86% of UK public back investment in universities to maintain quality of teaching and research
A ComRes poll, commissioned by the 1994 Group of leading universities, shows that 86% of the UK public back further investment in higher education to maintain the quality of teaching and research.
Speaking at a policy roundtable debate today (Tuesday), Professor Paul Wellings, Chair of the 1994 Group and Vice-Chancellor of Lancaster University said:
“This overwhelming support for further investment in our universities highlights that the public understand high quality universities are vital to individuals, our economy and society. Universities need long-term sustainable funding to maintain a high quality student experience, deliver world-class research and develop the highly skilled graduates our nation needs. In an environment with tight financial resources the public is opting for continued investment in higher education.”
“With clear public support for further investment, the difficult question of where future funds will come from has to be a central question for higher education policy in the next 12 months. The challenge is to find a system which is fair and sustainable, while balancing the relative contributions made by those leaving university with a degree and other taxpayers. This poll suggests that a higher proportion of those polled agree with the proposition that a greater contribution should come from graduates benefiting financially from their university experience.”
Sean O’Shea, Chief Executive of UPP, added:
“As the leading on-campus provider of student accommodation and campus infrastructure we, at UPP, believe it is imperative that Universities are appropriately funded and that we need to be flexible and forward thinking about sources of funding. We work in long-term partnerships with universities and have drawn £1 billion of private investment into the sector, including £250 million over the last three months. It is clear that investment is crucial to the ongoing success of the Higher Education sector, which has a critical part to play in the future of the knowledge based economy.”
Today’s (Tuesday 1st December) policy roundtable entitled ‘The Future of Quality Higher Education: How can we secure sufficient funding at a time of recession?’ was organised by the 1994 Group of leading research-intensive universities, in partnership with the University Partnership Programme (UPP), a leading provider of student accommodation and campus infrastructure. Speakers included David Willetts MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Universities and Skills; Professor Paul Wellings, Chair, 1994 Group and Vice-Chancellor, Lancaster University; Sean O'Shea, Chief Executive, UPP; Richard Wainer, Head of Education and Skills, CBI and Anna Fazackerley, Head of Education Unit, Policy Exchange.