With fees costing as much as £9,000 a year, universities must operate in an increasingly cut-throat market place. At a time when budgets in some institutions are being stretched, students are demanding more for their money.
Against a backdrop of rising complaints, the new Competition and Markets authority is considering whether to launch an investigation.
So are students getting what they pay for? And when they don't, can they get the problem fixed in a timely manner?
Why are some students taking to the courts to try to get redress?
Fran Abrams has been examining the universities' record.
Which of them have seen the biggest rise in student concerns, and which have managed to buck the trend?
Producer: Emma Forde.