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 that 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 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 surveys mark 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 today in Accra, Ghana, during Forum 2018 – a triennial event which sees the senior Award leadership from around the world 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 organizations 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.”

In The United States, The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is known as The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award USA. It has been running for two years and currently sees around 700 14-24 year olds participate every year.

Elizabeth Higgins-Beard, CEO of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award USA, is encouraged by the success of the program in the States and looking forward to its growth: “The Award offers a truly global opportunity for young people to volunteer within their communities, learn new skills, get physically active, and discover a sense of adventure outside of the classroom. The Award empowers young Americans to deepen their engagement in their chosen extracurricular activities and gain recognition for their efforts in realizing their goals. Around the globe, it is a well-recognized resume level achievement that assist in University admissions, and employability, and speaking to the character and grit of applicants.  #WORLDREADY aims to celebrate these young Americans that use their talents to truly be ready for our world.”


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Contact: Lisa Metzger-Mugg, PhD, Vice President of Program and Operations, Tel: +1-773-209-5958 Email:

Notes for Editors

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award USA, although in its infancy, has the welcome support of several corporate partners, listed below, which are committed to supporting young people in America on their Award journey.

Charter for Business Champions:

Hub International Limited
Zurich North America

Award in Business Partners:  

3D Communications
Fortuna Capital Advisors, LLC, Investment Counselors
Legal & General Investment Management America, Inc.
Reed Smith
West City One Studios

[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.


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