Research shared in a new British Council Scotland report finds that:
- 84 per cent of young people in Scotland believe it is important to have international experiences and engage with other cultures;
- 72 per cent believe it is important to learn a new language;
- 54 per cent recognise that learning a new language can benefit their future careers.
However fewer than half (48 per cent) would consider studying a language at college or university.
When asked if they hope to study or live abroad, two thirds (69 per cent) said yes. But when asked if they would live in a country where they could not speak the language, they were split 50/50 between yes and no.
When it comes to applying for international jobs, more than half (53 per cent) said they would not be comfortable competing against young people from other countries.
These findings are the results of two surveys conducted as part of ‘Globescotters’, a digital campaign delivered by British Council Scotland and Young Scot as part of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018.
They feature in a new report from British Council Scotland which also makes recommendations on how an international legacy can be built from the Year of Young People. They include developing new ways to fund international opportunities for young people, particularly those from disadvantaged communities; exploring options to promote the benefits of studying languages at college and university; and developing digital opportunities to enable young people to gain international and intercultural experiences at home.
Commenting, Jackie Killeen, British Council Scotland Director said:
“Our aim in engaging with Scotland’s Year of Young People was to encourage young Scots to embrace international experiences, connect with other cultures and engage with language learning. Not only do we know that this can bring real benefits to the social, educational and working lives of young people, it can help boost our economy and contribute towards a more outward-looking and globally connected society.
“The surveys shared in our report suggest that more needs to be done to help young people in Scotland grow their confidence when it comes to following their international aspirations. It is our hope that we can work together with partners to enable this to happen as a positive legacy from Scotland’s Year of Young People.”