselves out of work, just as UK students had to watch their government funding be sent to China. Creative Connexions and other LCF offices like Own-IT and UAL Ventures did a seminar called "making it ethically in China" in Manchester, just up the road from JJ Blackledge wallet manufacturers who went bust that weekend for lack of support in the home market. So, if London College of Fashion had never existed, there might still be a wallet manufacturer with all its automation called JJ Blackledge providing good jobs in Manchester.
      • London College of Fashion did another bit of government business a few years ago, with Department for International Development in some rather boundary-less cross-departmental scheme that will never be accountable, leading to a web site that still warns people not to buy British made products on ethical grounds, and, at its peak, got huge amounts of column inches for its idea of "ethical fashion", meaning whatever they wanted it to mean and not fashion made in the UK, at a time when I could list the particular UK clothing and footwear manufacturers that were closing. 
      • There is a fishy relationship to Nike, who sponsor the department at LCF.
        One director at Ethical Fashion Forum happened to be Nike's freelance consultant who vets ethical compliance reports sent to Nike from their contractors in the far east. A "highly regarded independent consultant on ethical trading, fair trade and corporate social responsibility" , according to the PR that went-out in the name of Ethical Fashion Forum. She did this interview for example.

        Adam Vaughan, journalist:

        "If we can generally guess what the problems are, can we shop by country, picking good ones and bad ones? Usually you can see where a product was made."

        Clare Lissaman,

        Nike consultant with government funding to promote Ethical Fashion Forum

        "I don't think you can compare countries. You're just as likely to have a sweatshop down the road here in London in the east end as you are in China, India or Bangladesh. One of the best factories I've come across in the world was in China. One of the worst factories I've come across in the world was in China."

        I think this is odd, because sweatshop employees in London have access to benefits including a health service and a functioning legal system with an emphasis on individual rights, so it is clearly not true that a factory in China is the same as one in London, and consumers should know the difference; London College of Fashion has helped divert London taxpayers' money into a scheme for reducing London employment and promoting Chinese employment at Nike factories.
      • Nike's sponsored department acts as "secretariat" to the All Party Group for Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion, set-up by another consultant who had been nominated for peerage by someone at the Greater London Authority. There was another all party group on clothing, but this new one is a rival. It's fishy isn't it?

      I made separate suggestions  a few years ago for improving the way London Fashion Week might help. and can repeat them if asked - just email

      John Robertson
      2 Avenue Gds, London SW14 8BP
      shop a t veganline d o t com
      responding to a GLA request for comment on the Mayor's budget

      Just today I heard that the education secretary wants to tweak the maximums that colleges are allowed to charge for fees, maybe allowing more for engineering and dentistry and (not reported but possible) less for English Literature or Law which are much cheaper to teach at the usual staff ratios.  If this is unpopular, I don't see any choice but for her to follow-through, because there are so many more degree-awarding adult education colleges and so many of them can simply not teach engineering or dentistry or mechanical engineering, leaving the traditional courses short of cash.

      Tuesday, 16 January 2018

      international student course satisfaction

      International students take economics courses with the

      • worst student feedback in the UK and in the
      • most expensive parts, so these
      • courses make most money because non-EU students pay double fees.

      I wrote a long set of notes for a government consultation  overlapping with this page, but this one starts with a table of evidence. Click on the number under "degree" for each college to see student satisfaction on Unistats about each course.

      Statements like "International Students contribute £X &Y jobs to the UK economy" are based on work by Oxford Economics or London Economics who work for corporate clients like Universities UK; they are not paid to be impartial.  
      Bit.ly/reportmethods is a link to Oxford Economics' methods.  They do not count the costs of a more over-crowded city, nor of colleges like London College of Fashion which actively hinder the UK manufacturing economy while claiming taxpayer grants for the work. This page doesn't mention the Oxford Economics report, but does give examples about the London College of Fashion. Another post suggests they shouldn't help with the Cultural & Education District at Queen Elizabeth Park.

      see "footnote on sources" below. The number of international students in the first column links to the unistats page for that college's degree course, with student satisfaction reports for things like "course is intellectually stimulating" that add-up to student satisfaction scores.
      The final column is a Complete University Guide rank, by student feedback score, of each institution out of 83 recent providers of economics degree courses. It exaggerates differences between courses with similar feedback, but clarifies the point that most of these are the worst courses. The Guardian University Guide gives about the same result.
      The other columns are examples of detail.

