Cultural Vistas, Pagoda Projects, Student.com, Common Purpose and The Intern Group have all committed to the campaign, seeking to double the percentage of UK undergraduates studying, working, or volunteering abroad to 13% by the end of 2020.
“The UK is lagging behind its European counterparts in terms of the percentage of students who study abroad”
“Study abroad is the new frontier of skills development and widening participation in our universities. It opens up opportunities and experiences that help all students develop the independence and intercultural skills that have been shown to lead to academic and career success,” UUKi director Vivienne Stern said.
“These skills will only grow in importance in an ever more globalised world.
“Currently the UK is lagging behind its European counterparts in terms of the percentage of students who study abroad. With the help of our campaign partners, we hope to change that.”
However, earlier in 2019 UUKi research revealed that more UK undergraduate students than ever were going abroad as part of their degree, up from 7.2% in 2014−15 to 7.8% in 2016−17.
The Intern Group will be providing five fully funded internships to Bangkok in 2020, while Pagoda Projects will offer three scholarships for its internship programs in Taipei, Ho Chi Minh City and Mexico City.
UK university students taking part in short term outbound mobility programs will be able participate on Common Purpose’s Cultural Intelligence online course free of charge.
Student.com is providing universities with a discount of up to 5% on worldwide student accommodation, and US nonprofit international exchange organisation Cultural Vistas will offer a discount on J-1 Visa program administrative fees for UUKi member universities.
Joining five other companies that have already made pledges to the campaign – CRCC Asia, Campus France, DAAD London, The Higher Education Statistics Agency and QS – Stern added that it was “fantastic to see so many organisations taking action to widen access to study abroad opportunities”.
According to UUKi, studying abroad brings with it significant academic and employability benefits.
Students who have studied abroad are 20% less likely to be unemployed six months after graduating than those who did not, while BME students who studied abroad were 17% more likely to be in a graduate job six months after graduating than their peers.