About the campaign



The Go International: Stand Out campaign aimed to double the percentage of UK students studying, working or volunteering abroad as part of their degree to 13% by 2020. 


About the campaign

The Go International: Stand Out campaign was designed to help the sector deliver on our national target for outward student mobility: 

'to double the percentage of UK-domiciled, full-time, first degree, undergraduate students who have an international placement as part of their university programme by 2020.'

Universities UK International (UUKi) convened a series of activities from 2017 to 2020 to support universities in meeting the national target. UUKi encouraged UK universities and ally organisations, such as sector bodies, associations, businesses and commercial partners, and international partners, such as governments, NGOs, UK-based embassies and universities overseas, to sign up to the campaign charter and to submit a pledge to help boost and broaden UK outward student mobility. 


The case for a campaign

​Studying, working or volunteering abroad for even a short period during university study enables future graduates to develop many non-technical skills sought after by employers.

Increasing numbers of UK students are gaining international experience during their higher education but it remains a relatively small proportion of the overall student population.

The Go International: Stand Out campaign supported the delivery of the 2017-2020 UK strategy for outward student mobility to create a new generation of global graduates, and a higher education culture in which international opportunities are an aspiration for all students.


Frequently asked questions (FAQ) 


What is the timeline for Go International: Stand Out?


Go International: Stand Out was a three-year campaign, from 2017-2020. Key milestones include:

Year 1 (2017-18) – Call to action for universities to sign up to the Charter and make a pledge. 

Year 2 (2018-19) – Call to action for partner organisations to sign up to the campaign and creation of academic and alumni ambassador networks. 

Year 3 (2019-20) – Call to action for employers to sign up to the campaign. 

Post-2020, UUKi will continue to work with campaign partners to raise the profile of outward student mobility and leverage support for study abroad.


Why do we need a campaign when universities already have study abroad offices?

There is much existing work and commitment within universities to support outward student mobility. This campaign celebrates progress made to date and encourages further action to ensure growth in UK students' participation in outward student mobility. Despite the benefits of outward mobility being well rehearsed, the UK's mobility rate is low compared to its international counterparts. Through working together, we can learn more about what works in different settings, to provide high quality support across the higher education sector.


What is the Go International: Stand Out charter?


The Go International: Stand Out charter outlines four good practice principles for boosting and broadening outward student mobility. Charter signatories should be a member of the university's senior management team – ideally the vice-chancellor or pro-vice-chancellor international (or equivalent).



What does the UK strategy for outward student mobility 2017-2020 include?


The strategic vision is: 'to double the percentage of UK-domiciled, full-time, first degree students who undertake international placements as part of their higher education programmes…to 13% in 2020. This will create a new generation of global graduates, and a higher education culture in which international opportunities are an aspiration for all students.'

There are 6 strategic objectives in the strategy:

1.    Promote the benefits of study and work abroad.

2.    Monitor trends in student mobility.

3.    Build capacity in UK higher education to facilitate outward mobility.

4.    Share best practice in UK higher education.

5.    Provide a collective voice for UK higher education.

6.    Influence government for UK higher education.

The UK strategy for outward student mobility 2017-2020 is here.


What changes are there in the 2017-2020 strategy from the 2013-2017 strategy?


The 2017-2020 strategy has a specific target for growth in outward student mobility, and a focus on ensuring that outward student mobility is available to – and more importantly, accessed by – all students, irrespective of background.



What is the rationale for the target of doubling outward student mobility to 13% by 2020?


In the first three years of outward student mobility programme work, UUKi analysed HESA data and established a baseline of mobility participation of 6.6% in 2014-15. We looked at growth over those three years, and based on advice from our advisory board, outward student mobility network and other partners, we identified that doubling participation would be ambitious yet achievable.



Why is there an additional focus on supporting underrepresented groups in outward student mobility in the strategy?


Evidence has repeatedly shown that students who benefit most from outward student mobility are often the least likely to participate. These include students from black and minority ethnic groups (BAME), students from lower higher education participation neighbourhoods, and students from lower socio-economic groups. UUKi is delivering a project, Widening Participation in Outward Student Mobility, to support endeavours in this area and share good practice, supporting the campaign aims.



What progress has been made on the UK strategy for outward student mobility so far?


Since the launch of the strategy, many UK universities have embraced international placements as part of their institutional strategy for undergraduate students, and there has been a corresponding increase in the uptake of opportunities.