      About half the students who fill-in a national student survey are simply trying to be loyal and polite, so scores below 50% are rare. Students tick boxes on an "agree ... disagree" scale to survey questions.
      "The course is intellectually stimulating", or worth study at all.
      "Staff made the subject interesting", or made the best of it. Central London courses are probably taught by staff who have done long commutes to get to work.
      "Opportunity to apply what I had learned". A course in economics without application is clearly pointless. Apart from anything else, you can't tell which theories are worth study until you need to apply them. And I mention a shoe-making course in which 29% of students thought they'd get to apply the skill more than they did.
      Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, and LSE were reported in news articles above with a £9,000 lobotomy theme, but I see no degree for Glasgow or Edinburgh, so there is a gap. I have put data from a financial statistics course in the list for Imperial.

      A gap could mean that a college closed its course. Smaller and regional colleges, with fewer international students, sometimes re-define and re-title their courses to avoid the bad feedback that a previous version of the course had, I guessed when writing a star courses post about the worst-reviewed courses a few years ago.

      Top 20 largest recruiters of international students 2015-16

      most mainstream economics degree - click the number under "degree" to see student feedback stats
                          overseas students      national student survey of all students
                          degree   grad.  total  stimulated interested applied satisfied (1-83)   
      UCL                 7,860    7,115  14,975 72%        92%        65%      79 / 83

      Uni of Manchester   5,950    6,970  12,920 74%        76%        59%      78 / 83 protests
      Uni of Edinburgh    5,085    5,695  10,780                                81 / 83 no degree
      Kings College       4,115    4,785   8,900   ?          ?          ?      70 / 83 new course

      Uni of Sheffield    4,595    3,930   8,525 64%        81%        74%      40 / 83       
      Uni of Warwick      4,520    3,920   8,440 80%        89%        77%      64 / 83  
      Imperial College    4,550    3,970   8,520 45%        62%             
                  see notes
      Uni of Oxford       5,760    2,300   8,060   ?          ?          ?              PPE Ec/Hist
      LSE                 4,635    2,280   6,915 60%        74%        52%      83 / 83
      Uni of Birmingham   4,670    2,945   7,615 66%        81%        58%      45 / 83
      City, Uni of L      4,320    3,180   7,500 57%        82%        52%      60 / 83

      Uni of Southampton  4,050    3,175   7,225 66%        83%        52%      72 / 83
      Uni of Glasgow      3,845    3,790   7,635                                        no degree
      Coventry Uni        3,540    6,175   9,715 93%        100        98%       5 / 83
      Uni of Nottingham   3,170    4,070   7,240 79%        81%        75%       6 / 83
      Cardiff Uni         3,285    3,825   7,110 46%        69%        52%      73 / 83

      Uni of Leeds        3,825    2,760   6,585 89%        92%        77%      38 / 83
      Uni of Liverpool    2,075    5,235   7,310 71%        78%        62%      56 / 83
      Uni of the Arts,    2,035    6,425   8,460 50%        62%        71%       3 /  3 Footwear

      Non London
      London                              55,270

      Complete University Guide combines all measures of student satisfaction, including non-academic, to rank 83 universities teaching economics degrees

      theguardian.com/education/universityguide  lists Univerity of the Arts as having the worst student feedback of any university across all courses. knocking London School of Economics off bottom place.

      University of the arts is 73rd  out of 81 for satisfaction in "art and design" and 3rd out of three for "footwear"

      The second column links to a unistats page for each institution from which satisfaction levels for stimulated / interested / applied are drawn.

      Cardiff' Economics Professor Patrick Minford wrote that "we would mostly eliminate manufacturing.... But this shouldn’t scare us". His students would rather eliminate his course. which has a 46% stimulating syllabus - the lowest. Imperial's Financial Statistics score one point worse, as financial stats courses tend to do.
      University of Liverpool also teaches a Business Economics degree which scores in the mid 50s for student feedback.

