The Higher Education Policy Institute (@HEPI_news) and Kaplan (@KaplanNews) are publishing new research on the expectations and experiences of international students in relation to careers support and employability.

Paying more for less? Employability support for international students at UK universities (HEPI Report 143) includes specially commissioned new research from the Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC) and the polling company Cibyl that explores this important but little studied aspect of higher education. 

Key findings

  • Careers support is a big consideration when choosing where to study: An overwhelming majority of international students say the careers support (82%) and employability skills (92%) they thought they would receive were ‘important’ or ‘very important’ when choosing their university. Yet only around half (52%) think their institution is doing well at satisfying the careers support needs of international students.
  • Students on courses with embedded employability skills are more satisfied: Three-quarters (75%) of students who say employability skills are embedded in their course are happy with their course and university, compared to just 43% for those who say employability skills are not part of their course. Students who feel their courses have not covered employability skills are twice as likely to say that, in hindsight, they would pick a different institution to do the same course (18% versus 8%) and three times as likely to say they would go to a different institution to do a different course (12% versus 4%).

Expectations of careers support post-graduation vary: Students are split on whether their university careers service should provide tailored support about careers in their home country – 42% of students say it should, another 42% say they do not expect this.

  • International students struggle to find access to work experience opportunities in the UK: Four-in-ten (39%) international students have done no work experience during their time at university. Sometimes, this is not out of choice. Focus group participants complained, ‘I’ve been applying for work experience but have had no success after six months of trying’, ‘Competition has been really high trying to get placements, [and] COVID has made it worse’ and ‘I think UK companies are timid in the face of a hostile immigration system’. The majority (71%) of international students say they plan to stay in the UK to work after graduation, at least for a while, and among those who plan to stay, over three quarters (77%) are concerned about whether they will earn enough to support themselves. 

Nick Hillman, Director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, said:

‘The quality of UK higher education is unquestionably something the rest of the world respects about our country. Demand among international students held up even in the depth of the first global pandemic for a century. But we cannot take such strong demand for granted because Brexit has meant a halving in the number of EU students arriving here to study and because other countries also want to recruit more international students, meaning fierce competition.

‘The primary reason most students attend higher education is to secure a rewarding career afterwards. So the quality of the careers and employability support is critical in attracting more students. Yet some international students feel they are paying more but getting less because some support is seemingly targeted more at home students.

‘The answer to this conundrum is to reconsider the support provided before, during and after study. There needs be ensure good pre-arrival information, equal access to work experience opportunities and easy access to support after graduation. Effective support is not cheap but it is clearly an appropriate use of the higher fees that international students pay.’

Linda Cowan, Managing Director of Kaplan International Pathways, said:

‘Our report provides new evidence for the importance of employability skills to international students as part of the UK higher education offer. With the high fees they pay, students are right to expect effective and comprehensive employability skills and careers support, and this is all the more important when it is a key factor in the decisions they make about where to study.

‘There is good news – a majority of students surveyed found that employability skills were embedded in their academic course and this was a strong predictor for how happy they were with their course and university.

‘If the UK is going to compete globally for international students, ensuring that they get the support they need to prepare for future careers, in the UK or their home country, would set the UK apart from other countries. Increased support for international students will also benefit UK students who are looking to develop their careers globally.’

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page