The UK has scored lowest for satisfaction on post-study work rights and value for money among international students who responded to the International Student Employment Outcomes and Satisfaction survey.
The survey of more than 10,000 international students, carried out by the careers group International Alumni Job Network (IAJN), revealed that students were most concerned about the UK’s post-study work opportunities compared with similar markets such as Canada and the United States.
Only 26 per cent of international alumni said they were satisfied with post-study work opportunities in the UK, while Canada topped the list with 56 per cent. In September, the Migration Advisory Committee stopped short of recommending a post-study work visa for international students, which universities had been hoping to see.
Commenting on the findings, director of the Centre for Global Higher Education Simon Marginson told HE that the UK must change its approach to international student employment. “We all know that there’s a problem with post-study work rights in the UK,” he said. The MAC report had pointed to the importance of post-study work visas when it warned that the UK could slip to third place for international study, behind Australia, Marginson said. “It’s really over to the government to decide what to do.”
The international student survey revealed that the UK had the highest share of “detractors”—meaning international alumni who would not recommend the country to future students—at 28 per cent. The UK also scored lowest for satisfaction on return on investment among international students, at 66 per cent. Again, Canada came out on top with 77 per cent satisfaction among its international alumni.
Dominic Scott, chief executive of the advisory body UK Council for International Student Affairs, told HE: “If these findings are accurate they will clearly be telling UK institutions that in the areas of work rights, employment advice and indeed internships, many are saying that the UK could and should be doing more.”
IAJN founder Shane Dillon told HE that the low satisfaction rates could partly be due to the advice that agents and universities give international students before they arrive, creating a gap between expectation and reality. “That information they get is obviously what sets their expectations, and if that’s not accurate and they’re over-promised things about work rights or about employability, then that obviously makes them more disappointed,” Dillon said.
A total of 10,787 international students responded to the survey, which was carried out jointly by IAJN and the research firm Decision Lab.
Students from China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand were asked about their experiences of studying at universities in the UK, US, Australia, Canada, Europe and New Zealand.
this article was posted on October 09, 2018 in Research Research by Fiona McIntyre.