Mobile students are more likely to obtain a first or 2:1, more likely to have a job six months after graduation – with the difference highest among black and Asian students – and more likely to be engaged in further study. They also earn more, according to a new report.
The average salary of a mobile student six months after graduation was £21,349 (compared to £20,519 for a non-mobile student).
Unemployment rates among mobile students were lower than those for non-mobile students across almost all socio-economic backgrounds. Some 5% of mobile graduates were unemployed or due to start work six months after graduation compared to 7% of their non-mobile peers.
Although they were less likely to be mobile, a period abroad correlated with a significantly greater improvement in employment outcomes for black and Asian students compared to white students.
Some 9.9% of non-mobile black graduates were unemployed, compared to 5.4% of black mobile graduates; and 9.5% of Asian non-mobile graduates were unemployed, compared to 4.4% of Asian mobile students, the report says.
Mobile students were more likely to be engaged in further study, or in work and further study.
In terms of academic outcomes, a higher proportion of mobile students achieved a First Class (1st) or Upper Second Class (2:1) in their degree (81%) compared with non-mobile students (72%).
Vivienne Stern, Director of the UK HE International Unit said: “This report demonstrates the value of mobility, particularly for students from ethnic minorities and disadvantaged backgrounds. We want to encourage all students to benefit from a period abroad.”
“International experience continues to be important for the individual’s employability, intercultural awareness and language skills,” the report says, “but its economic and political benefits should not be dismissed, as it reinforces global networks for UK higher education and industry”