      International students per institution are quoted from the Complete University Guide.  A footnote links to any free available data about the proportion of international students at each college from the Higher Education Statistics Agency. Breakdown by course is not offered.

      Reasons for picking economics and fashion / footwear courses.:

      I comment on University of the Arts Fashion courses and the footwear example because they are close to something I know about.
      I comment on Economics degrees next because I did an economics degree.
      I haven't worked out a broader picture of subjects I know nothing about.
      I haven't worked-out how to link student satisfaction with the proportion of international students on every UK university course, and these two linked to rent levels
      There's a footnote about what data is available for free: you could probably do a lot better than me if you are deft with spreadsheets, but the information by course and international student proportion is not available for free. You could try asking on Whatdotheyknow.com as a freedom of information request maybe.

      This Guardian article shows me how little I know about the subject, except my own particular background which would take too long to explain.


      London College of Fashion, University of the Arts
      - scores 73 / 81 for art & design subjects, 3 / 3 for footwear, 
      - diverted Higher Education Funding council money from knowledge transfer partnerships in the UK to factories in China.
      - acts as "secretariat" to a group in the House of Lords
      - gets funding from Nike
      - gets funding from each London Mayor to show Chinese-made fashion, reducing airtime and column-inches for UK-made products (as part of the preparation for London Fashion Week, shared with other fashion colleges).
      - attracts unhappy students to the most crowded expensive part of London
      - charges £17,500 a year tuition fee to overseas students

      A separate problem is University of the Arts, London College of Fashion, which is in the wrong place - central London. Clothing and footwear manufacturers are often in small towns - typically in the midlands - or sometimes North and East London. There are inner-city ones in Manchester Leicester and Northamptonshire.

      I would like a London fashion college to do a few things which it does not do.
      • quantitative data about clothing and footwear manufacturing
        I would like to compile a complete list of clothing and footwear manufacturers, based on income tax and VAT data, maybe with help from government because tax data is exempt from freedom of information requests under the revenue and customs act. London's British Fashion Council, like London College of Fashion, publish no such list. If asked at a public event, their staff will say something like "personal recommendation is the best way to find a factory", and talk about "sampling", which is the same as manufacturing but more expensive. Lists like "Lets Make it Here", sponsored by the Department for Business, are opt-in lists which manufacturers are expected to discover and sign-up for.

        This is relevant to migration. I imagine that migrants with English as a second language and craft skills want to be part of manufacturing industry, rather than doing customer service jobs. There was some evidence that I don't have to hand about the huge number of people in Tower Hamlets who wrote manufacturing trades like sewing machinist on visits to the jobcentre or when claiming benefits.  

        This is relevant to economic estimates of how money trickles-through the UK economy and whether it turns into good jobs or tax revenue. Oxford Economics' "Value of Fashion" report finds no recent input-output data to estimate how the money trickles-round the UK economy, and uses 1998 data about footwear factories to try to estimate how things like the wages of British Home Store staff might be spent on UK footwear. I happen to have a list of UK footwear manufacturers from 1998 and more than half of them are crossed-out with a closing date, after the exchange-rate regime made life impossible for them in the 1980s and 1990s. So the data that leads to statements like "Fashion contributes X billion to the UK economy", is flawed data. The report is also written very much to please the client, I think. Not the taxpayer who pays British Fashion Council, but the clique of politicians and appointed staff who organise British Fashion Council. So rather some other assumptions are made. "Fashion" is a slippery word. It can mean fashioning or choosing a fashion. Oxford economics chooses clothing and footwear retail of far-eastern products through chain-stores like British Home Store or Primark as the biggest part of their word "fashion", and estimate huge benefits about, say British Home Stores tax contribution, which we now know to be untrue because the taxpayer had to bail-out the staff pension.
      • I would like the college, or someone, to encourage shared work spaces available by the hour for lasting of footwear or cutting of uppers, so that Londoners could try making shoes, but the college has not done that in an affordable way. There are some odd things that other people have done, but nothing from London College of Fashion itself. However there is money from private sponsors and central governments Higher Education Funding Council that might be spent on this. It is diverted 
      • Run courses for Londoners who want to fashion things, as the name of their college suggests. That would include cheap short courses in how to sew or do accounts without an accountant, working-up to career courses in pattern cutting, machine maintenance and improvisation, and manufacturing. You would expect them to use government money for knowledge transfer partnerships as the name suggests, but the person they employ for that has no fashion experience outside the college and uses the scheme to promote a course.

