While Ukraine has been rocked by a number of factors, including ongoing conflict in the region, a fragile political system and a tumultuous economy, a recent study from the British Council finds hope among its young people despite these uncertainties. Let’s take a closer look at the report, along with highlighting key findings pertaining to international education.
A Move Toward Mobility
Of the more than 1,200 Ukrainians between the ages of 16 to 35 surveyed and reported on in “Hopes, Fears and Dreams: The Views of Ukraine’s Next Generation,” many were optimistic: A full 41 percent expressed belief in a bright future.
One widely perceived path to that bright future, according to the online survey? International higher education offerings. More than half of respondents (56 percent) expressed the desire to study abroad, with the UK, USA, Germany, Poland and Canada topping their lists of preferred destinations.
Roughly half of Ukrainian students who aspire to study abroad are motivated by the desire to learn fluent English. Higher quality of education (47 percent); job prospects abroad (44 percent); job prospects in their home country (39 percent) and less corruption (31 percent) rounded out the top five reasons drawing Ukrainians to international study opportunities.
Supporting Ukrainian Interest
According to figures from UNESCO, just under 40,000 Ukrainian students were enrolled in international higher education programs in 2014. Given increasing evidence of demand, the British Council has identified Ukraine as a ripe area for recruitment while also calling for other measures aimed at supporting the internationalization of higher education in Ukraine while strengthening bilateral ties between the two countries and their universities.
And while the challenges ahead are significant — young Ukrainians cite lack of money and limited English skills as major barriers to international education — so are the opportunities. Says the British Council, “The young people surveyed for this report will provide the engine for Ukraine’s prosperity and stability and are the cohort from which the future influencers and leaders of Ukraine will be drawn…the ‘next generation’ is increasingly becoming the ‘now generation’.