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Career support for international students at UK universities

HEPI Report 143, 2021. Paying more for less? Careers and employability support for international students at UK universities. Higher Education Policy Institute, United Kingdom.


The Higher Education Policy Institute and Kaplan International Pathways jointly commissioned research on international students’ experiences of careers and employability support in UK universities. The qualitative element of the research occurred via three (online) focus groups held in June 2021 that were attended by 31 international students. One group was made up of students on a range of foundation pathway courses; one was made up of undergraduates; and the third was dedicated to postgraduates. On the other hand, the quantitative responses were gathered through an online survey which comprised 1,051 international students from 118 universities.

Results reveal that studying in the UK helps international students’ future career prospects, as most of them feel like the qualification they obtained helped them get the job they desired. While similar research highlights signalling as a growing problem, this research states that UK higher education institutions are putting more emphasis on employability. Some international students highlighted a need for a more rounded higher education offers and for easier access to internships.

You can read the full report here.