UK students say study abroad increases job prospects

Monday 15 August 2016

 

An increase in empathy towards international students and enhanced confidence are some of the most positive impacts of study abroad, according to a British Council report published today that surveyed a sample of UK students in higher education.

Broadening Horizons 2016: Maximising the impact of study abroad, examines how UK students perceived the overseas study experience, particularly its impact on their employability, institutional engagement and global awareness.  

Through the Broadening Horizons series, the British Council aims to capture and track over time the views of students on the drivers for and barriers to international study.

The 2016 report concludes that returned students can be a valuable resource to promote overseas study, with returned home students largely believing they are more employable than those who had not studied abroad and many identifying other benefits of the experience, including improved communication skills and increased confidence. 

Returned home students can further enhance the UK international student experience, with 91 per cent of respondents saying after study abroad they feel more strongly that domestic students should welcome and include international students.  

The report also identified a welcome and largely unexpected result of study abroad is a new self-confidence that may permeate students’ social and academic lives. 

“Our research shows that, after study abroad, UK home students are eager to share their wisdom and worldview with their peers,” says Education Intelligence Research Director Zainab Malik. “By inspiring returned students to unpack the lessons learned while overseas and to be advocates for study abroad and for international students, the life-changing effects of the experience are maximised and shared.”

KEY FINDINGS

• Ninety-one per cent of returned students said study abroad made them more inclusive and welcoming to international students, citing greater empathy towards international students and the challenges they may face; 

• Eighty-three per cent of students believed that study abroad had strengthened their job prospects; returned home students largely believed they are more employable than those who had not studied abroad; 

• The vast majority of respondents - ninety-one per cent - were likely to recommend study abroad to other students and would emphasise positive value to their social, personal and professional lives;

• Eighty-one per cent of students who had studied abroad were more interested in global issues after studying abroad while 69 per cent said they had become more interested in national political issues after study abroad; 

• There is a positive relationship between study abroad during higher education and the desire to go abroad again, for academic or professional reasons. Almost one third of respondents would ‘definitely’ apply for job abroad and 54 per cent stated they were now more open to the option.

ENDS 

Notes to Editor

https://ei.britishcouncil.org/educationintelligence/ei-feature-broadenin...

The British Council’s Broadening Horizons series has historically explored students’ perceived barriers to and drivers of outward mobility to inform policies at the individual, institutional and national level.   

In its fourth year, Broadening Horizons 2016: Maximising the impact of study abroad aims to examine the impact of study abroad by focusing on returned UK students and investigating how the overseas study experience has manifested itself in their UK institutional experience, career expectations and contributions to society.

Methodology

Data was collected via an online survey and focus groups of current UK home students who had studied abroad as part of their higher education course.

The survey was completed by 245 respondents and 14 students participated in the focus groups. The development and administration of the methodology as well as the analysis of the data was completed in cooperation with the National Union of Students. All data was collected in April and May 2016.

For more information, please contact nicola.norton@britishcouncil.org 

About the British Council

 The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide.

We work in more than 100 countries and our 8,000 staff – including 2,000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the arts and delivering education and society programmes.

We are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A core publicly-funded grant provides 16 per cent of our turnover which last year was £973 million. The rest of our revenues are earned from services which customers around the world pay for, such as English classes and taking UK examinations, and also through education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. All our work is in pursuit of our charitable purpose and supports prosperity and security for the UK and globally.

For more information, please visit: www.britishcouncil.org. You can also keep in touch with the British Council through http://twitter.com/britishcouncil and