10k Indian Voices

The groundbreaking 10K Indian Voices survey is the first of its kind that captures a major shift in sentiment representative of the world’s largest youth population in 2021.


The biggest survey of Gen-Z in India

The survey – the biggest of its kind to date from India – gauged how the local youth demographic in India perceived the world around them through the lens of academic and professional aspirations, the influence of social media, social activism and sustainability, and the impact of the pandemic. The survey was carried out in several stages throughout 2020 and 2021 and received 9,963 completed responses from participants aged 18-23. The survey cohort hailed from across India and was composed of current undergraduate and graduate students and recent graduates.

Key findings of the survey

93% of survey respondents said they thought about sustainability daily

60% indicated it was “absolutely critical” to pursue a career of choice, more than those who prioritised a high salary
39% cited career growth as their most pressing issue followed by mental health (21%) and education (21%)
73% used two or more social media platforms, with 96% using Instagram.
50% of surveyed students spent 1-4 hours on social media, with 18% spending over 4 hours daily

Surveyed students said they have been negatively impacted by Covid-19, both in terms of their online learning experiences as well as their mental health.

“These ‘Gen-Z’ students are defined more uniquely and have more ways than ever to express their opinions,” said Lakshmi Iyer, Executive Director of Education at Acumen and the 10K Indian Voices survey lead. “They care about their academic and career prospects, but are now looking beyond their immediate surroundings to seek their place in the world.”

Insights from the 10K Indian Voices survey

The 10K Indian Voices survey results indicate that students have developed a keen awareness of global challenges, such as those involving hunger and poverty, and are beginning to seek personal fulfilment over job opportunities that promise high salaries or professional networks. While the desire to study at a branded university and to work at a reputable company remains intact, the survey indicates a youth perspective that is broadening and more embracing. Among the survey findings was significant student concern about issues surrounding sustainability and indications that social media has become even more firmly embedded in how students obtain information.

The impact of the findings

The findings of this report have huge consequences for the higher education sector, business sector and the global economy. Adrian Mutton, Founder and CEO of Acumen said: “Representing around one-fifth of the entire world’s youth population, how Indian students make decisions about their education will profoundly dictate future global mobility. Universities should heed this paradigm shift in sentiment and develop strategies to meet these evolving student needs.”

Higher education institutions will need to start to focus on application-oriented practical learning rather than just theory and help students develop skills. It’s also crucial to include sustainable development goals in the curriculum and supplement existing learning models to address possible academic setbacks that occurred with online classes during the pandemic. The survey also suggested universities need to do more to prioritise the mental and emotional health of students and be vocal about it. A desire to gain practical skills that are directly applicable to the workplace has become a student priority.

With unique insight, expert analysis and the complete results of the 10K Indian Voices survey, the report is a huge source of information for universities, businesses and higher education institutions in India around the world.

Access the Report