Global survey reveals only 1/4 of UK adults are engaged in education to improve their skills

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More than three-quarters of workers in China, Brazil, India and Hispano America are looking to re-skill as learners worldwide seek new ways of entering the workforce

The Global Learner Survey’s top UK findings include:

  • A ‘DIY’ mindset is reshaping education as lifelong learning is the reality in today’s economy to prepare for the future of work. People in the survey are building on their traditional education by mixing and matching what works and what they can afford to get trained up for the new economy. The majority of learners say they think learning doesn't stop at school, as reskilling, upskilling and micro-certification is all on the rise. Universities can be a crucial part of the solution, with the opportunity to increasingly offer flexible employability solutions and short courses for adult learners, especially online. Currently, 81 per cent of people believe learning will become more ‘self-service’ as people get older, with the UK amongst the countries agreeing most strongly with this.
  • In the next decade digital and virtual learning will be the new normal. 54 per cent of those surveyed in the UK think YouTube will become a primary learning tool, while 59 per cent say print textbooks will be obsolete by 2025. Further, 68 per cent of UK people surveyed believe that university students will be taking online courses within 10 years. In addition, 70 per cent of those surveyed in the UK believe that AI will have a positive impact on education. Learners are looking for different and more engaging learning experiences and universities are evolving their offering to cater for this.
  • More graduates in the UK choose a career unrelated to their degree. Up to 42 per cent of UK students, more than anyone else in the world, did not choose a career which directly reflected the subject they studied at University. If they had to make the choice again, 46 per cent of graduates in the UK would choose a career-focused education pathway or get a job.
    Gen Z believes you can be successful without a traditional education. Despite high levels of trust in the UK education system, people in the UK are more optimistic about their career prospects without a degree compared with those in China, Brazil and other parts of the world. 53 per cent of Gen Z learners think you can do “ok” in life without a degree, signaling an acceptance of different ways to prepare for a career.
  • Career and work related qualifications driving the future job market. In every country surveyed, approximately two-thirds of learners (66 per cent in the UK) think a career-focused qualification is more likely to result in a good job with career prospects than a university degree. Large portions of the UK (51 per cent), US (44 per cent) and Europe (45 per cent) felt that their higher education did not prepare them for a career.

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