Research: Most parents don’t recognize the role of UK universities in tackling climate change

Only four in ten parents of 16-18 year olds think UK universities provide students with knowledge about climate change, a new study by Opinium Research on behalf of Universities UK has found.

Despite the fact that almost all universities have published a sustainability strategy, according to the research, less than half of parents agree that institutions are looking for solutions to climate change, with only 24% believing that universities inform the public of their efforts, Erudera College The News.

In a press release, Universities UK mentioned that the research comes as universities across the country are launching a new campaign backed by actor and environmentalist Lily Cole, reiterating their commitment to tackling climate problems by finding solutions, working with local communities and equipping students with the necessary knowledge.

“I am happy to support this campaign and all the work universities are already doing – together we can make a real difference,” said Minister of State for Higher and Further Education Michelle Donelan.

According to the results, some 64% of parents believe college can equip their child with knowledge so that they can help make the world a better place, while 70% said a college degree is crucial for those considering a career. career in the field of climate change. .

“And given the opportunity, more than one in three UK adults (37%) would consider higher education as an upskilling route to realign their careers with efforts to tackle the climate emergency,” says the press release.

Environmentalist Lily Cole said UK universities have an important role to play in tackling climate issues by educating the next generation of climate activists and leading global research and innovation.

“I am proud to support this campaign and, by association, the innovative work being done by our universities. They give me hope that together we can bring about the changes needed to ensure a sustainable future for generations to come,” Cole added.

The research, which was conducted between March 11 and 18, 2022, involved 2,000 UK adults and 2,000 parents aged 16 to 18. Other findings published by UK universities include:

  • 46% of adults want to be equipped with green skills so they can help fight climate change
  • 41% are considering or would consider upskilling on how to integrate sustainability into their current jobs
  • 37% are considering or would consider enrolling in a university course to learn more about climate change
  • 36% are considering or would consider acquiring a professional qualification in sustainable development
  • 58% of parents fear that future generations will not have the knowledge to deal with climate change
  • 61% of parents would like universities to do more in the search for solutions to climate change
  • 59% would like universities to collaborate more with schools and local communities
  • 78% of parents think universities have an impact on tackling climate change, despite being ranked last for impact