New survey shows Canadians value universities, are concerned about funding

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A new survey conducted by Abacus Data on behalf of Universities Canada found that a majority of Canadians – 77 per cent – have a positive view of the country’s universities. However, a majority of Canadians – 54 per cent – believe that our higher education institutions are underfunded. Encouragingly, 88 per cent of those polled believed that governments should invest in postsecondary education. Together, this research suggests that there is strong support for governments across the country to increase their funding for universities.

Other interesting findings include:

  • 65 per cent believe that the most important roles of universities are to help students become good contributors to society, as opposed to 35 per cent who believe the primary role should be helping student achieve their personal economic goals.
  • 80 per cent believe that universities conduct valuable research, and 76 per cent believe they provide a practical education.
  • When asked to rate Canada’s professors out of 100, 52 per cent gave them a ranking between 71 and 100, and an additional 33 per cent rated them between 51 and 70.

As the report concludes,

Canadians have a good impression of their universities and strongly believe that the country should continue to invest what it takes to offer world class education to our students. Most people see plenty of value in a variety of forms of postsecondary education and believe all merit policy support.

There is a belief that our universities do research that is practical and valuable for our economy and society and that with adequate funding and an eye on the need for continuous change, the best days of our universities lie ahead.

The margin of error for a for the Abacus survey was +/- 2.2%, 19 times out of 20.

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