The latest report in the series of research by the British Council, "The Future Generation-Albania" dissects the hopes, fears, and dreams of Albanian youth. The report, presented in Tirana, reveals that the quality of education and employment are the most significant concerns.
This is the first comprehensive study on Albanian youth, shedding light on the experiences, aspirations, desires, and values of the first post-communist generation growing up in Albania. Particularly, the Special Youth Force, composed of young experts and thought leaders, played a crucial role in supporting the research by providing guidance, expertise, and unique findings. In an event held in Tirana, stakeholders, officials, and young participants gathered to unveil the report's findings. His Excellency Alastair King-Smith, the British Ambassador to Albania, Elisa Spiropali, the State Minister for Relations with Parliament, and Clare Sears, the Director of the British Council for the Western Balkans, delivered remarks at the report launch ceremony.
The report "The Future Generation-Albania" presents the findings of a comprehensive study using mixed methods, analyzing the experiences, beliefs, and attitudes of Albanian youth aged 18-29 as part of the British Council's global research initiative "The Future Generation." To provide a complete and detailed portrait of the future generation, the research included 1,249 young Albanians from various walks of life. The program used innovative and participatory techniques to understand the breadth of experiences and values among Albanian youth.
Referring to the study's results, especially those related to the United Kingdom, Alastair King-Smith, the British Ambassador to Albania, stated: "I am pleased to have the opportunity to read the report 'The Future Generation.' It is a thorough investigation that reveals how Albanian youth perceive their future regarding educational opportunities and job prospects. These indicators will help us in our joint efforts to improve the future of Albanian youth by creating opportunities and strengthening the UK-Albania relationship."
Minister Spiropali emphasized that the research highlights the aspirations and concerns of young people in Albania, making it highly significant. "The revelation of a trend related to brain drain is due to a significant percentage of young Albanians choosing to leave the country. The entire Balkan region, including Albania, faces this trend. According to the report, life in Albania has shown improvement compared to the experiences of the previous generation. Reforms implemented regarding children, students, and young people throughout the country can be attributed to this improvement," she added.
Clare Sears, Director of the British Council in the Western Balkans, speaking on behalf of the organization, emphasized positive trends emerging from this research. She highlighted the necessity of building unique programs for both young people and children, such as the "21st Century Schools," the flagship program of the British Council, which can help encourage critical thinking and develop communication skills essential for future career paths.
"The report 'The Future Generation-Albania' represents a positive advancement for youth in Albania. I am particularly pleased that we had the opportunity to connect with the Special Youth Force, whose assistance contributed significantly to achieving comparative results in this study. The report serves as a tool to support Albania's young generation in creating a better and more vibrant future for this beautiful country," added Ms. Sears in her opening remarks.
The British Council's report "The Future Generation-Albania" highlights the perspectives of young Albanians on a range of trends and outcomes critical to the future of Albania's youth.
Below, find the key points of the report:
- Albanian youth are undergoing a shift from collective to increasingly individualistic and personal values. The research, including the "Future Generation" survey and in-depth qualitative dives, identified three fundamental influences shaping the value systems of Albanian youth: family, economic challenges driving a growing trend towards individualism and social comparison, and social media, exacerbating feelings of comparison, negatively impacting mental health and self-perception among young Albanians.
- Life in Albania has improved compared to the experience of the previous generation, but the standard of living still leaves much to be desired. More than three-quarters (78%) of respondents in "The Future Generation-Albania" believe that the lives of today's youth are better than those of their parents.
- Education: The quality of education and preparation for employment dominate concerns. While Albania has made significant progress in its educational reforms, challenges persist. Perceptions of the quality of education are mixed, both in terms of current educational quality and improvement.
- A significant concern is the ability of the education system to prepare youth for employment. Overall, respondents identify communication and management skills as key contributors to success in the job market, which may need to be developed in terms of connecting with the education system to ensure that young people feel prepared for work.
- Political engagement: Albanian youth are politically frustrated due to the neglect of their voices and the political system's inability to represent them. In contrast to previous studies showing political disinterest and apathy among Albanian youth, the predominant sentiment in this report is disappointment with politics rather than disinterest.
- The voice of youth in the community: engaged but in a muted sense of community. The study suggests that youth engagement in community activities is primarily focused on social events, constituting 53% of respondents involved in community participation.
- Global perspective dominated by pragmatic and economic considerations. Albanian youth show pragmatism when assessing Albania's global relations with the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU). Albanian youth acknowledge the government's efforts, including the introduction of various initiatives and strategies related to climate, welcome government action, and expect technological advancements and cleaner technologies to help alleviate pollution and address environmental concerns.
About "The Future Generation"
"The Future Generation" is a global research program initiated in countries experiencing significant periods of change, with the aim of ensuring that the voices and interests of young people are heard and represented properly in decisions that will impact their lives.
Research projects examine young people's perspectives on education, employment, and lifestyle, as well as uncover their hopes and fears for their country, the extent of international engagement, and their views on the broader world and the values and beliefs influencing their lives.