The report compares the academic attainment and employment outcomes of mobile and non-mobile first degree undergraduate students who completed their studies at the end of the 2014–15 academic year. Students are considered 'mobile' if they have at least one period abroad of one week or longer as part of their undergraduate first degree. This period of mobility can be study, work or volunteering.
The research finds a correlation between outward student mobility and improved academic and employment outcomes:
Those figures are even more favourable for disadvantaged, black and minority ethnic groups who go abroad during their studies:
However black and minority ethnic graduates are still underrepresented in the outward student mobility figures. In the 2014–15 cohort, 7.7% of white students were mobile, compared with 4.4% of Asian students and 3.6% of black students.
That being said, the total number of students who have a period of mobility during their studies keeps increasing: 16,165 UK-domiciled graduates responding to the 2014–15 DLHE survey were reported as mobile.
This represents 7.2% of all respondents to the survey, an increase from 5.4% in the 2013–14 graduating cohort.
'The report shows a strong link between going abroad for students, particularly when they enter the workforce.
'It is all the more striking that mobility is such an asset for disadvantaged and BME students. These numbers (black graduates who were mobile were 70% less likely to be unemployed!) show how necessary it is that students from all backgrounds take these life changing opportunities.
'As the UK prepares to leave the EU, the UK government has indicated a need for the country to become even more global and internationalist in action and spirit. Outward mobility can form a key part of this agenda, in enhancing the domestic skills base and making students more globally engaged.'
The higher education community will be exploring the theme of expanding outward student mobility activities to underrepresented groups, subjects, activities and destinations at UUKi's upcoming Go International conference on 25 April.