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UK Universities minister supports study abroad

UK Universities minister Sam Gyimah has pledged his support for a UUKi campaign aiming to double the percentage of UK students who study, work or volunteer abroad during their degree by 2020. Currently, only 6.6% of undergraduate students in the UK do so, a low percentage compared to many other countries.

Universities minister Sam Gyimah pledges support for national campaign to double the number of UK students who study abroad by 2020. Photo: The PIE

UUKi have so far received 78 university pledges to the campaign

“I want to thank UUKi for helping students to experience different cultures and broaden horizons”

Speaking to university representatives, students and cross-party MPs at a parliamentary event in London celebrating the Go International: Stand Out campaign, Gyimah said it is important to ensure more young people, regardless of their background, are able to enjoy the benefits that come with working, studying and volunteering abroad.

The event was hosted by Paul Blomfield MP, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Students.

Figures show that spending some time overseas studying, volunteering or working as part of their degree can have significant benefits for students in terms of employability and grades.

Recent studies have shown that students who go abroad are 20% less likely to be unemployed, 10% more likely to be in graduate jobs six months after graduation and are 7% higher wage earners when compared with students who don’t study abroad.

Students from disadvantaged backgrounds and underrepresented groups have been found to experience even more pronounced benefits.

Addressing the crowd, the minister said the Department for Education has been working with UUKi to develop options for how the government can best support outward mobility and, in particular, widen participation for students from economically disadvantaged or less represented backgrounds.

“I want to thank UUKi for helping students to experience different cultures and broaden horizons via their campaign, and I will continue to support it as it moves forward,” Gyimah added.

UUKi director Vivienne Stern said that since the campaign launch in 2017, many universities have shown they are committed to new and ambitious mobility activities and they have so far received 78 university pledges to the campaign.

“We are delighted that the minister and the Department for Education share our belief in the transformative benefits of outward student mobility, and look forward to working with them on a shared action plan to double the number of students undertaking national placements by 2020.”

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