Pearson, the world’s learning company, today released the results of its Global Learner Survey, a new study capturing the voice of learners worldwide. The findings point to a significant global transformation in education driven by the shifting economic landscape of the new talent economy, the influence of technology and perceptions that education systems need to evolve to keep up with the changing needs of learners. The global study finds that among those who said they needed to retrain in their jobs in the last two years, globally 20% say they did it to combat automation and technological disruption.
Pearson conducted the study with The Harris Poll to give learners in 19 countries the opportunity to voice their opinions on education; careers and the future of work; and technology. More than 11,000 people, ranging in age from 16 to 70, participated in the poll. The survey is believed to be the most comprehensive and wide-ranging global public opinion survey of learners to date. In addition, Pearson released today The Future of Education white paper, a guide to the survey’s implications and opportunities for higher education.
John Fallon, chief executive of Pearson, said: “Gig jobs, unconventional careers, tech disruption and lifelong learning have ushered in the talent economy. Now more than ever, learners understand the need for lifelong education. People are meeting the demands of this new world of work by taking control of their own learning. Now, technology and innovation are giving educators, governments and companies the greatest opportunity in human history to rise to the occasion and improve lives through education.”
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.
Rod Bristow, President, Pearson UK, said: “The Global Learner Survey shows that education matters more than ever, with learners expecting a lifetime of learning, and with Higher Education continuing to play its part. It is clear from the findings that new ways of learning are seen as complementary to a degree, challenging educators to offer new ways of improving access to high-quality career-focused education.”
View the full findings of the report and The Future of Education white paper
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