UK Universities minister Sam Gyimah has pledged his support for a UUKi campaign aiming to double the percentage of UK students who study, work or volunteer abroad during their degree by 2020. Currently, only 6.6% of undergraduate students in the UK do so, a low percentage compared to many other countries.
Speaking to university representatives, students and MPs at a parliamentary event in London celebrating the Go International: Stand Out campaign, Gyimah said it is important to ensure more young people, regardless of their background, are able to enjoy the benefits that come with working, studying and volunteering abroad.
Recent studies have shown that students who go abroad are 20% less likely to be unemployed, 10% more likely to be in graduate jobs six months after graduation and are 7% higher wage earners when compared with students who don’t study abroad.
Students from disadvantaged backgrounds and underrepresented groups have been found to experience even more pronounced benefits.
Addressing the crowd, the minister said the Department for Education has been working with UUKi to develop options for how the government can best support outward mobility and, in particular, widen participation for students from economically disadvantaged or less represented backgrounds.