International students to the UK make up almost 20% of the student population in UK universities. With numbers as large as this, it would be interesting to know exactly what their experience studying abroad is. And that is why iGraduate has come out with The International Graduates Outcomes 2019 – the very first international student survey to study career outcomes for international graduates in the UK.
International Graduate Outcomes 2019 (i-GO)
A large sample of international students, 16, 199 to be exact and 58 universities in the UK make this one of the most dependable surveys on employability. This is not a one-way street, both UK as well as the students who come here have much to gain from each other. This is one reason why the UK government’s International Student Strategy that it announced in March of this year sets an ambitious plan of 600,000 international students by 2030.
The 2-year Post Study Work permit (PSW) set to start from 2020 has already seen a sudden surge in student applications from countries around the world.
The i-Go survey distributed its respondent size by country, to reflect nationalities with the largest student population in the UK. The USA takes the lead, followed by China and India.
While many of these students returned to their homeland after getting their degree, quite a few stayed on in the UK. More surprising is that a good number went on to work in a third country. This insight is what makes study in the UK so attractive. 87% of respondents said that their UK degree has made it more likely that they would do business internationally.
The Satisfaction Index
The United Kingdom consistently comes up high when it comes to a satisfaction score among global international students.
The Indian angle
Another interesting insight for students in India – 23% of Indian respondents are currently entrepreneurs. I-Go data also reveals that these entrepreneurs mostly veer towards IT, marketing or trade. This is a natural progression since most Indian students coming to the UK select STEM or business studies.
51% also said they earned more than their peers. Set down in numbers, Indian graduates from the UK earn 2x times the national graduate level salary.
The China connection
Students from China are very specific in their area of study – business and administrative studies. This correlated with the skill shortage that exists in China in these areas.
While just 55% returned to China after getting their degree from a UK university in 2010, it is now almost 81%. This just substantiates China’s economic mobility as more employment opportunities bring back more of its students.
The intangible benefit of students coming to the UK to study is that they get an opportunity to build their networks that stands to benefit them later. This network has especially opened up the avenues to employability.
- Overall 37% surveyed said they used their network to land a job.
- More interestingly, the breakdown by country shows that for Nigeria, personal networks contributed to 49% getting their job
- In China, this was 44%
- 42% of Indian students used personal networks to find their job.
The International Graduates Outcomes 2019 does not show any downside to students experience and everything seems peaches and cream. The large sample size and the scope and insights though make it a good basis to understand student sentiment towards studying in the UK.