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99% of working Indian graduates of UK universities in skilled work – survey

Some 99% of employed Indian graduates of UK universities were in skilled work between two and seven years after graduating, with more than half (51%) earning above average, according to a Universities UK International survey.

Vivienne Stern presenting findings from Indian graduate responses to the iGO report. Photo: UUKi/Twitter

62% of Indian respondents returned home to work

The ‘Indian Graduate Outcomes’ survey was carried out as part of UUKi and iGraduate’s ‘International Graduate Outcomes’ study, which looked at the employability outcomes of UK graduates from 183 countries around the world.

“International students and particularly Indian students are made to feel at home”

It was launched at the British Council-led ‘UK-India Policy Dialogue in Higher Education’ event in India last week, which saw a delegation of 20 UK university leaders meet with Indian stakeholders in the higher education sector and government departments to explore opportunities between both countries.

The survey provided an overview of the employability outcomes of Indian graduates from UK universities between two and seven years after graduating, with responses from 988 Indian graduates included in the research.

It explained that the number of Indian students studying in the UK has been increasing rapidly since 2017 after a period of decline in 2012.

The most recent figures show that there were 19,750 Indian students studying in the UK in the academic year 2017/18 – an increase of 19% on the previous year, with the number of new enrolments rising by 28%.

However, student visa applications from India increased by 40% between March 2018 and March 2019, “suggesting that growth will continue at an even greater pace”, the UUKi survey explained.

Almost all (99%) of the employed Indian respondents to the survey said they had found skilled after graduating, while the number of Indian graduates in managerial roles was 23% higher than the global average, the survey outlined.

26% of respondents working in India said they were self-employed or running their own business – compared with 15% of respondents in the overall study.

It also revealed that 62% of Indian respondents returned home to work after graduating with 16% working in the UK, 4% in the US, 4% in the UAE, 2% in Australia and the rest working elsewhere.

“We want to do everything we can to remove barriers to reciprocal mobility”

90% of Indian graduates said that they were satisfied with their UK university experience, while 80% said they were happier as a result of their UK degree.

“The job satisfaction of UK graduates is higher, because chances of getting the job of one’s choice markedly increase,” explained director of UUKi Vivienne Stern.

“The UK has a diverse, world-leading higher education system which focusses on employability and equips students with real-world skills.

She added that UK universities are known for the culture of openness and innovation they foster.

“International students and particularly Indian students are made to feel at home… both on and off-campus, which contributes to [a] wonderful student experience,” Stern added.

In addition to boosting the number of Indian students studying in the UK, the University of Exeter’s vice-chancellor and chief executive Steve Smith explained that another aspect of the VC delegation to India’s mission is to increase the number of UK students studying in India.

Launched in July, the UKIERI Mobility Programme: Study in India aims to generate up to 200 opportunities for undergraduate students at UK universities by March 2021, effectively doubling the number of UK students studying in India at present.

“We want to do everything we can to remove barriers to reciprocal mobility of the students particularly one who are in postgraduate studies,” added Stern.

“We want to enhance the multicultural approach to education and remove the hesitation of the British students to come and study in India.”

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