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Breaking Trends: Filipino College Students Embrace Skills-Focused Education!

Discover the changing landscape of education as Filipino college students increasingly prioritize skills-based learning. Dive into Instructure’s global annual report for key insights!


Filipino college students increasingly seek skills-based learning,  Instructure global annual report reveals

The 2023 State of Student Success and Engagement in Higher Education finds that Filipino students prioritize certificate and apprenticeship programs to acquire new skills.

Philippines – Instructure Holdings, Inc. (Instructure) (NYSE: INST), the leading learning platform and maker of Canvas Learning Management System (LMS), has released the results of its annual global State of Student Success and Engagement in Higher Education report for 2023, conducted in collaboration with Hanover Research. The survey reveals that more Filipino students are pursuing skills-based education to remain competitive and align with the evolving demands of the current job market.

According to the report, which rolled out in 17 countries, including 571 students, administrators and faculty in the Philippines, the primary motivations driving Filipino students to pursue skills-based learning opportunities include the desire to learn new skills (77%), career advancement (68%), program flexibility (59%) and career readiness (56%).

As Filipino students show an increasing preference for courses and programs that equip them effectively for professional roles, higher education institutions are presented with the opportunity to adjust their offerings. Among skills-based opportunities, students are most likely to consider certificates (43%) and apprenticeships (39%).

“Students today recognize that the modern workforce requires a diverse and rapidly adaptable skill set. As a result, they are opting for more flexible, skills-focused learning avenues that offer quicker routes to employment and a broader range of career opportunities,” said Harrison Kelly, Managing Director of the Asia Pacific region at Instructure. “This shift highlights the importance of adaptability in educational institutions to offer micro-credentials and programs that align with the expectations of students and employers.”

Use of Generative AI

The State of Student Success and Engagement in Higher Education survey also examined the integration of generative AI in the education sector and revealed a cautious embrace of the technology. While nearly half of the Filipino respondents (46%) indicated that their institutions introduced light guidelines on generative AI use, only 28% reported the presence of strict guidelines. In terms of training results, several institutions offer step-by-step tutorials (46%) on the use of such tools.

Filipino educators find generative AI helpful for creating content for their class (62%), research and writing (56%) and personalized learning (53%). On the other hand, students primarily use generative AI, such as ChatGPT, for research and writing (83%), preparing for tests (52%) and learning foreign languages (47%).

“Some of the top universities in the Philippines – among them, Canvas users – are already working on ways to address AI responsibly, with a human-centric approach,” Kelly said. “By offering tutorials and guidance, these institutions are ensuring that this powerful technology is harnessed responsibly by students and educators alike and is used to improve the learning and teaching experience.”

Higher Education Trends and Challenges

The report also found that a majority of students deemed the availability of technology (63%) and their active use of technology resources (62%) to have a significant impact on their academic success. Additionally, 55% emphasize the importance of resources dedicated to technology training and support.

In response to these evolving student needs, 65% of respondents report their institutions have incorporated the use of educational technology (edtech) solutions in classrooms, such as LMS (83%), to deliver course materials and offer pivotal support to students.

Despite the strides made by local higher education institutions, challenges persist. About 61% of students and educators identify the cost of technology as the main roadblock to accessing and leveraging edtech solutions. This data aligns with the finding that 56% of respondents see access to technology as a significant factor affecting student engagement.

Beyond technology, socioeconomic factors like household income (53%) and psychological well-being (46%) significantly influence student engagement and faculty support. Institutions in the Philippines use LMS to connect students to in-person and virtual counseling (60%), connect students to support groups (52%) and promote well-being events (51%).

“As we transition into 2024, the findings and insights from this study offer valuable guidance for institutions, faculty, and administrators to formulate strategies not only to address the challenges in higher education but to broaden their educational offerings,” Kelly said. “Employers are placing greater emphasis on skills-based hiring rather than traditional degree-based qualifications, and we’re seeing higher education institutions shifting their offerings to meet this evolving demand for flexible options and micro-credentials for upskilling and reskilling.”

View the full report: 2023 State of Student Success and Engagement in Higher Education



The 2023 State of Student Success and Engagement in Higher Education survey was developed in coordination with Hanover Research and fielded in July 2023 in 17 countries. After fielding and data, the study consisted of 6,100 qualified, completed responses, 4,850 students and 1,250 faculty members, academic staff, and administrators. The data was then cut into crosstabs by region, country, and role, along with various additional subsegments, such as socio-economic status. We performed statistical significance testing across segments with a 95% confidence level using a Z-Test with p = less than 0.05 and a margin of error +/- 1% for the overall sample size. For any questions regarding the underlying methodology or data, please contact us at 



Instructure (NYSE: INST) is an education technology company dedicated to elevating student success, amplifying the power of teaching, and inspiring everyone to learn together. Today the Instructure Learning Platform, comprised of its flagship product Canvas LMS and several products serving K-12, higher education and professional education, supports tens of millions of educators and learners around the world. Learn more at www.instructure.com/en-au. 

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This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute endorsement of any specific technologies or methodologies and financial advice or endorsement of any specific products or services.

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