New research has highlighted the positive impact that an overseas experience during their degree studies can have on the lives of United Kingdom students. The 'Gone International: expanding opportunities' report was published this month by Universities UK International (UUKi) and compares the academic results and employment outcomes of mobile and non-mobile undergraduates from the 2015-16 academic year.
Results show that just 3.6% of graduates that went abroad were unemployed compared to 4.4% of graduates that didn't.
Overseas placements were of particular benefit to students from disadvantaged backgrounds, with Asian students, for instance, 43.5% less likely to be unemployed than their peers who didn't have an international experience. However, those from disadvantaged groups are less likely to go abroad than their better off counterparts, with only 5.1% of students from low-socio-economic backgrounds spending time overseas compared to 8.7% for the more-advantaged.
Also among the key findings was the fact that almost half (44.8%) of overseas placements in 2015-16 were through Erasmus+, showing the UK’s continued high level of participation in the European Union programme.
Universities minister Sam Gyimah, introducing the report, said: “An international experience can be life changing in all sorts of ways. By meeting new people, seeing new places and experiencing different ways of life we learn about The countries we visit, our home countries and our place in the world. It opens up new horizons, provides inspiration and supports personal growth.
“As this report shows, the evidence is clear: graduates who go abroad during their studies are more likely to get a higher degree classification and be in graduate jobs than those who don’t. They are less likely to be unemployed and also gain higher starting salaries.”
Learn more about Erasmus+ higher education funding opportunities on our dedicated webpage.