UK universities valued more than institutions like parliament and BBC, finds survey

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The British nationalist values nan UK’s universities much highly than nan ineligible strategy aliases nan BBC, according to a study of attitudes towards higher acquisition by King’s College London.

Prof Bobby Duffy, nan head of King’s College London’s argumentation institute, said universities came down only nan NHS, nan equipped forces and nan royal family successful a convention array of UK institutions considered to beryllium among nan champion successful nan world by nan public.

The typical survey of 2,600 people, conducted successful May, recovered astir a 3rd put universities up of nan civilian service, newspapers aliases parliament among cardinal institutions, pinch akin backing from Labour and Conservative supporters.

“Everyone thinks their ain assemblage gets nan worst press, and galore moving successful universities will surely consciousness they’ve faced reliable times precocious – but nan nationalist don’t look to beryllium paying overmuch attention. If anything, their views are overmuch much affirmative than we mightiness expect,” Duffy said.

However, it recovered a important displacement successful attitudes towards who should salary for higher education. A canvass successful 1988 recovered that 68% said universities should beryllium chiefly state-funded, but this year’s study recovered that had shrunk to conscionable 19%.

Higher acquisition has been nether unit from nan government, pinch Rishi Sunak pushing crackdowns connected “rip-off” degrees. The Conservative predetermination manifesto includes a committedness to closing “low-quality” courses and redirecting schoolhouse leavers towards apprenticeships.

Many universities are besides facing financial difficulties, arsenic home tuition fees person been stiff since 2016 and nan government’s restrictions connected world student visas person deed their awesome sources of revenue.

If respective universities had to close, nan study recovered that 61% of respondents would blasted nan government, while 29% would blasted assemblage leaders.

But nan KCL study recovered that voters placed higher acquisition very debased successful position of governmental priorities. Just 13% said higher acquisition was “very important” successful deciding really they would vote, acold beneath nan 65% who named nan NHS arsenic a awesome factor.

There was beardown support for research, pinch 74% agreeing that “the investigation happening astatine universities is basal for medical, technological and societal innovations”. Only 18% said “most investigation carried retired by assemblage unit is simply a discarded of time”.

Nick Hillman, head of nan Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi), said: “People do person a residual knowing of really important universities are to our lives, pushing guardant nan frontiers of knowledge, tackling diseases and educating nan workers and artists of tomorrow. It is nary exaggeration to opportunity that, successful galore respects, they are portion of what makes life worthy living, moreover if we sometimes return them for granted.”

Hepi’s investigation has recovered immoderate parliamentary constituencies summation much than £500m successful economical benefits from nan beingness of world students, including Sheffield Central and Leeds Central and Headingly.

The Labour leader Keir Starmer’s cardinal London seat, Holborn & St Pancras, gains astir £438m successful activity, putting it successful nan apical 10. But Sunak’s North Yorkshire spot of Richmond and Northallerton is 1 of nan lowest nationally, gaining conscionable £8m a year.

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Source theguardian
theguardian