A representative sample of 1500 Australians surveyed by JWS research late last year found an overwhelming majority of Australians did not think the value of a university education would wane.
Four in ten Australians believe the jobs of the future will be even more likely to need university qualifications than today.
And almost as many again think future jobs will likely need a similar level of university qualifications as today.
Only one in ten Australians held the view that jobs in future would be less likely to need university qualifications.
Universities Australia Chair Professor Margaret Gardner said this showed the Australian public take a clear view that university education will continue to be just as important tomorrow as today.
“So when we hear commentators from time to time suggest that university education is now extended to too many people, we should be clear such views are really about reducing opportunity for some Australians,” she said.
“Whose children, relatives or partners are they suggesting should not have this chance?”
“Not only are such views out of step with our global economic competitors. They are also out of step with the views of the overwhelming majority of Australians.”
The survey also found 80 per cent of Australians thought it was valuable for university students to do work placements with business or community groups as part of their degrees.
And it found seven in ten Australians said university research was most valuable when it was done either in partnership with business or as a mix of independent research and collaborative research.