      London College of Fashion have a history of closing technical courses, I have noticed over the years as I glance at the footwear courses they inherited from Cordwainers College. I went on a short evening class and found it over-priced and un-supported by anything like a maker-lab for London business or a Knowledge Transfer Partnership or even access to the library for ex-students or for people in the industry. The administration appeared to be deliberately bad at describing it to students in an attempt to run it down, and they succeeded; the second part of the course usually didn't run, I was told, for lack of applicants. A remaining footwear course - the first on their list is a full time degree - is ranked third out of three in the UK for student satisfaction and all London College of Fashion courses are ranked 73 / 81 for art and design, sharing the bottom of the league table with some other recruiters of overseas students, Glasgow and Edinburgh Universities.

      I think that a survey of students and graduates from London college of Fashion would show that they can study dress design without being well qualified in pattern cutting, or dress manufacturing, or web design and sales. Even if they are good at finding manufactures to work with, they still have to find a way to sell clothes.

      If University of the Arts' London College of Fashion was interested in helping UK-based students begin manufacturing, it would host maker-spaces for people to start manufacturing, and short courses for people in the industry already. I see no sign of that. It does not even allow local manufacturers to use the library, unless they ask for an invite with a maximum of one invitation per day. There is someone there for knowledge Transfer Partnerships, but he has a background in film and says "we don't do bespoke"; he seems to use the system to promote a course rather than help businesses.
      University of the Arts is also a lobby group, a major receiver of government grants, and a rather covert political organisation. It has several spin-off organisations, so outsiders find it hard to know where the boundaries of the organisation are and how much it overlaps, for example, with British Fashion Council or, in the past, with the London Development Agency or the All Party Group for Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion. Sometimes the boundaries are confusing to people who work there. A PR agent for London College of Fashion was at a Department for Business consultation about export promotion. She said it would be great to have the kind of money given for the Asiana Design For Life project in Kenya - there was a lot of of government money for that - but she didn't know which part of government it came from. I guess it was the Department for International Development. Another project was a series of seminars called "Making it Ethically in China", advertised on the college website with badges from "Own-it", "UAL Ventures", "Creative Connexions" and "London Development Agency". I did a freedom of information request to London Development Agency to ask why their badge was on it and the reply was that they didn't really know; maybe it was a mistake.

      The Centre for Sustainable Fashion, a college department which acts as "secretariat" to the all party group, lists a rather frightening list of sponsors and successes in obtaining grants from taxpayers
      http://sustainable-fashion.com/about/funding-and-partners/ If these have a pure motive for paying professors, then it is a pity that London-based manufacturers and sewers and sellers cannot have the benefit; the project is a cuckoo for funding. If these funders have a mixed motive for paying professors, I guess it is to remove the interests of UK manufactuers from the discussion and to insert other discussion points like whether a piece of clothing can go in the compost bin, or whether the long supply chain can be audited, or whether the audited factory might be just slightly better than an un-audited factory next door in Bangladesh or one that fails the audit.

      The party line (I argue on other web sites) is pro-globalisation, anti-welfare state, and anti UK manufacturing. It was founded by someone recommended for the House of Lords by a former Mayor of London.

      There is also a party rhetoric - a series of presentational tricks - originally worked-out by Futerra Communications and pushed via an organisation called Ethical Fashion Forum.
      http://veganline.com/fair-fashion.htm#ethical-fashion explains in detail how the presentational tricks work.

