The poll of 2,063 UK adults showed just 9% of the public feel negative towards universities, with 48% saying they feel positive. 66% of people agreed with the statement that they would encourage their children to attend university.
There were other positive markers of public opinion too:
- 58% of people believe that universities have a positive impact on the UK.
- 55% of people agreed that people who go to university can get better jobs than those that don’t.
- 70% of people agree that UK universities are among the best in the world.
- 55% of 18-24 year olds and 44% of 25-34 year olds said universities have had a positive impact on them personally, compared to 35% of people aged 65+.
- 34% of 18-24 year olds said universities have had a positive impact on their local community, compared to 26% of those aged 65+.
- Young people are much more likely to disagree with the statement “university degrees do not equip graduates with the skills they need to be successful in the workplace” (35% of 18-24 year olds disagree, compared to 24% of those aged 65+).
- BAME adults are much more likely to say that universities have a positive impact on their family than white adults (60% compared to 43%).
- BAME adults are more likely to say that universities have a positive impact on the UK as a whole than white people (68% compared to 57%).
“Politicians need to work with the higher education sector to extend the number of people accessing universities and to give more support for flexible learning, promoting pride in what is a world-class sector, rather than creating new obstacles.”