James Ransom

May 26, 2021

Are your local universities worth £5 a year?

Five universities in Greater Manchester and the Combined Authority recently undertook polling of over 1,000 local residents. The overall summary is interesting – for example that over half of residents have never visited a local university – but there are some gems hidden in the 230 pages of polling data.

Take this, for example, from page 186:

Now imagine that you had to choose between the universities staying as they are, and the universities leaving the city region and you receiving £5 a year in compensation. Would you be happy for the local universities to leave the city region?

Six percent of those who earn £15,000 to £19,999 said they would prefer to receive £5 a year in compensation, and allow the local universities to leave the city region. 24 percent of those who earn £40,000 to £44,999 said the same.

If the offer changes to £100, and we consider level of education (page 193), 12 percent of those educated to GCSE level said they would prefer to receive £100 a year in compensation, and allow the local universities to leave the city region. 22 percent of doctorates said the same.

To be fair the proportions also rose for those who wanted the universities to stay; there are fewer people uncertain at greater levels of education. And the sample sizes involved are not large.