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Pearson Global Learner Survey: Pandemic Has Forged A Stronger Generation of Young People

05/26/2021 | 10:13am EDT

26 May 2021published at 01:00 PM GMT

Pandemic hardship spurred more empathy, awareness of social issues and new, useful skills

London, 26th May 2021 - New global polling data released today by Pearson shows that, while the pandemic has been emotionally tough on students of all ages, most are emerging better and stronger, building new skills like resilience, empathy and adaptability. The Pearson Global Learner Survey, a poll of more than 6,000 college students and parents of school age children around the world, revealed that people are moving past COVID-era setbacks to find learning and growth in their lives.

Mickey Revenaugh, co-founder, Pearson Connections Academy, said: 'We know that the pandemic has been difficult for many. While learning looked different for most of us over the past year, it continued to happen every day, formally and informally, virtually and in-person, with friends, family, and neighbours. People of all ages continued to look for ways to fulfil their natural curiosity - trying out new hobbies and acquiring new skills that will help them throughout their lives.'

A Global Lesson in Empathy

The pandemic has been a collective experience, one with suffering alongside the best of humanity. People around the world say they've learned to care more about the difficulties of others:

  • Nearly three out of four of parents and college students agree that the pandemic has caused people to be more caring and have understanding towards one another. 83% of parents also now say their child is more aware of the hardships faced by others.

  • More than three-quarters of parents expect their children to become more interested in social issues post-pandemic, while 67% of college students report they have already become more interested and aware of social issues because of what they have experienced personally. Education, healthcare, racial equality top the list of most important issues for each group.

  • Notably, the survey revealed nearly 90% of people worldwide now believe that internet access is a basic human right that governments should be doing more to provide.

New Perspective on Learning and Careers

Parents and college students alike have learned to think differently about school and careers, with a new appreciation for hands on learning and growing interest in science:

  • 91% of parents say they plan to continue with more involvement in their children's education post-pandemic.

  • 56% of college students are reconsidering their career path as a result of the pandemic.

  • 45% of college students have been inspired by the pandemic to consider a career in healthcare or science. Half of parents also report their children being more interested in healthcare and science careers. 53% of college students now report an interest in starting their own business.

Learning from Life's Hard Tests

While the pandemic has been emotionally tough on students of all ages, most are emerging better and stronger:

  • 63% of parents and 69% of college students globally agree that the disruption of education by the pandemic contributed to stress, anxiety levels or mental health issues.

  • More than three-quarters of parents (77%) and 8 in 10 college students (80%) are optimistic that the pandemic has made this generation more resilient.

  • 7 in 10 parents and more than half of college students globally believe that most young people will recover from setbacks quickly.

  • 76% of parents reported their child developed a new hobby, with two-thirds of college students reporting the same. The top three new hobbies in both age groups were cooking, gaming, and reading.

  • 7 in 10 college students say they've grown as a person, citing self-motivation, adaptability and emotional resiliency as the top skills they've gained. Parents see the same in their school aged children, with 64% saying their kids have grown or changed for the better. Parents say their children have learned adaptability, new tech digital skills and a concern for others.

This poll was conducted by Morning Consult from April 28 - May 12, 2021, among a sample of 4,000 parents with children between the ages of 11 and 17, and 2,000 college students in 4 countries: Brazil, China, United Kingdom, United States. The interviews were conducted online. Results in each country are representative of the online population of that country with a margin of error of plus and minus 2 percentage points.

Full results can be found online at: https://plc.pearson.com/future-learning/global-learner-survey


About Pearson

Learning is the most powerful force for change in the world. More than 20,000 Pearson employees deliver our products and services in nearly 200 countries, all working towards a common purpose - to help everyone achieve their potential through learning. We do that by providing high quality, digital content and learning experiences, as well as assessments and qualifications that help people build their skills and grow with the world around them. We are the world's leading learning company. Learn more at pearsonplc.com


Pearson plc published this content on 26 May 2021 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 26 May 2021 14:12:04 UTC.

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