Higher education vital to UK recovery from COVID-19: University Alliance study

Higher education vital to UK recovery from COVID-19: University Alliance study

The British public believes the Higher Education sector will be important in helping the UK recover from COVID-19, a University Alliance study has revealed.

The University Alliance study, conducted by Public First, show that the British public thinks the higher education sector of the UK is playing an important role in supporting the NHS through this pandemic.

The study was conducted in May 2020 and had 1,003 adults from the UK participate. 

Over 7-in-10 believe UK education sector integral to recovery from COVID-19

The University Alliance study indicated that more than 7 in 10 people believe that post-COVID-19, universities in the UK will play an important role in the social and economic recovery of the country.

The majority of respondents believed that an improvement in scientific research for innovation and development was the most important aspect to focus on, followed by the training of public sector workers. 

62% of the surveyed said that universities should focus on teaching applied subjects, such as nursing, medicine, or engineering, and then providing fully qualified graduates for the rebuilding of the UK.

In contrast, only 50% wished the universities would focus on STEM subjects while 24% wished for social sciences to be focused on. 

When talking about the training of the NHS workers, 61% stated that they should be educated at universities and the government should provide more funding to increase the numbers of frontline workers.

The people surveyed believe that universities provided support to NHS in many ways such as research work for a vaccine, sharing of campus facilities, and accelerated training of frontline workers. 

University Alliance underlines strong link between UK HEIs and NHS

Professor Debra Humphris, Chair of University Alliance and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Brighton, said: “Alliance universities work closely with the NHS and social care sectors on a day to day basis, and guarantee the supply of nurses, midwives, doctors and other health and social care professionals.

“These links have never been stronger or more important than during the Coronavirus crisis.”

Professor Humphris also stressed that the universities sit in the middle of UK Higher Education, industry, and the public sector and they will be critical to the national economic, social and cultural recovery of the nation in the upcoming months to overcome the effects of COVID-19.

Pic: Markus Spiske

Zahra Hamdani - Reporter, Global Education Times (GET News)

Zahra Hamdani is an Ireland-based reporter for Global Education Times who focuses on European and South Asian education news. When she is not writing for GET News, Zahra is a school-teacher and educationist with experience in both Primary and Secondary schools in the Republic of Ireland as well as in Pakistan.

You can reach Zahra at zahra@globaleducationtimes.org

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