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i-graduate’s iMPACT measures effect of outbound study

The influence of outbound study on university students is the subject of the latest benchmark tool developed by market insight firm i-graduate. For the first time the company has tried to measure the effectiveness of short-term study abroad experiences on national, regional and inter-regional levels.
July 11 2014
2 Min Read

The influence of outbound study on university students is the subject of the latest benchmark tool developed by market insight firm i-graduate. For the first time the company has tried to measure the effectiveness of short-term study abroad experiences on national, regional and inter-regional levels.

Developed in collaboration with the Asia Pacific Association of International Education and seven universities in the Asia Pacific region, results from the iMPACT ™ pilot study show Denmark is the destination most students would recommend for study and in most measurements including job prospects, academic performance and social networks students said the experience had a positive effect.

The sample surveyed students from partner universities including Waseda University in Japan, Griffith University in Australia, Hanyang University in South Korea and Chinese University of Hong Kong who had gone and returned from a short-term study abroad experience.

Of the almost 1,800 students surveyed, 99% said the study experience “broadened my perspective on life” and 97% claimed it “helped make me the person I am today”.

99% of students said the study experience “broadened my perspective on life” and 97% claimed it “helped make me the person I am today”

Ninety-five per cent were satisfied with their learning experience, 94% with their living experience and 89% with the academic faculty.

Other findings highlighted a higher number of short-term students (68%) identified as “active ambassadors” of study abroad compared with about 55% of full-time international students surveyed in i-graduate’s International Student Barometer.

“For the International Student Barometer we’re looking at international students that are currently studying at a university whereas for iMPACT we look at students that went abroad for a little bit and then came back,” commented Saskia Jensen, Senior Researcher at i-graduate told The PIE News. “That might indicate that one is more likely to recommend a situation when you’re already out of it.”

The project also compared results to employer estimations of skills sets ranked by various metrics. Many of the capacities student said they had improved matched gaps identified by employers.

For example, communication skills – which 97% of students said were improved or strongly improved by study abroad – were ranked first in importance among employers but only 16th in levels of satisfaction with graduates’ abilites.

“The data shows study abroad is an experience that provides transferrable skills that can be used for upcoming employability,” commented Jensen.

“The data shows study abroad is an experience that provides transferrable skills that can be used for upcoming employability”

Students were surveyed on their experience of for credit or non-credit bearing short-term study or internship in 50 different countries and 37 states in the US.

Most respondents (28%) studied in the US, followed by the UK (12%), Canada (10%) and France (5%). Within the US, California and Oregon attracted the most students, 30% and 12% respectively.

After Denmark, the countries students said they would most recommend for short-term study were the UK, Germany and Sweden.

In terms of interaction, students reported making friends with host country students most often while studying in Japan, South Korea, Sweden, Italy and Hong Kong.  However they interacted with international students just as much if not more in Sweden, Italy and Hong Kong.

Interaction with students from their own country was reportedly lowest in the UK, Singapore and Germany.

The pilot survey ran from 11 April to 2 June and the next wave will run from September to November as i-graduate rolls the new instrument out to wider audiences in the UK, Europe and eventually North America.

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