Building pride
in our universities 

We will build trust and confidence that our universities are a national asset to be proud of and are acting in the best interests of society.

We will use our insight, influence, and convening power to support them to act and ensure they are recognised for it.

Universities UK will:

Speak with clarity and authority about the many great things our universities do and the values they uphold, changing the public narrative about them for the better.

Be a supportive, constructive, and creative forum for our universities, identifying priorities for improvement and how they are best addressed.

Support our universities in playing a leading role in the transition to net zero, through the education and skills they provide, the research they undertake and as large organisations with their own net zero goals.

Support our universities to pursue international collaboration that is, and is recognised to be, trusted, secure and sustainable.

Build the capability and capacity of our universities to respond to emerging challenges in the international environment.

2030 challenges
and opportunities

World leading sector with significant economic contributions

The UK has one of the most well-regarded higher education systems in the world, attracting students and researchers from all over the world and consistently ranking top among OECD countries for measures relating to student outcomes and research. 

UK universities also directly contribute significantly to the economy and higher education continues to be a worthwhile investment for individuals. However, public and political perceptions do not necessarily reflect the success of our universities.


among OECD countries for completion rate


contribution to the UK economy


average salary premium for graduates

But mixed public perceptions of universities

In 2023, public perceptions of our universities are mixed. The UK ranks lower than other comparable countries. To ensure that our universities are able to continue to serve society, we need to rebuild public and political trust by demonstrating why they are so vital to our nation and proactively seeking opportunities to improve.


of the public believe universities are important to the UK economy


of the public believe the advantages of a degree outweigh the disadvantages

With thanks to Anglia Ruskin University, Brunel University London, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Coventry University, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Nottingham Trent University and the Royal College of Art for supplying images.

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