UA Media Centre | 26 February 2013
In the lead up to its 2013 conference, Universities Australia (UA) has released a survey report that shows that more than 90% of Australians think that a well-funded university system is critical to Australia’s economy and national growth.
The value of a university education is now deeply embedded in our society with the research finding that 88% of Australians aspire for their children and the young people they know, to attend university.
The research is a result of a year-long community engagement process conducted by Universities Australia, to discover how the public and stakeholders see the sector and the major issues facing it.
The research informs UA’s first comprehensive policy statement, for the 2013 election, which will be released during the higher education conference
In developing its policy statement , Universities Australia has held a series of university community forums and engaged directly with decision makers and those who influence public opinion. It involved qualitative and quantitative research, including focus groups and a survey of 1000 members of the Australian public and 300 business employers. The data was weighted to be representative of the Australian population and the whole business community.
The research also found that the Australian community and business has an overwhelmingly positive view of international students attending Australian universities. More than 71% of the public and 69% of business representatives were positive about providing education for international students.
In addition, 80% of business representatives surveyed and 72 % of the public said that international students should be encouraged to stay in Australia on completion of their studies, particularly if sponsored by an employer.