Centre Shares Findings of Character Development at University Poll

The Jubilee Centre commissioned a poll, undertaken by Yonder Consulting, to understand UK university students’ perceptions and experiences of character development opportunities while at university. The poll received 804 responses from students attending over 100 different UK universities. The 2023 poll revealed that:
  • 84% of respondents agree that it is important for universities to provide students with opportunities to develop their character;
  • 73% of respondents agree that a greater focus on character development at university would positively affect students’ academic attainment;
  • High proportions of respondents agree that it is important to develop critical thinking (86%), reflection (82%), resilience (82%), confidence (82%), civility (79%), integrity (78%), compassion (76%) while at university.
  • Of the respondents who agreed that it is possible to develop character whilst at university, more than two-fifths felt that the primary responsibility for providing character development opportunities lays with students themselves (45%).
In the poll, university students were asked to choose which they believe is more important while at university: to develop positive character traits necessary for life, work and study, or to obtain good exam/ academic results necessary for life, work and study.
  • 45% of all respondents selected ‘character traits’ and 55% selected ‘exam/academic results’
  • 50% of female respondents selected ‘character traits’ and 50% selected ‘exam/academic results’
  • 37% of male respondents selected ‘character traits’ and 63% selected ‘exam/academic results’
  • 57% of arts and humanities students selected ‘character traits’ and 43% selected ‘exam/academic results’
  • 35% of students studying STEM Subjects selected ‘character traits’ and 65% selected ‘exam/academic results’
An executive summary of the 2023 student poll can be found here.

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