Higher Education Funding Council England (HEFCE)
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Public survey shows support for investment in higher education

A survey of the public carried out by Ipsos MORI shows strong support for public investment in higher education (HE) and that its benefits to the UK are clearly recognised.

The final report on the survey was published recently following publication of a summary report in September by Universities UK.

The survey aimed to develop a nationally representative picture of attitudes to public investment in HE and its perceived benefits to the UK economy. It included a cross-section of adults aged 15 years and over across Great Britain, and ran between 31 July and 6 August 2010.

It found that:

  • 90 per cent of those surveyed thought it was important for the Government to invest in HE, of which 59 per cent thought it was very important
  • 80 per cent said that public investment in HE should either increase or stay the same
  • widening access or the benefits of HE to the economy were the most common unprompted reasons for increasing public investment
  • consistently around 70 per cent of the respondents acknowledged HE's benefits to skills, business development, the arts, and the UK as an internationally competitive economy
  • 86 per cent of respondents thought a university education was 'very' or 'fairly' worthwhile these days.


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