According to a new report, mobile students are more likely to achieve higher grades, find employment within six months after graduating and are also more likely to engage in further study when compared to their stationary counterparts.
The research, administered by the UK Higher Education International Unit’s Go International Programme, notes that students who have obtained overseas study experience are much more likely to achieve a first or 2:1 degree, a contributing factor to them receiving higher salaries later on in life.
According to the figures, the average salary of a mobile student six months after graduation is £21,349, compared to £20,519 for a non-mobile student over the same period of time.
Unemployment rates for mobile students across all socio-economic backgrounds were much lower than those who were non-mobile. Approximately five percent of mobile graduates were unemployed or waiting to start work six months after graduation, compared to seven percent of their stable counterparts.
In terms of racial crossover, this study provides evidence for a positive correlation between study abroad experience and employment outcomes for black and Asian students. Though students of these backgrounds are much less likely to pursue overseas study than those of Caucasian descent, research demonstrates that those who do spend time studying overseas face considerably better employment prospects than those who study in their home country alone.
According to data, 9.9 percent of stationary black graduates were unemployed, compared to 5.4 percent of black mobile graduates. Data also shows that 9.5 percent of non-mobile Asian graduates were not currently in employment, compared to 4.4 percent of their mobile ethnic counterparts.
At 38 percent, graduates of modern language courses represented the highest proportion of mobile students, followed by clinical medicine, though periods of mobility for medical students generally lasted no longer than eight weeks.
The study shows that female students are more mobile than males, but rates of mobility are in fact equal, at 3.6 percent, if language students are excluded from these figures.
The study also highlights that generally, mobile students are much more likely to pursue further education upon completing their degree, with a number choosing to partake in further study alongside part-time employment.
“International experience continues to be important for the individual’s employability, intercultural awareness and language skills,” the report states, “but its economic and political benefits should not be dismissed, as it reinforces global networks for UK higher education and industry.
“It is therefore essential that the UK higher education sector continues to be ambitious and increase the number of students it sends abroad each year.”
The report emphasises the need for UK education professionals to keep tabs of participation in overseas study as the range of international opportunities available to students continues to expand, and urges the sector to acknowledge emerging trends in order to uphold the growth in international participation.
“This report demonstrates the value of mobility, particularly for students from ethnic minorities and disadvantaged backgrounds,” says Vivienne Stern, Director of the UK HE International Unit. “We want to encourage all students to benefit from a period abroad.”
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