      London College of Fashion is also good at getting endorsements from London mayors, who authorise spending on London Fashion Week. This is the latest one in an interview with Vogue, doubtless placed by a PR and lobby group. The odd thing is that Khan does not seem to have read unistats reports about London College of Fashion, even though I sent them to him. He also thinks that people coming to London, reducing space for other things, is good, which is not what property prices, homelessness, and transport over-crowding suggest. He also uses a cliche - state of the art - suggesting that he has been primed to give a certain answer.

      VOGUE. London is home to some of the best fashion schools in the world, many of which are oversubscribed - what will you do to address this?
      SK: It's great that so many people want to come to London to study fashion. We are blessed with some of the world's most famous institutions like the London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martins. I always love visiting the University of the Arts. But being popular brings with it its own challenges - and to cope with that, we need to support our fashion schools to expand. The mayor can help with this - from sourcing land, to supporting them through the planning process and making sure that in large developments we find space for new state-of-the-art premises. The fashion industry will have a friend and ally in me at City Hall.

      Khan declares no corporate sponsorship, so I imagine he hopes for public benefit and perhaps a bit of publicity rather than money by being a "friend and ally" of Chinese fashion manufacturing promoted at London Fashion Week and bad courses in overcrowded places. He doesn't mention the people who would have got press coverage for making products in the UK if London Fsahion Week was not subsidised to promote products made in the far east and China.

      It seems odd that an institution called "University of the Arts" incorporating London College of Printing Communication, St Martens College of Art, London College of Fashion, and footwear courses taken-over from Cordwainers College, should be on the same list as red brick universities teaching economics. But they say they share a "big picture", and I guess this is a picture of markets in very efficient equilibrium, un-troubled by issues of like whether a country has an NHS or girls secondary schools or unemployment pay, untroubled by human rights, and so keen that products should be bought at the cheapest place this market suggests, which one of their lectures says used to be Canton near the coast but moves further and further inland as wages rise. (The video is no longer online but we taxpayers paid for it to be made by Own-It and London College of Fashion, who are both the same thing, and showed a fashion graduate who sold fur products, initially made in the UK but, she said, paid for with various special knacks to make that profitable before she took her business to China). 

      University of the Arts was lead contractor with various red brick London Universities to the Higher Education Funding Council money to put UK designers and manufacturers in front of Chinese and far-eastern manufactures, in hope of benefiting both sides. They got the grant. It was called "Creative Connexions" and ran for a few years from 2005 onwards in hope of future commercial continuation.. This is a quote from the funding bid.
      "Key Project Partners
      The core partnership is strategically complementary and has a track record of designing, managing and delivering on major publicly funded projects including large--scale research projects and knowledge transfer under HEIF 2. It brings together
      University of the Arts London (the lead partner)
      LBS [presumably London Business School]
      School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)
      Kings College London
      Centre for Creative Business (a UAL/ LBS joint venture)

      The partnership features universities recognised as leading UK institutions with 5/5*research grades, which through well established networks are already very active internationally in student recruitment, course delivery and knowledge transfer. The partners are well known to each other, have very good working relationships and share the ‘big picture’ with respect to their strategic international development." - funding bid for Higher Education Funding by University of the Arts

      The funding bid shows how these institutions are known to government departments and each other from their shared recruitment work, and how they do it. They make irrelevant statements, such as research intensity which is not very relevant to undergraduate courses, and they make misleading statements such as "recognised as leading", for courses at the bottom of league tables for student satisfaction. So I suggest that some method of making them write more clearly to prospective students and funders would be a good thing.

      I believe that London College of Fashion and its associated companies help UK industry and taxpayers as a Cuckoo chick helps the other chicks. It begs for grants and government help with an enormous beak, which I imagine is a PR department and I know succeeds alongside Greater London Authority's London Fashion Week and associated Graduate Fashion Week, and Fashion Scout, and UAL Ventures Ltd (standing for University of the Arts) which ran Creative Connexions to promote Chinese manufacturing in the UK. Another UAL Venture was a group of seminars called "Making it ethically in China".

