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Young people in Spain are proactively taking action to tackle global issues, and say they want to pursue careers where they can make a difference, according to new research from Cambridge International.
Spanish students believe climate change is the single biggest issue facing the world today, with 46% saying this in the survey. More Spanish students chose climate change as their biggest issue of concern than any other country. Globally, a quarter of all the students who responded to the survey said climate change was their biggest issue of concern. It topped the poll in three quarters of countries surveyed.
Pollution and plastic waste are viewed as the second biggest global issue by Spanish students and poverty and economic inequality came third in the poll.
The poll revealed there is a clear desire from students to learn about global issues in school, with 98% of Spanish students agreeing that it is important to do so. 98% also agree that it is important to discuss global issues at school. However, 40% of Spanish students say they don’t learn about global issues in school despite wanting to.
Over 11,000 students aged 13 to 19 took part in Cambridge International’s first ever Global Perspectives survey and shared their views on global issues; how they learn about them; and how their awareness of these issues might impact on their future career choices.
72% of students surveyed in Spain said they would like to pursue a career where they can make a positive contribution to solving global issues. Further, three out of four students will consider what potential employers’ attitudes are to key global issues when applying for jobs in the future.
96% of Spanish students said they take some form of action to raise awareness of global issues. In particular, 75% of Spanish students share their knowledge with their families and friends to help raise awareness of it and 67% encourage people they know to make lifestyle changes.
Nick Mazur, Senior Manger Europe, said: “The results of the survey in Spain show that young people are increasingly concerned about world problems such as climate change, and pollution and plastic waste. It is vital that schools equip students with the skills to help understand the breadth of information available on these topics. Students need to research and evaluate information sources, communicate evidence-based arguments, collaborate and work in teams to explore the global issues that concern them and, ultimately, address these issues while developing their own perspective. Schools tell us that Cambridge Global Perspectives™ helps students to develop these life-long skills they will need not only for study at university, but also for work and life in general”
Globally, around a third of students surveyed said they don’t learn about global issues in school, but 96% said they feel it is important to learn about them.
Two thirds of those surveyed, said they believe major issues, like climate change and poverty and economic equality, will be worse by 2030.
Students around the world are motivated to make a difference and help tackle these issues. 92% said they take individual action to tackle their top issue of concern and four out of five students globally said they are keen to pursue a career where they can make a difference.
Christine Özden, Chief Executive, Cambridge International, said: “In a world that is constantly evolving with some huge global challenges ahead, we feel that it is even more important that students not only engage with key global issues, but develop the skills to research, discuss and evaluate the facts, and work with others to understand different perspectives around the world.
“Cambridge Global Perspectives equips students with the essential skills they need for further study at university and for the future world of work. We look forward to giving many more schools and students the opportunity to learn about this unique programme during Cambridge Global Perspectives Week.”
The survey was conducted leading up to Cambridge Global Perspectives Week, which runs from 1-7 March 2020.
Cambridge Global Perspectives is a unique and stimulating programme that provides an opportunity for students aged 5 to 19 to think and learn more about the topics and global issues they care about. It focuses on enabling students to develop life-long skills like critical thinking, research, collaboration and evaluation.