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The overwhelming majority of alumni from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, UH Hilo and UH West Oʻahu say their degrees were worth the investment and that UH helped them achieve their goals. That’s according to a survey by the Strada Education Network, a non-profit organization focused on post-secondary education success.

Strada surveyed 1,112 alumni who graduated with a bachelorʻs degree from one of Hawaiʻi’s public universities in the past 20 years. The key findings include:

  • 74%—UH education was worth the cost (national average: 65%)
  • 76%—UH helped achieve their goals (national average: 72%)
  • 79%—UH helped prepare for their career (national average: 75%)
  • 78%—UH prepared them for a better quality of life (national average: 75%)

U H Manoa graduate

Complete results of the Strada Hawaiʻi survey data (PDF)and national survey data (PDF)are available online.

“These objective survey results reaffirm what I hear throughout the community from our alumni, that UH played a key role in their personal success and that they value their time at UH,” said UH President David Lassner. “It is clear that we are on the right track as we continue to improve the student experience at UH and meet the needs of our state.”

In addition to the survey findings, a 2016 study by the UH Economic Research Organization (PDF) (UHERO) found that the rate of return on investment for a UH degree is about 11%. UH graduates earn between $300,000 to $2.9 million more in lifetime earnings, compared to high school graduates, depending on the type of degree earned (associate, bachelor, post graduate).

In order to help shape UH’s new strategic plan, the Strada survey also asked alumni to state what they think UHʻs number one priority should be over the next six years. The top four recommendations were:

graudate raising his arms

  1. Prepare more Hawaiʻi residents to fill the jobs Hawaiʻi needs (40%)
  2. Seeding new economic sectors (23%)
  3. Engaging more Hawaiʻi residents in post-secondary education and training (17%)
  4. Strengthening UH research enterprise as a major economic and intellectual driver (13%)

“Mahalo to Strada for inviting us to participate in this survey, which provides important and useful data,” said Lassner. “Strada has been an amazing partner over the past years and this is yet another example of how they are helping us advance post-secondary student success in Hawaiʻi.”

The survey data is one of the many sources of broad input being used to develop the new UH Strategic Plan 2023–2029. The university is asking for feedback on the first draft of the plan, specifically on the plan’s four imperatives. Comments can be submitted directly through the web pages below:

Other data and information being used to develop the plan include results of surveys of the general public and UH students, faculty and staff; virtual town hall meetings; the UH Third Decade Report (PDF); the UH Strategic Directions 2015–2021 and UH post-pandemic plans.

U H Hilo graduate
(Photo by Kirsten Aoyagi)
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