This report finds that universities are well regarded by the Australian public and business community.
During 2012 Universities Australia reached out to the public and stakeholders to elicit their views and understanding of universities to assist in formulating its first ever policy statement. This included conducting a series of university community forums, engaging directly with decision makers and interested groups such as business. 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 was intended to assist Universities Australia to better understand the levels of knowledge about the role Australia's universities play in Australian life.
The research has found that while universities are held in high regard and are strongly valued for their contribution to the economy and society, there is a desire to know more. It is also clear that Australians feel there is a need for the university sector to more actively participate in debates about issues important to our national interest.