More UK Students Consider Overseas Study

By Editorial 02 May, 2014

A new survey by the British Council has found that more than a third of British students are considering studying overseas, and that there is increasing awareness of UK government scholarship programs available to help students study abroad.

The British Council's Education Intelligence service polled 2,630 people, of whom 26 percent said they were aware of scholarships. This represents a 9 percentage point rise on last year, and comes in the wake of the launch of the UK Strategy for Outward Mobility. This was unveiled by the UK Higher Education International Unit in December, with support from Government and the British Council.

In total, 37 percent of respondents indicated that they may study overseas, which is 17 percentage points higher than was the case last year. Of these, 33 percent gave the USA as their first preference, followed by Australia at 9 percent, and France and Germany at 5 percent. Reasons cited include improved job prospects and language skills, limited opportunities at home, and rising UK university fees.

However, most students still feel there is not enough information about the opportunities available, and many expressed worries about fitting in, language ability, and costs. The British Council suggests short-term visits to partnering institutions may be one way to overcome this problem.

Jo Beall, the British Council's Director of Education and Society, argued that: "The internationalization of the UK's education sector cannot be a one way process," and that "more of our young people need to be prepared to travel if we're to catch up with countries like France and Germany." She explained that the British Council offers tens of thousands of opportunities to work or study abroad every year.

Vivienne Stern, Director of the UK Higher Education International Unit, described studying abroad as "invaluable in an increasingly competitive international jobs market." She said that the UK Strategy for Outward Mobility will help to increase the proportion of students who study abroad as part of a UK degree program, or those that study abroad for postgraduate qualifications.

Tags: Australia | United Kingdom | Education | France | Germany | United States | Education | Expats | Education |


News Archive