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Many Australian students lack hope for the future

Staff Writer | August 16, 2016
Less than half (48%) of students in Years 5 through 12 surveyed through Australia's 2016 Gallup Student Poll could be classified as "hopeful," meaning they have abundant ideas and energy for the future.
Australian students
Down Under   Students are leaving school without a lot of confidence
This figure hasn't change since 2014. More than one in three (37%) students polled were classified as "stuck" - meaning they have few ideas and little momentum for their future.

And more than one in seven (15%) were classified as "discouraged," meaning they lack ideas and energy and may have negative conceptualizations of the future.

This lack of hope is a huge missed opportunity that could have significant implications not only for these students, but also for Australia's future.

Gallup research shows that hope drives high school attendance rates, GPA averages and university retention. Studies have shown that hope is an even greater predictor of university success than standardized testing scores. So fostering students' levels of hope for the future should be a priority for schools.

Hope is one of the critical metrics in Australia's Gallup Student Poll (GSP), which also measures other noncognitive aspects of student performance, such as well-being, engagement and entrepreneurial aspiration.

In 2016, the Gallup Student Poll was made up of a convenience sample of over 11,000 students in Years 5-12 from 34 schools.

More than 41,000 students have participated since the inception of GSP in Australia in 2012, and over 2 million students have taken part in it in the U.S. since 2009.

While 74% of students in Year 5 are engaged in school - meaning they are involved in and enthusiastic about school - this percentage is much lower for students in Year 12, at 52%.

Additionally, only about three in 10 Year 12 students strongly agree that they know they will find a good job after they leave school, and 22% can strongly agree that they know they can find lots of ways around any problem.

This indicates that many students are leaving school without a lot of confidence in their future.