UUKi research has shown that an overseas element of study can have a positive impact on students' academic and career outcomes.
This effect is particularly pronounced for those from disadvantaged, black and minority ethnic groups - for example, black graduates who studied, worked or volunteered abroad were 41% less likely to be unemployed than their peers who did not take up overseas opportunities.
However, just 6.6% of UK undergraduates currently secure this kind of international experience as part of their time at university. This compares to 15% of students in the USA, 19% in Australia and 25% in Germany.
With this in mind, in 2017 UUKi launched a new UK Strategy for Outward Student Mobility with a target to double this percentage to 13% by 2020.
The new £70,000 grant from the UPP Foundation will support UUKi in a number of initiatives to galvanise the sector to reach this ambitious goal over the next three years and complements UUKi's 'Go International: Stand Out' campaign to achieve the target which was launched in November 2017.
Priorities encompass advocacy and profile raising across the four nations of the UK; the creation of a network of champions, research and evidence gathering; producing resources for universities; and media outreach.
Vivienne Stern, UUKi Director comments:
"We are delighted to be partnering with UPP Foundation on this important work. International study, work and volunteer placements make a real difference to the lives of students from all backgrounds. They provide students with skills that employers are looking for – like intercultural awareness, confidence and adaptability. However, few students are aware of the benefits and few are taking up these opportunities. Working with UPP Foundation, we're excited about helping the sector prove the case for outward student mobility, and showcase the wonderful opportunities available to students."
Richard Brabner, Director of UPP Foundation comments:
"We know that studying, working and volunteering abroad as part of a student's degree has a transformative impact on graduate outcomes. It is therefore vital that more students take up these opportunities, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. But beyond social mobility it is vital that UK students have a strong sense of cultural awareness so that they are able to thrive in an interdependent world. UUKI have an extremely strong track record of delivering outstanding projects on international higher education, so we are delighted and excited to be supporting the Go International: Stand Out campaign."