      I don't know if Cuckoo chicks attack other chicks in the nest or just crowd them out like this - a conversation between a journalist and a Nike contractor described as an ethical fashion expert and working with a trade association that gets taxpayer subsidy. I do know that London College of Fashion tutors make similar points to the Nike consultant here:

      Adam Vaughan, journalist:

      "If we can generally guess what the problems are, can we shop by country, picking good ones and bad ones? Usually you can see where a product was made."

      Clare Lissaman, Nike consultant who got the interview because of UK taxpayer support for Futerra Communications' "Ethical Fashion Forum".

      "I don't think you can compare countries. You're just as likely to have a sweatshop down the road here in London in the east end as you are in China, India or Bangladesh. One of the best factories I've come across in the world was in China. One of the worst factories I've come across in the world was in China."
      I single-out London College of Fashion because it does so much to damage UK manufacturing and crowd-out press coverage of UK manufacturers, but there are other bad art and design courses too at the bottom of the Guardian league table, and they are also colleges with a lot of international students: Edinburgh and Glasgow.

      Economics courses that are a danger to the economy because some people take them seriously

      You can read a detailed 2013 report about Mancherster Uni's "unlearning"
      or more generally...



      ... and find that these are largely a set of cheap-to-teach short courses based on wrote-learning; only 11 out of 48 options at Manchester mentioned the word "critical" in their descriptions, and few other universities are much better. Even the protest group regards teaching of theories-before-application as normal - they just want more different theories. The idea of starting with a factual problem, and for students to make-up their own theories or pick-out the most useful, is not mentioned. University College London says it's starting the system; maybe results haven't shown-up in the student satisfaction scores yet.

      Standard in my English degree, when I studied English and Economics at Keele, but not in Economics. Standard in a thing called Nuffield Physica A level that I did at the start of the 80s, but again not in Economics.

      Here are some problems with economics teaching.

      • The lack of public administration on the economics syllabus relates to the idea of UK economics graduates becoming "ambassadors" for Britain; they become ambassadors for the country in the textbook, which is more like Bangladesh with its sweatshops. I don't see this point made anywhere else than here.
      • The problem of wrong theory taught and
      • without critical thinking is mentioned in the guardian and BBC reports, with Manchester as an example. My own experience in the 1980s was not much better.
      • Theory not applied - a problem noted from unistats scores which I quote below. 
      • It's often done in high-rent areas, particularly central London, with the effect of increasing rents and transport over-crowding.
        Other common features of the colleges that have large numbers of international students are my own impression . (I wrote another blog post about low-scoring degree courses called "star courses" a few years ago)

      public administration not mentioned in economics courses

      Economics courses include macro-economics. Macro-economics courses do not normally mention half of the economy, that runs insurance-like services which people use at some points in their lives and pay for through their working lives. There is no discussion of why these industries tend to end-up funded from tax or compulsory insurance payments in Europe, and what happens in countries with much less public service like Bangladesh (the answer is that they have vast families in hope of family support). Instead, if you study the history of economics teaching, or if you had a 1950s McArthy-era American teaching you face to face, you discover that macro-economics teaching alarmed college sponsors in 1950s America. They boycotted the first textbook that mentioned Keynesian demand management during the 1930s recession. Eventually it got on the syllabus, but compulsory national insurance didn't; that was a step too far for republicans, and there are misleading definitions of "public goods" and "merit goods" taught instead. So economics graduates are not ambassadors for the UK when they move away; they are ambassadors for 1950s America, and likely to retain sweatshops in places like Bangladesh that put people in the UK out of work.

      Wrong theory

      Evidence for damage to the economy is obvious - the Queen asked LSE lecturers why none of their theories predicted the banking crash and got no answer. There are some other points.

