Ontarians believe universities are essential, according to new survey

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A new survey by the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) shows that the people of Ontario think universities make an important contribution to the province, behind only hospitals and schools in public esteem. Ontarians also think that students “benefit greatly” from a university education.
This level of public support demonstrates the resilience of public attitudes in the face of negative – and often misleading – narratives that question the relevance and effectiveness of Ontario’s universities. Moreover, it shows that Ontarians understand the many important social and economic functions of higher education. According to the survey, 97 per cent think universities are a place for getting valuable skills, while 95 per cent believe a university education provides access to better jobs. But similarly high percentages of Ontarians also believe that universities lead to personal growth and independence – 94 per cent and 91 per cent respectively.
The survey, released on January 27, 2014, surveyed 1,000 Ontario residents over the age of 18. The survey is accurate to plus or minus 3.1 per cent 19 times out of 20.

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