A report has been published by the UPP Foundation Student Futures Commission setting out the issues international students have been recently facing. Although there are many areas in which they need more support, employability support consistently came out on top – higher than problems caused by the pandemic.
Employment support encapsulates both jobs during study and graduate roles, and although the graduate route has made this easier, employers need to be made more aware of this visa type by Government and institutions. Having a sector-level collaboration between universities and industries would also allow for the development of national resources to support international graduates returning to their home country for work.
The sub-commission group in charge of the report (to which UKCISA contributed some insights) also explored other themes and recommendations: lack of clear communication and individual guidance on applications, finance and employability pre-arrival; fostering social interactions and cultural interaction needs reviewed post-COVID (including with the Student Unions) to provide student-to-student support; a redirection of resources is needed to support international students throughout their whole experience of study, including pre-arrival and following their return to their home country upon graduation.
Much of the guidance above lists UKCISA’s International Student Employability Group as a key vehicle to support institutions and international students in addressing many of the issues flagged, particularly for the purpose of sharing good practices for employability support. Our International Student Charter was also noted to be of relevance, a project which will launch in summer 2022 to help develop best practices and support institutions to meet the expectations international students have on their universities.
“International students consistently tell us how important employability is to them, and the recommendations of the UPP Foundation report reinforces this” comments Anne-Marie Graham, Chief Executive of UKCISA and one of the sub-commission members. “There is much for UKCISA and our colleagues across the sector to do to respond to these recommendations, through our International Student Employability Group and through our wider work”
Source: UKCISA, February 2022
Download the full report here: