UK to Double Number of Outgoing International Students

May 15, 2017 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

With the goal of increasing outward mobility, the UK aims to double the number of outgoing international students to 13.2 percent by 2020.  In 2014-2015, 6.6 percent of full-time, first-time undergraduates went abroad. 

Universities UK International (UUKi), the international branch of Universities UK that represents UK universities on the global stage, announced the goal at the Go Conference in London in April.

Why?  To create a generation of “global graduates” and a culture of higher education.

Why now?  The first outward mobility strategy launched in 2013, but the UK feels a “new urgency” in light of Brexit.  The UK’s role in global higher education remains unclear, and UUKi wants to ensure that UK students have opportunities on the global stage.

Initially, students will spend more time studying and working outside the UK.

How will UUKi promote this goal?  According to their website, the UUKI has six objectives for their outward mobility strategy:

1. Promote the benefits of study and work abroad.

The UUKi will develop a strategic partnership with the British Council to strengthen all outward mobility initiatives, including Erasmus.

2. Monitor trends in student mobility.

UUKi will analyze data to track mobility trends in the four UK nations and work with the UK Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

3. Build capacity in UK higher education to facilitate outward mobility.

This will focus on securing grants and other funding for UK students to study and work abroad.

4. Share best practice in UK higher education.

UUKi will offer an information hub in conjunction with the goals of the British Council’s Study, Work, Create website.

5. Provide a collective voice for UK higher education.

The UUKi will focus on influencing institutional and national policy to encourage outward mobility.

6. Influence government for UK higher education.

The UUKi will help to develop a new international higher education strategy.

Learn more about studying in the UK



Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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