Most College Freshmen Want to Work Abroad, Take Graduate Studies, Care About the Environment


Most College Freshmen Want to Work Abroad, Take Graduate Studies, Care About the Environment



Most young Filipino millennials studying in college want to work abroad, take graduate studies, care about the environment, hope to someday be entrepreneurs, and believe hard work is key to success.

However most of them overestimate their abilities in English, admit they need remedial studies in Math, have not even worked at least part-time, and spend most of their time on social media, surfing the Internet, and watching TV.

These are some of the key findings of the first survey of a four-year study meant to understand Filipino college students’ backgrounds, expectations, aspirations, activities, and life goals “they hold most dearly”, according to the seven universities and two colleges that participated in the study.


Filling a research void

Billed to the news media as “pioneering research” on Filipino millennials, the College Freshmen Survey seeks to fill a research void in the country.

Dr. Michael Alba, current president of the Far Eastern University, and Prof. Auxencia Alarcon Limjap, FEU “scholar in residence”, are the lead proponents of the study conducted by the FEU Policy Center.

FEU teamed up with Adamson University, Baliuag University, Centro Escolar University, Jose Rizal University, National University, Philippine Women’s University, Mapua Institute of Technology, and Emilio Aguinaldo College to survey 4,325 Filipino millennials in their freshman year

Alba said, there are no large scale studies on the “impacts of the college experience on Filipino students.”

He said the study seeks to “redress this lacuna of knowledge” and in the process also find out later on if the respondents who did not go their senior high school having different learning outcomes compared to those who took SHS before entering college.

Dr. Alba said the survey findings “hold for the population of 27,741 freshmen students of the nine participating schools and not just for the 4,325 survey respondents alone” because of the “strict sampling procedure” they used to ensure “representativeness”.

The FEU president also said the same respondents “will be tested again every academic year henceforth as they are promoted until graduation, with a fresh batch of freshmen being added to the sample every time.” 


Mostly graduates of private high schools

Most of the respondents are not poor as 71.3 percent of them attended private high schools. Only 15.5 percent said their parents’ monthly income is less than P20,000 while some 23.6 percent said the gross monthly income of their parents is P100,000 or higher.

“The income distribution notwithstanding, 89.7 percent of students are primarily financed by family resources. Perhaps for this reason, a majority of the freshmen are concerned abot the burden of their college expenses. Indeed, for the 45.5 percent it is a major concern,” the FEU president said.

Some 21.3 percent of the freshmen have fathers working overseas while 16.6 percent are full-time workers in the private sector , 12.3 percent are government employees, and 12.9 percent are entrepreneurs.

“Fathers also tend to be relatively well-educated, with 39.7 percent having college degrees, 3.8 percent with graduate units, and 23 percent with graduate degrees. But mothers are netter educated, with 42.4 percent who are college graduates, 2.9 percent who have graduate units, and 24.9 percent who have graduate degrees,” Alba said.





“Freshmen have the (false) impression that they are well prepared for college,” Alba revealed. This statement drew some chuckles of amusement from the crowd that gathered at the Makati campus of FEU to learn about the survey results.

The survey, which was done online, found that “only about a quarter (of the respondents) believe they need remediation in English or science, with only 12.5 percent admitting the same for some other subject.”

About 60.7 percent of the freshmen did admit that they require remedial study in Math. More chuckles here.

Alba said the “cognitive dissonance (especially in English) may be the reason that intervention programs are ineffective. Students may not be taking the extra work seriously because they don’t believe they are not not proficient in the first place.”

The survey “worrisomely” found out that 39.5 percent of the freshmen have plagiarized for a school project or assignment.

Some 57.7 percent “drank beer, wine or liquor”, 48.4 percent have “cheated in a written test in class” and 48.3 percent “fell asleep in class”, the survey also learned. Chuckles and laughter was the audience response here.


Aspirations and beliefs

“Surprisingly, the freshmen have high education aspirations. Almost two-thirds of them intend to complete a postgraduate degree, such as a master’s or doctorate, or a degree in law or medicine. Almost three-fourths intend to work abroad, mainly because of the high pay,” the FEU president also said.

The researches said the freshmen “may be a conservative lot” with opinions on social issues that are right of center: 31.3 percent “strongly disagreed” that divorce should be legalized and “strongly agreed” that the death penalty should be reinstated.

Most of the respondents (85 percent) claimed they “have not demonstrated for a cause” and not “worked part-time for pay” (82.1 percent), nor “worked on a national or local political campaign” (77.2 percent).  — LBG/GMA News

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