Losing momentum school leavers Asia engagement

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The Asia New Zealand Foundation has released a report, Losing Momentum – School Leavers’ Asia Engagement, which looks at New Zealand school leavers’ readiness for engaging with Asia. The report outlines the results of a survey of more than 1,000 senior school students and their level of Asia awareness. The questions asked were about cultural competencies and knowledge of Asia, and the perceived importance of Asia to New Zealand.

The key findings compared an earlier baseline survey conducted in 2012 and found that:

  • 8% of school leavers are classified as ‘Asia Ready’ according to Asia New Zealand Foundation’s Asia Readiness Framework;
  • 37% believe Asia-related skills and knowledge will be important for New Zealand’s future workforce, a decrease from 46% in the 2012 survey. 18% either ‘do not believe Asia is important to our future’ or ‘have no interest in Asia or Asian cultures’;
  • there has been a decrease in the proportion of students who are learning an Asian language (or have studied one in the past) from 39% in 2012 down to 34%; and
  • 17% of students feel they know ‘nothing’ about any Asian country compared to 12% in 2012. These students are more likely to: attend low decile schools (22% compared to 7% in 2012); be Māori (22%) or Pasifika (29%); or live in a small town or a rural area (22%).

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