2023 Survey: Education Preferences Among Maltese Adult Learners

8 months ago
Malta Student Survey

The landscape of higher education is continuously evolving, with online learning rapidly becoming a preferred method for many. This shift is especially evident in Malta, where the demand for accessible and flexible education options has grown rapidly.

In an effort to better understand the motivations and preferences of our adult learners, we recently conducted a survey among our students, all of whom are currently enrolled in online courses between MQF level 4 (foundation diploma) and MQF level 7 (postgraduate study).


Sample Overview:

Our sample comprised 343 participants, spanning from the ages of 18 to 66. While our primary demographic leans towards the age bracket of 27 to 40 years old, it’s crucial to understand the broader age dynamics of our online student community.


Detailed Breakdown:

18-26 years old: 10% (34 respondents) – Younger learners entering higher education or looking for additional qualifications.

27-35 years old: 45% (154 respondents) – Mainly professionals seeking to advance or switch careers.

36-45 years old: 30% (103 respondents) – Mid-career professionals aiming for managerial roles or diversifying their skills.

46-55 years old: 10% (34 respondents) – Mature students pursuing lifelong learning or considering late career shifts.

56-66 years old: 5% (17 respondents) – Individuals near or in retirement, potentially studying for personal enrichment.

In terms of gender distribution, approximately 61% of the participants were women, underlining the appeal or accessibility of online courses for female students in Malta.


Primary Reasons for Choosing Online Over In-Person Education:

Traffic Concerns:

74.7% (256 respondents) identified traffic as a huge challenge to attending in-person courses.

16.2% (56 respondents) considered it a moderate obstacle.

9.1% (31 respondents) did not find it to be an issue.


Balancing Work Commitments with Study:

Explanation: Adult learners often juggle their studies with full-time jobs, leading to potential conflicts in schedules and heightened stress levels.

65.1% (223 respondents) cited the balance between work and study as a major obstacle to studying online and as a reason for choosing an online course.

20.3% (70 respondents) viewed it as a moderate concern.

14.6% (50 respondents) were not concerned.


Flexibility in Course Scheduling:

Explanation: The rigidity of class timings in traditional educational institutions can make it challenging for students with varying personal and professional commitments.

65.5% (225 respondents) found limited flexibility to be a significant barrier.

21.7% (74 respondents) saw it as a moderate issue.

12.8% (44 respondents) did not consider it challenging.


Societal Perceptions for Mature Students:

Explanation: Societal views on adults returning to education can influence learners’ experiences.

10.7% (37 respondents) felt societal pressures related to further studies.

19.6% (67 respondents) considered it a moderate concern.

69.7% (239 respondents) were not affected and societal pressures did not factor in their decisions.


Concluding Remarks:

Traffic emerged as one of the most pronounced challenges for adult learners in Malta. As the landscape of higher education evolves, collaboration between institutions, urban planners, and policymakers is imperative.

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