Career Outcomes of International Graduates from the UK Universities: Research

UK international graduates students career outcomes research

What are the career outcomes of international students earning a degree from the UK? How satisfied are international graduates? Where are they after graduating from their program? What are graduates doing since earning their UK degree? These are the overarching questions of a survey of EU and non-EU international graduates released by Universities UK International.

Study of International Graduate Career Outcomes 2019 is based on a survey of 16,199 international graduates from 58 participating UK institutions. These respondents completed their studies between January 2011 and July 2016.

Key findings in terms of destinations of graduates shows that:

~1/4 stayed back in the UK
~1/6 moved to a third country
~3/5 returned to their home country

Survey data suggests that majority of the graduates return to their home country or a third country (returnees). It is worth asking and investigating what proportion of these returnees wanted to stay in the UK but were involuntary pushed out due to immigration and employment constraints in the UK?

While the report cover brief case examples from different countries, it is important to note that Chinese respondents are underrepresented in this survey data even though they form 1/3rd of all non-EU international enrollment in the UK.  So, further insights are needed in understanding how graduate outcomes differ by countries?

The report notes that “…international graduates from UK universities go on to successful and satisfying careers, and that the majority of them recognize that their UK degree is a vehicle for their success.”

The share of respondents that reported they were unemployed and looking for work was less than 4%. Also, 4% of Indian respondents and 2% of Chinese respondents who graduated from 2011 to 2014 reported being unemployed, compared to national unemployment rates of around 6% and 5% respectively in those countries.

Data also shows that only 2% of graduates found job using “university career services” as opposed to 37% through “personal contacts” suggesting that universities must do a lot more helping and enabling career success of international students.

This data adds to the understanding of the career outcomes of international graduates and provides angles of future research.