RALEIGH (Jan. 18, 2017) – In an age of increasing political polarization, a survey finds North Carolinians share deep consensus on the value of their public universities.
The survey conducted for the Higher Education Works Foundation found that:
- 70% of North Carolinians have a favorable view of the state’s public universities.
- 79% believe North Carolina’s public universities have a significant impact on the state’s economy.
- 89% believe access and affordability at North Carolina’s public universities are important.
- 61% agree that adequate support for North Carolina’s public universities is at risk.
- Only 29% think the state is abiding by its constitutional requirement that a college education be as free as possible.
“North Carolinians disagree about plenty of things. But these results show they still agree that our public universities are an important economic driver for our state and that access to them remains vital to our future,” said Paul Fulton, a member of the Higher Education Works Foundation board.
North Carolina has a strong tradition of state support for its public universities. The survey revealed doubts, though, about that support: 61 percent of respondents said they think adequate support for the university system is at risk, and 52 percent said they don’t think the state is abiding by its constitutional requirement that a college education be as close to free as possible.
“If our political leaders are truly looking for common ground, they can find it in public higher education,” Fulton said.
The online survey of 1,000 North Carolinians was conducted June 17-July 5, 2016 by Penn Schoen Berland of Washington, DC. The margin of error for the results is +/- 3.1%.
Survey results coverage:
The News & Observer: Survey: People like public universities in North Carolina
News & Record: Poll: North Carolina likes its UNC schools