LAHORE               -               A majority of the Pakistani students, aged 13 to 19, in a Cambridge International’s survey think that climate change is the number one issue of concern followed by poverty and economic inequality and the lack of basic education. Over 11,000 students globally, aged 13 to 19, took part in Cambridge International’s first ever Global Perspectives Survey and shared their views on global issues. Out of these 11,000 students, around 3,300 were from Pakistan. Across the globe, 26% of the participants singled out climate change as the biggest issue facing the world today. In Pakistan, 19% of students also agreed that climate change was the number one issue of concern, closely followed by poverty and economic inequality, and lack of basic education – 16% of students voted for each of these issues. Moreover, poverty and economic inequality, and lack of basic education were ranked higher by Pakistani students than the global average of 14% and 10%.

The findings show that 77% of students in Pakistan would consider an employer’s attitude towards global issues they feel strongly about before applying for a job and over half (52%) would like to pursue a career where they can make a difference for the better, which in turn is more than the global average of 47%. Additionally, 70% students agree that if their chosen global issue is not solved, it will directly affect their working lives and future.

The poll reveals there is a clear desire from students to learn about global issues in school, with 92% of Pakistani students agreeing that it is important to do so. Up to 32% students agree that they discuss global issues at school, however, it is lower than the global average of 39%. Also, 31% of Pakistani students say they don’t learn about global issues in school, despite wanting to.

Up to 91% of Pakistani students said they take some form of action to raise awareness of global issues. In particular, the methods vary depending on the age group of the students for example older students (17-19) are more likely to encourage people and themselves to make lifestyle changes, join clubs or raise awareness on social media than the younger group (13-16). Female students are more likely to buy products to raise funds, sign petitions and make lifestyle changes than male students.

The survey results reflect the popularity and interest that Pakistani students have in learning about global issues. Cambridge Global Perspectives gives students the opportunity, at every stage of school education, to learn about global issues and find possible solutions to addressing them, whilst also helping them to develop outstanding transferable skills, including critical thinking, research, collaboration and evaluation. This year, over 1,400 students from 60 schools across Pakistan have studied Cambridge Global Perspectives and the exam entry numbers continue to increase every year. Christine Özden, chief executive of the 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.”

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 & economic equality, will be worse by 2030. However, Pakistani students were slightly more optimistic, with 53% saying it will be worse in 10 years’ time.

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.

The survey was conducted leading up to Cambridge Global Perspectives Week 2020.