"Indian students more
global than UK's"
Nov 13: British PM Gordon Brown insists that Britain should
actively engage with a globalised and interdependent world.
But a new study by the British Council in India and 9 other
nations has disclosed that British schoolkids are the least
interested in doing so. Of schoolchildren surveyed in 10 nations
for their golbal outlook, India emerged 2nd in the list that
was topped by Nigeria.
schoolchildren were at the bottom of the list.
his first major foreign policy speech since taking over as
the Prime Minister, Brown on Monday said at the Mayor of London`s
banquet that the world had become interdependent and now resembled
a web. He said there was a need to create a global society,
which would empower people in all parts of the world.
the British Council study published a few hours before Brown`s
speech showed that over a quarter of British schoolchildren
did not feel that it was important to learn a foreign language.
In contrast, 97 percent Indian schoolchildren felt it was
important to do so.
Davidson, chief executive of the British Council, said: "Our
schoolchildren cannot afford to fall behind the rest of the
world. For the UK to compete in a global economy, it is vital
that we encourage our young people to have an interest in
and engagement with the world around them.
believe passionately in enabling young people from different
cultures to share ideas and opinions, and in the far reaching
benefits this can bring to them in later life."
interviewed 4,170 people aged 11-16 with Internet access at
home in 10 countries. It was conducted online in Brazil, China,
the Czech Republic, Germany, India, Spain, Britain and the
US. It was conducted face-to-face in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia
with schoolchildren who had Internet access at home.
were asked a range of questions to ascertain their international
outlook, including attitudes towards language learning and
international affairs. Results were scored on an index with
seven being the highest and zero the lowest. Nigeria (5.15)
came top of the table, followed by India (4.86) and Brazil
(4.53). Britain scored the lowest, 2.19.
finding from the research is likely to embarrass Brown. When
asked whether they saw themselves as citizens of the world
or of their own country, most of the schoolchildren, including
those in India, saw themselves first and foremost as world
citizens and then as citizens of their own country.
schoolchildren in the UK, US and the Czech Republic were exceptions
- they saw themselves more as citizens of their own country
than world citizens.
which countries were the most powerful in the world today,
the schoolchildren across the 10 countries ranked the US on
top. India and Israel were jointly ranked the ninth most powerful
asked which countries would be the most powerful in the next
10 years, India was ranked seventh. The US retained its top
position in this list, with China in second place.
study report said: "The biggest climbers were China and
India while the US and the UK slipped dramatically with the
US losing 48 percent of the vote in India, 35 percent in Brazil
and 19 percent in China among those able to give an opinion.
The UK lost 23 percent of the Indian vote, 12 percent of the
UK vote and eight percent of the Spanish vote."
spokesman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families
said the figures hid "a huge range of positive activity"
in British schools.
said: "Getting children to learn about the world and
their place in the world is at the heart of the action plan
for geography. Most schools are twinned with schools abroad
meaning they learn about children in other countries."