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Young people in Indonesia say pollution is the biggest issue affecting the world today and are proactively taking action to tackle it, according to new research from Cambridge International.
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.
The poll revealed that Indonesian students believe pollution (including plastic waste) is the single biggest issue facing the world today, with 21% saying this in the survey. They are incredibly passionate about tackling this issue, with 93% saying they take some form of action. More than half said they make changes to their own lifestyle to reduce their personal impact, and share knowledge with family and friends to help raise awareness of it and to encourage them to make lifestyle changes as well.
Indonesia students bucked the global trend in the survey findings, which revealed students globally are most concerned about climate change - this topped the poll in three quarters of countries surveyed. However, climate change was voted the second biggest global issue by Indonesian students, and ‘intolerance of people because they are different’ came third in the poll.
The survey showed that there is a clear desire from students to learn about global issues in school, with 97% of Indonesian students agreeing that it is important to do so. 93% also agree that it is important to discuss global issues at school with their peers and teachers. However, nearly half of Indonesian students say they don’t learn about global issues in school despite wanting to.
“Young people in Indonesia are very curious and engaged with issues—not just in the country but the world,” said Ben Schmidt, Regional Director Southeast Asia & Pacific, Cambridge Assessment International Education. “We believe that the right approach to education, one that expands on traditional notions of the social sciences, can give Indonesian students the critical and collaborative skills to have a globally conscious, yet locally relevant outlook on the future.”
Four out of five (84%) Indonesian students surveyed said they would like to pursue a career where they can make a positive contribution to solving global issues, while 82% will consider what potential employers’ attitudes are to key global issues when applying for jobs in the future.
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.