Friday, 16 November 2018

70% of People Agree That UK Universities Are Among The Best in the World!

BritainThinks poll, conducted on behalf of Universities UK, looked in detail at public perceptions of higher education.

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%).
Professor Dame Janet Beer, President of Universities UK and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool, said: “There is a myth that the public are sceptical about the merits of universities – and that an increasingly large number of young people think higher education is a waste of time. In fact, as this research shows, the opposite is true. The public are hugely positive towards universities and see the benefits of a university education. Crucially, this is most true of those with direct experience of university – existing students and recent graduates. That is one of the reasons why demand for university places has remained high despite there being fewer 18-year-olds in the population.

“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.”

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