International graduate outcomes 2019

16 July 2019

International Graduate Outcomes 2019 (i-GO), conducted by iGraduate, is the first study which specifically explores the career outcomes of a large sample of international graduates who studied in the UK.  ​

We would like to thank BUILA for their support with this study.

The value of international students is reflected in the UK government’s International Education strategy, released in March 2019. The strategy sets out the government’s ambition to increase the total number of international students choosing to study in the UK to 600,000 by 2030. Action 5 of the strategy says that the government will: 

Work with Universities UK International (UUKi) and the sector to identify and share good practice in how universities effectively support international students into employment and further study, both here in the UK and when they return to their home nation. We will also work with the sector to enhance the evidence base on international graduate outcomes and to monitor the UK’s comparative position with respect to international student recruitment and the international student experience. 

This study is a starting point in enhancing this evidence base. International Graduate Outcomes 2019 (i-GO), conducted by iGraduate, is the first study which specifically explores the career outcomes of a large sample of international graduates who studied in the UK. To gather responses from a significant sample of 16,199 international graduates, 58 participating institutions surveyed their international alumni using iGraduate’s survey tool. 

The results presented in this report provide a snapshot of the employability benefits of a UK degree. 

The survey results show that international graduates from UK universities go on to successful and satisfying careers, and that the majority of them recognise that their UK degree is a vehicle for their success. The results also show just how valuable our international graduates are as ambassadors for the UK. 

There are additional contributing factors to the outcomes of international graduates that this data cannot wholly capture, including: the financial, academic and English language requirements that students must meet to study in the UK. Some of the graduates surveyed would have come from an already advantaged background – although, while we do not know the socioeconomic backgrounds of i-GO respondents, we do know that only 12% of them entirely self-funded their studies. 

The UK benefits from international graduates just as much as graduates themselves benefit from their UK degrees and this evidence base is a starting point to inform how government policy and university strategies can maximize the mutual benefits of international students and graduates. 

Key findings

  • 69% of respondents say they progress more quickly in their career than peers educated elsewhere
  • 82% of graduates say their degree was worth the investment
  • 83% of respondents say their degree helped them get their job
  • 90% of respondents are satisfied with all aspects of their life
  • Over half (53%) of all respondents working in their home countries believe they earn above or well above average compared to peers educated elsewhere
  • 90% of current international students are satisfied with their learning and support experience at university
  • 77% of respondents say they are more likely to do business with the UK as a result of studying in the UK
  • 81% of respondents intend to build professional links with organisations in the UK
  • 88% of respondents plan to visit the UK for holiday or leisure
  • 77% of postgraduate research graduates intend to collaborate with the UK for research purposes

​Share the findings

We'd love you to share the i-GO findings on your social media and web channels. You can download any of the graphic or video content below to share it with your audiences. Download by right clicking and selecting 'save as'.

Animated graphics

 Satisfaction with life/career

 Satisfaction with uni support

Likely to do business globally

 Degree helped to get job

 Degree worth investment

 Higher earnings

 Career progression