Survey: Malaysian parents prize university education

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Survey shows parents in Malaysia believe a university education will help their children achieve the most in life. (AFP pic)

PETALING JAYA: A global survey on parents’ sentiments towards their children’s education has revealed that most Malaysian parents still place heavy emphasis on their children entering university.

The survey was conducted by The Varkey Foundation, a global charity establishment focused on improving the standards of education for underprivileged children.

It involved 27,380 parents across 29 countries and was carried out between Dec 8, 2017 and Jan 15, 2018.

Apart from Malaysia, the countries involved in the survey were Argentina, India, Singapore, Australia, Indonesia, South Africa, Brazil, Italy, South Korea, Canada, Japan, Spain, China, Kenya, Turkey, Colombia, Uganda, Estonia, Mexico, the UK, Finland, Peru, the US, France, Poland, Vietnam, Germany and Russia.

Of the 29 countries surveyed, Malaysia ranked 12th in terms of parents who still believe tertiary education will help their children achieve the most in life.

Some 75% of Malaysian parents surveyed said university education was very important and 38% said it was extremely important. Only 1% of Malaysian parents said university education was not important.

Countries which shared Malaysia’s enthusiasm for university education included Colombia, Mexico, Indonesia, India, Peru, Argentina, Turkey and China while on the opposite spectrum, countries which did not place as much emphasis on tertiary education included Finland, Germany, the UK and France.

Malaysian parents also believe their children are prepared for 2030 but are not so optimistic about the future. In this regard, Malaysia joins South Africa, the UK and Singapore while countries like Indonesia, Finland, India and China are both optimistic and believe their children are prepared.

Malaysian parents feel schools should be teaching their children better soft skills, followed by a more relevant curriculum and greater focus on new types of careers and technology.

However, they do not place as much emphasis on a greater international outlook.