Global health issues a primary concern for young Taiwanese: survey

Photo courtesy of the King Car Cultural and Educational Foundation

TAIPEI (CNA) — A recent survey found that a majority of young people in Taiwan view global health issues as the most important focus of international affairs, a local educational foundation said Tuesday.

The non-profit King Car Cultural and Educational Foundation conducted the survey from April to May among secondary school and college students nationwide and found that 61.1 percent of those polled said international health issues concern them most.

Meanwhile, 45.8 percent identified other main topics of interest as climate change, followed by environmental conservation at 33.7 percent, the rich-poor divide at 33.1 percent, employment at 27.6 percent, and international refugees at 11.3 percent.

The survey found that on average, 64.1 percent of those polled rated their understanding of global affairs highly.

Respondents were asked to rate their global vision on a scale of 1-100 points and a majority rated their score as 60-79, followed by 40-59, and 80-89.

Asked to list the biggest obstacle to young people understanding international affairs, the number one factor was an inability to read foreign languages at 59.5 percent, while lacking knowledge of other cultures was 47.1 percent.

Commenting on the King Car survey, foundation general director Joyce Tseng (曾清芸) said there are numerous ways to nurture an interest in global affairs, such as wider reading and developing language skills.

Traveling abroad and absorbing new cultures are also great ways to broaden one’s horizons, she said.

Hsu Fang-chen (許芳甄), a student at Taipei Municipal Huajiang High School, said developing an awareness of international affairs is a good way to help develop a global mindset.

The survey, conducted from April 23-May 10, collected 6,018 valid samples with a 97 percent confidence level and a margin of error of plus and minus three percentage points.