The UK Student Futures Commission says international students' top priority is getting a job after graduation.
- In-depth report praises excellent welcome for international students in the UK but urges more support around employability preparation and career placement.
- Study Group Senior Advisor one of team sector experts leading a year-long review on how to improve the experience of students beyond COVID-19.
A new report published today by a dedicated international working group of the UK Student Futures Commission has identified the priorities of international students in improving their student experience beyond COVID-19. The report particularly highlights supporting student and graduate employment as the number one priority for international students in the UK.
The Student Futures Commission International Group is co-chaired by Professor Mary Stuart and student leader Amina Akugri. Membership includes senior leaders from UK universities, the CEOs of the UK Council for International Student Association, Universities UK International and the Asia Careers Group, as well as Study Group Senior Advisor Ruth Arnold who co-founded the UK’s “We are International” campaign.
The report also drew on expert sessions held through 2021 and a series of focus groups involving over 60 international students from 7 different universities. Student groups took a deep dive approach to explore international students perspectives on pre-arrival, university and post-graduation.
According to Chair Professor Stuart, “Students were very clear that gaining good employment post-graduation was central to their ambitions and the UK should take a lead in this area. If government and the sector want to expand our market share further then we need to invest in the whole experience to ensure good graduate outcomes for international students.”
Specific recommendations by the Commission included:
- robust representative international graduate outcomes data
- improved links with overseas employers and international employment practices
- ensuring UK employers understand the new graduate route and take up opportunities to recruit international graduates
- dedicated international placement officers working with local and national companies to identify career opportunities
- dedicated employability support as international graduates enter the early stages of their careers whether that is within the UK or abroad
According to Commissioner and Senior Advisor to International Education providers Study Group Ruth Arnold:
“Supporting the employment ambitions of international students through all stages of their student journey is essential if the UK is to remain a top study destination, and our work for the Student Futures Commission makes clear students want to see their job prospects - either here in the UK or in their home countries - higher up the agenda and at the heart of the UK’s International Education Strategy.
“It’s clear that there is already some excellent work taking place in UK higher education and government to support international students achieve their career ambitions after graduation, not least through the opportunity to work part-time as a student, gain professional experience and take up post-study work here in Britain. It’s also encouraging though to see education recognise the importance of work experience, careers advice, support to develop business ideas and embedding the skills which we know will help give our graduates what they need to thrive in their working lives.”