Are universities equipping us for the future of work?

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09 Aug 2021
Based on the work of
Nicholas BiddleKaruna Reddy

Australians have a generally expansive view on what they think a role of the university should be. These range from providing skills for the future job market to coming up with new ideas and playing a role in public policy. Training young Australians for the future workforce was seen by the most respondents as universities' main role.

93 %

93% of respondents to the 2019 ANU Poll thought universities should train young Australians for the future workforce.

94 %

There appears to be a greater level of support for basic as opposed to applied research, with 94.1% of respondents thinking a role of the university is to develop new ideas.

52 %

Coalition voters were less likely to support universities having a role of ‘holding governments to account’. 73% of Labor voters thought that was the university’s role versus 52% of Coalition voters.


Respondents thought the 3 most important skills from a university education were those needed to get a job, an ability to solve problems and think analytically, and preparation for the future work force.

The Role of Australian Universities
On the whole, do you think it should or should not be the responsibility of universities in Australia to...
Sources & Methodology
Variable description Grouped by university role
Variable time span 2019 (April)
Published by ANU Poll
Publisher Link
Data Source doi:10.26193/GOVGBB
CSV Data
PNG Image