      Uncritical thinking

      Critical thinking is needed everywhere. It's vital. But the minister's letter to the migration advisory committee is full of cliches and conventional wisdom held by lobby groups, suggesting, I think, a lack of critical thinking. In contrast, a Department for Business report on international students found that the expectation of critical thinking was something that attracted them to study in the UK. There is also a web page by the University and College Union which graphs the average staff student ratio in higher education colleges in similar countries to the UK, and puts the ratio at about highest or lowest (highest students to lowest staff) in the UK. I guess this is important if someone is going to take the time to write "this is an unexpected opinion but..." on an essay, or hold a tutorial group, or remember a students' name in that tutorial group.

      theory not applied

      Economics or finance-related courses are common choices for international students, but it's hard to imagine any course like that being useful if not applied, and the courses score badly for that. So when a statement is made like "contributes X jobs to the UK economy", there are not many people with the skills to apply the maths and the stats and refute the statement. When I check the current University College London page for economics https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/undergraduate/degrees/economics-bsc-econ/ .. it states that "The department's fundamental premise is that students should learn how to do economics themselves, rather than just learn how the academic staff or other economists do it.", so there is a chance that student feedback scores will get better soon as this new system sounds good. I also read that overseas students are charged £20,000 a year, I guess just for tuition and lectures, so the economic theory of how UCL digests these huge amounts of money is probably not taught.

      common features of colleges with high numbers of international undergraduates

      The same list  of colleges / quangos / grant artists / cuckoos / bureaucracies / institutions / corporations have bad student feedback on unistats for their economics courses, which is no surprise given the syllabus I read on the University College London web site for economics: it is not fit for purpose. So I think that success at filling places with overseas students masks failure to provide a good economics course to any student. I pick economics because it is a course I studied myself. It is also a marmite course: when you dislike it, you know that you dislike it. I pick overseas students because the consultation picked that group. It's interested in population in places like central London or Oxford where there are a lot of people, but the market failure in selling economics courses is the same for students who...
      • look at the college more than the course when applying
      • have no idea of the ratio of teaching staff to students on their course, or even whether it runs tutorials and how many people are on each one. This data doesn't get listed on Unistats for some reason
      • are impressed by research intensity which doesn't improve their degree course
      • mistakenly think their degree is a trade qualification, or
      • read words like "vibe" and "buzz" on college prospectuses and think they'll get it on a Monday morning in rush-hour in a town centre. I'm thinking of a London College of Fashion prospectus I read in about 2005, which hardly mentioned the syllabus at all and didn't mention the staff ratio.
      The consultation briefing paper notes that Indian students numbers are falling off; maybe they've learned to read the Unistats scores.

      Jottings and ideas about economics degrees done by international students

      Most of the colleges are ones which were well-known 50 years ago. If they were hotels, they would be called "The Grand". Most are in city centres - mainly London - where 55,700 extra people extra people crowd-out other housing, transport users and businesses. Oxford is just as expensive. I suspect that Unistats no longer quotes housing costs next to each course as it used to - or maybe I've missed the link or it's on another web site,  but it's another point which overseas students miss. Most colleges on the list are proud of their research record, suggesting that they are more interested in paid research, consultancy, and postgraduate teaching than degrees - except as a source of revenue.

      No course: Edinburgh, Glasgow would rather stop teaching economics than teach properly

      The first two were mentioned in a Guardian report alongside Manchester and LSE as teaching courses so bad that students wanted to protest. One of them - probably Glasgow - assigned all first year teaching to the online robots that come with the textbooks and will mark test results. Students called the year a "£9,000 lobotomy". Now it looks as though the colleges and existing staff would rather give-up teaching economics degrees at all than run them properly. A year or two ago I did check student feedback for the degree courses, which existed then, and found the feedback bad. 

      Economics degrees at University of Newcastle

      Newcastle University has some of the lowest unistats feedback scores, probably for running a discredited "BSc" economics degree. In its favor, I guess that rents around Newcastle are low because of economic mismanagement by UK governments over the years, which I doubt the course mentions. 47% of students thought that staff made the subject interesting, and only 50% thought the course allowed them to apply what they had learned, so calling it a science is a bit odd. I mean: in Biology you look at biological things with microscopes and rulers as well as learning someone's theory, don't you? You don't just learn wrong theory and get told you'll have to do a postgraduate course to learn what a real dandelion looks like.

      Coventry University economics degree course looks popular - an exception

      An exception to the pattern of bad feedback is Coventry University, which has a high proportion of overseas students and gets good student feedback for its economics course.

