Indian undergraduates positive about country, prospects

Indian undergraduates positive about country, prospects
Eight in 10 (80 per cent) Indian undergraduate students feel hopeful about their finances in the future.

A new ‘Global Student Survey’ by edtech major Chegg.org finds a majority of Indian students feel the country is a better place to live in than five years ago and are also significantly positive about their future financial prospects despite the Covid-19 disruptions.

Chegg.org, the non-profit arm of education technology company Chegg, has published a new ‘Global Student Survey’ as a comprehensive up-to-date survey of the lives, hopes and fears of undergraduate students throughout the world in the age of Covid and beyond. The in-depth poll across 21 countries is intended to provide authoritative national and global data that will help answer crucial questions impacting the youth, with its findings aimed at helping education professionals, policymakers and leaders.

In relation to India, the survey finds that over two-thirds (68 per cent) of Indian students think the country is a better place to live in than it was five years ago, the third highest of any country polled after China (92 per cent) and Saudi Arabia (77 per cent). By comparison, only 8 per cent of Argentinian students think their country is a better place to live, the lowest of any country polled.

And, as many as eight in 10 (80 per cent) Indian undergraduate students feel hopeful about their finances in the future, the second highest of 21 countries surveyed, with China and Kenya jointly ahead at 84 per cent.

Around two-thirds (65 per cent) of students across the surveyed countries say they would rather their university offered the choice of more online learning if it meant paying lower tuition fees.
Around two-thirds (65 per cent) of students across the surveyed countries say they would rather their university offered the choice of more online learning if it meant paying lower tuition fees.

Online learning

Reflecting the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, 54 per cent of Indian students would like their university course to incorporate more online learning, the fourth highest of any other country surveyed – equal to Canada (54 per cent) and behind Saudi Arabia (78 per cent), China (77 per cent) and South Korea and Australia (both 57 per cent).

The survey’s worldwide results show that Indian students agree with their peers across all 21 countries when it comes to how higher education should embrace online learning. Around two-thirds (65 per cent) of students across the surveyed countries say they would rather their university offered the choice of more online learning if it meant paying lower tuition fees.

Dan Rosensweig, President and CEO of Chegg, said: “One thing that unites students around the globe is that they have experienced first-hand the greatest disruption to education the world has ever known. This survey shows the Covid pandemic has laid bare for students that the higher education model needs to be reimagined, shorter, on-demand, personalised and provide scalable support.

“Technology and online learning are a permanent part of modern education and should dramatically reduce the cost of learning and make it more skills based. When approximately two-thirds of students across the countries surveyed say they would like their university to offer the choice of more online learning if it means paying lower tuition fees, and when over half of students say they would prefer their university course to be shorter, if it was more affordable, we know something has to change.”Future prospects

The survey also found that 56 per cent of students across all 21 surveyed countries say their mental health has suffered during the period of Covid-19.
The survey also found that 56 per cent of students across all 21 surveyed countries say their mental health has suffered during the period of Covid-19.

Future prospects

As many as 84 per cent of Indian students believe they will own their own home before they are 35, the third highest of all the countries polled after Kenya (92 per cent) and Indonesia (86 per cent). By comparison, only 31 per cent of Japanese students believe they will see home ownership by the age of 35, the lowest of all the countries surveyed.

Among some of the other key global findings, 56 per cent of students across all 21 surveyed countries say their mental health has suffered during the period of Covid-19 and over half (53 per cent) of all surveyed students have struggled with their living costs in the last year. Also, around 54 per cent of students say if it was cheaper, they would prefer their university degree take a shorter amount of time to complete, with jobs found to be the main motivation for students going to university.

Lila Thomas, Chegg’s Director of Social Impact and Head of Chegg.org, said: “Across the world, students have told us loud and clear that the biggest issues facing their generation are access to good quality jobs and growing inequality. Addressing these challenges is more important than ever in the wake of the economic devastation wrought by Covid, and education is the key.”

Chegg.Org said its survey is based on in-depth opinion polling by Yonder (formerly Populus) of nearly 17,000 undergraduate students aged 18-21 years across 21 countries around the world, including 1,000 students in India. Yonder conducted the interviews between October 20 and November 10, 2020. The countries included in the research are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, the UK, the US and Russia, with sample sizes ranging from 500 to 1,007 in each country.

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