A new report reveals that 76,000 students who started degrees in 2008 will fail to graduate this summer.
The figures, compiled by the Higher Education Statistics Agency, represent a drop-out rate of 21 per cent. At London Metropolitan University the drop-out rate is expected to be more than double the average at 46 per cent.
Some academics have expressed concern over the figures, but one high-profile University historian sees nothing to worry about.
Prof Ken Lucid, chair of History at Maidenhead University, sees the drop-out rate as a form of natural selection.
"Thick - most of them, anyway," he says: "Look, in my department they roll up not knowing anything and think they can look forward to three years of pissing it up and shagging.
"They soon get put right. Well, we don't mind them pissing it up and shagging - but I still expect them to be able to discuss corporatism in Mussolini's Italy, among other things, after the first term.
"A lot of 'em just can't cut it and run off squealing about how unfair it is to have to talk about superstitio and religio in the Roman Empire or quote Alexis de Tocqueville.
"So what? Who needs a bunch of graduates with crap degrees running around anway? It weeds out rubbish, if you ask me... I'd have fewer of 'em coming here in the first place!"