Young people across the globe say classroom learning alone is not enough to prepare them for the world



More than 10,000 young people from 150+ countries and territories have spoken – and over two thirds of them believe that classroom learning (formal education) alone is not enough to prepare them for the world.

In a series of surveys run by The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation, two groups of young people (13 – 25[1] and 16 – 25[2]) and nearly 2,000 adults (aged 25+) were asked their opinion on the challenges and opportunities young people face and the skills necessary for success in today’s world.

It highlights that young people and adults alike, see the need for experiences outside of the classroom, as well as in.

The survey found that 7 in 10 young people feel they face more uncertainty today than previous generations did. Further, 6 in 10 think growing up is more complicated today than it was for their parents and grandparents.

Those surveyed rank skills such as confidence, resilience and determination as important for ensuring young people are ready for the world. Other skills such as leadership and teamwork are also seen as necessary for success, by both adults and young people alike.

The survey marks the launch of a new #WORLDREADY campaign, which aims to drive awareness around the importance of non-formal education in supporting the development of young people. It also celebrates the achievements of more than 1.3 million Award participants (and millions of previous participants), in 130+ countries and territories around the globe.

The campaign was announced in Accra, Ghana, during Forum 2018 – a triennial event which sees the senior Award leadership from more than 50 countries come together to discuss the challenges and opportunities that young people face today and how the Award may be able to support them.

His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex, Chair of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation, joined His Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, The President of the Republic of Ghana and other officials for the five day event.

His Royal Highness said: “Today’s young people are growing up in a dynamic, fast-paced world and the development of skills like resilience, confidence and adaptability is important.  Non-formal education – such as that offered by organisations that run The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award – is a tried and tested way of enabling young people to challenge themselves, step outside their comfort zone and become positive agents of change, both for themselves and their wider communities.  It allows them to develop the skills they need to step confidently into the world of today and tomorrow.”

John May, Secretary General of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation said: “During the past few years, the Award around the world has seen a rising interest in its work and outcomes. We are regularly approached by leaders in education, government and youth organisations who are interested in exploring the benefits of non-formal education and the role it can play in developing skills such as resilience, confidence, communication and problem solving.”

May continues: “There are more than 1.5 million people currently involved with the Award around the world and the #WORLDREADY campaign aims to celebrate that. With so many challenges facing young people today, we think it is also time to recognise the positive steps many young people are taking to ensure they are ready to take on the world as well.”

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For queries, case studies and photography and video content, please contact:

Emma Brown, Director of Brand and Communications, The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation: / +44(0)782 432 4888

Notes for Editors

  • The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is a global, non-formal education framework which challenges young people to develop new skills, get physically active, learn about teamwork and leadership through adventurous journey and volunteer within their community.
  • The #WORLDREADY campaign is a global effort amongst the Award family, to showcase the inspirational activities of young Award participants around the world and how, through the development of skills such as resilience, confidence, adaptability and communication, young people can be ready to take on the world of today and tomorrow.
  • The #WORLDREADY global launch video can be viewed here.
  • There are currently 1.3 million young people completing their own unique programme, via hundreds of thousands of youth-focused partners and operators – including schools, youth organisations, examination boards and youth offender institutions.
  • Since its launch over 60 years ago, millions of young people have participated and received Awards, with millions more benefitting from its impact in communities around the world.
  • Both national and international case studies, imagery and additional video content are available on request.

[1] Survey of 7,681 13-25 year olds across year olds from countries & territories including Bangladesh, Kenya, Ghana & India. In conjunction with U-Report. September 2018.

[2] Survey of 3,487 16 – 25 year olds across 80+ countries & territories including Turkey, Barbados, New Zealand and the UK. July – September 2018.