      Notes for a response

      The gist of a response is that it is bad to rip-off economics students, particularly those from a long way away who haven't checked the course and the student feedback. A second point in the response is that there is no benefit to luring people into very expensive town centres - not for them or from other people in the town centres. A third point is that some courses are really bad. For one historical reason or another, they teach misleading facts, useless theory, or un-usable skills. And that is before the college management decide to tweak the staff ratio so the course makes a lot of money to spend on something more eye-catching or on sales and PR. So these courses should be allowed to close for everybody's sake, rather than used to con overseas students into thinking they're worth three years and £9,000 fees in the high teens each year. Universities UK are keen on overseas student places, http://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/policy-and-analysis/reports/Documents/2014/international-students-in-higher-education.pdf - p38 ... but I don't see how further overcrowding in London can boost employment, nor how they calculate their figures. They quote Oxford Economics, who wrote a discredited report (I think) called "The Value of Fashion",


      Visas require some online tick-boxing by prospective students, so they tick a box to say they have checked...
      • faults to look-out for on courses like the one they have applied to
      • student feedback for the course applied for (not for research quality if it an undergraduate degree for example, but the actual course)
      • economics degree applicants should understand that compulsory social insurance is a good way of explaining most of the things that the public sector does, and that an economics degree without a public administration element is worth avoiding.
      That way, the bad economics courses might die a rapid death and be replaced by something sane. Just in case anyone reads this far, here are notes in progress about bad economics courses and how they keep themselves going by luring-in overseas students. It needs reformatting and some of the columns are just cut-and pasted out of Complete University Guide; they don't help.

      Footnote on sources:

      https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/Research--Policy/Statistics/International-student-statistics-UK-higher-education quotes these colleges as having highest numbers of overseas students, and says that finance and business related subjects are most popular.
      I take the examples of economics and of footwear, because I have studied similar courses so can try to explain the data.

      The first three columns are numbers of overseas students, with a link to recent unistats feedback on the first column.

      My choice of Economics might not be typical of "business and administrative studies" courses that I read are popular with international students. I don't yet know how to do a fuller comparison of the percentage of international students on all UK courses and student feedback on those courses, or either of those compared to rent in the areas where students live and study. There is a footnote on free data available.

      I mention Universities UK's report by Oxford Economics on my long post of notes in progress: https://veg-buildlog.blogspot.com/2018/01/httpswwwgovukgovernmentconsultationspro.html

      Footnote on data:

      I emailed the Higher Education Funding Council asking if they had free data linking student satisfaction to the percentage of international students on each course, for example each undergraduate degree course in economics.
      I can confirm that we do have some free data available on our website which should help answer your question. The most recent data we currently have published is 2015/16, and there are some free tables to download from this page: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis/publications/students-2015-16 The one you may be particularly interested in is Table F: Percentage of HE students by subject area, mode of study, sex and domicile We only really categorise courses by the subject taught, and the breakdown in the above table is the highest level of detail. Another table with a more granular breakdown of subject can be found here: Students by subject although this is just a count rather than percentage. Further tables can be found on this page: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis/key-tables
      International Student Barometer is a site I discovered after writing this post. I haven't checked what's free and public on the site and what you have to pay for
      I see that my choice of economics wasn't neat. Somewhere I saw a reference that said they most study "business and administrative studies", a heading including these sub-headings.
      • Business studies
      • Management studies
      • Finance
      • Accounting
      • Marketing
      • Human resource management
      • Office skills
      • Hospitality, leisure, sport, tourism & transport
      • Others in business & administrative studies
      • Broadly-based programmes within business & administrative studies 
      There are probably pages on the Guardian University Guide, Complete University Guide or others for all business and administrative studies scores together by college, and results might differ a lot from Economics scores, because Economics is a rather troubled subject with a history of dis-satisfaction.

      Within these categories I happen to know that University of East London's Hospitality and Tourism course had one of the lowest graduate employment rates of any UK degree course, when these things were more easily searchable on the Unistats site in about 2015.

      🖨 For a printer-friendly version of this page, try the "text" option from a recent cache on Google or Bing. That's from the downward-pointing arrow next to the link on search results. Or a cut-and-paste to a word processor.