With student outbound mobility becoming increasingly popular in Australia, we decided to review a range of available research and consider in detail “what are the benefits of mobility?” As a growth industry, there is an abundance of research that highlights the benefits of outbound mobility to students and Universities.
Some of the major benefits of student mobility for Universities include:
Below, CISaustralia has compiled what we consider to be the most interesting and recent studies on international education and going abroad.
Gone International: Expanding Opportunities
Universities UK, 2018
This report compares the academic attainment and employment outcomes of mobile and non-mobile first degree undergraduate students who completed their studies at the end of the 2015-16 academic year. The study examines the impact of short-term international placements that last up to four weeks, as well as expands student profiles analysed to include disabled students, students from low-participation neighbourhoods, part-time students, students who are care-leavers and mature students. The evidence from this report shows that graduates who go abroad during their studies are more likely to get a higher degree classification and be in graduate jobs than those who don’t. They are also less likely to be unemployed and gain higher starting salaries.
Going International and Supporting Mental Health Needs
Universities UK, 2018
Research from Universities UK (UUK) confirms that over the past 10 years, there has been a fivefold increase in the proportion of students who disclose a mental health condition to their institution. Demand for student support services has increased by 150% between 2011 and 2015, and it is probable that more students going overseas will require mental health assistance. This article outlines a framework and provides tips that universities can use to support student’s wellbeing and mitigate the stresses that come with transitions and going to a new environment. Also see CISaustralia’s webpage on Mental Health Support for Students.
Research Report Connects Study Abroad and Employability
Terra Dotta, 2017
This report offers actionable advice from experts on how to foster a stronger connection between study abroad, skill development and employability, including: promoting the data, teaming up with your Career Services Office, teaching students how to relay their experiences, enlisting the help of experts, and keeping the conversation going.
Gaining an Employment Edge – The Impact of Study Abroad
Institute of International Education, 2017
This report investigates the connection between overseas study programs and the growth of skills towards employment and career development. It aims to provide hard evidence of the role study abroad plays in employment outcomes. Fifteen skills were identified as being the most desirable by employers in areas of cognitive, intrapersonal and interpersonal competencies. IIE’s study links these skills to study abroad and explores how overseas programs positively contribute to students’ development of transferable employment skills and career gains. The report looks at what specific features of overseas programs contribute to success in one’s career, which can help universities and educators develop programs that better prepare students for a global workforce.
Terra Dotta, 2017
One in five young adults experiences a mental health condition, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. It stands to reason that many of them will participate in education abroad programs during college. It is in the best interest of all parties for universities to help students with mental health concerns prepare for—and succeed at—their education abroad programs. See CISaustralia’s webpage on Mental Health Support for Students.
Carrie Rackers Cunningham, director of institutional research at IES Abroad, recently published an article making a case for collecting more hard data on the link between study abroad and employability to help practitioners speak concisely about employment. She says, “without this type of research as a foundation to measure the value of study abroad on careers, there is no basis to argue its place among engaging experiences of meaning to university leadership, policymakers, and students”.
The aim of this report is to establish academic standards for international fieldwork within health science disciplines, focusing on preparation requirements, the level and model of supervision to monitor fieldwork and assessment criteria to ensure excellent student learning outcomes. At the time of this report, no systematic research had been published on quality processes for Australian international fieldwork in health. The accompanying guide, ‘Australian Outbound Student Mobility: quality dimensions for international fieldwork in health sciences’, has been written to assist academic and professional staff engaged in international fieldwork in health sciences to inform the design of international fieldwork programs and benchmark existing programs against good practice to engage in quality improvement.
Gone International: Mobility Works
UK Higher Education International Unit, 2015
Universities UK International compares the academic attainment and employment outcomes of mobile and non-mobile first degree undergraduate students who completed their studies at the end of the 2014–15 academic year. This report provides the third annual national outline of who goes abroad, and considers what currently available data can tell us about the outcomes of international experience as part of a UK undergraduate program. The findings also aim to inform discussions within the sector about increasing participation of underrepresented groups in outward mobility opportunities, by identifying specific outcomes for these groups.
Enhancing Programmes Integrating Tertiary Outbound Mobility Experiences (EPITOME)
Western Sydney University and Macquarie University, Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching, 2016
Australian universities are placing increased emphasis on the internationalisation of their curriculum and students. This development is in keeping with tertiary education trends that recognise the importance of an international outlook and cross-cultural competencies. Student outbound mobility is one of the most effective ways to foster internationalisation through transformative experiences. The EPITOME project conducted student-focused research into outbound mobility experiences (OMEs) with a view to providing a comprehensive and usable best-practice guide for tour operators and academic staff.
A number of key findings have emerged from the EPITOME research:
Charlotte West, International Educator, 2016
From creating a healing environment at a pediatric burn treatment center in Chile to designing a coat that transforms into a shelter for Syrian refugees, art, design, and architecture students are tackling global problems around the world such as sustainable development, technological access, and human rights. Plus, art and design schools are preparing their graduates to work in international and interdisciplinary environments through collaborative projects, field research, and a myriad of opportunities to engage with other countries and cultures.
More Australian Students See the Value of Study Abroad
Universities Australia, 2016
More Australian students today are seeing the value of study abroad. As reported by Universities Australia, the number of students going overseas as part of their university degree has quadrupled over the past decade, accompanied by strong student satisfaction.
In 2014, more than 30,000 students studied, worked or volunteered in another country as part of their Australian degree. This was up from 7,000 in 2005. Students report that overseas study is an opportunity to challenge themselves, enhance their future job prospects, build new networks and gain independence.
Awareness about programs that enable students to go abroad is also increasing. Most students first learn about international education opportunities through their university, but word-of-mouth remains an important factor – with 43% of students citing the experience of other students as one of the top reasons which convinced them to apply.
Students from Australian Universities in Learning Abroad 2014
Australian Universities International Directors Forum (AUIDF), 2016
The latest report released by the Australian Universities International Directors Forum (AUIDF) provides a number of interesting insights on current trends in student mobility, including:
Gone International: Mobile Students and their Outcomes
UK Higher Education International Unit, 2015
The UK Higher Education International Unit has reported students who are globally mobile have a lower unemployment rate and end up earning more as graduates than their non-mobile counterparts in most subject areas. Mobile students are considered those who had taken part in an exchange program or a work or study placement abroad. The report found that 5.4% of mobile students were unemployed six months after graduating in 2013, compared to 6.7% of non-mobile. Additionally, the report looked at graduate salaries, finding that graduates who had been mobile earned more across 11 out of 17 subject areas and earned more if they remained in the UK to work.
Internationalisation of Higher Education
European Parliament – Committee on Culture and Education, 2015
A study on the understanding of Internationalisation of Higher Education in the European context, based on two surveys, an analysis of the role of digital learning, ten national reports from Europe and seven from outside Europe. The study results in conclusions and recommendations on the future of Internationalisation of Higher Education in Europe, based on the national reports and a Delphi process among experts in international higher education.
Culture at Work: The Value of Intercultural Skills in the Workplace
British Council, 2013
The British Council report shares fascinating research on the value that employers place on intercultural skills. Today’s increasingly globalised and competitive workplace now means that communicating with customers, colleagues and partners across international borders is an everyday occurrence for many. This places employers under pressure to find employees who are not only technically proficient, but also culturally intelligent and able to thrive in a global work environment.
Research shows there is real business value in employing staff who have the ability to work effectively with individuals and organisations from cultural backgrounds different from their own. Employers highlight the following as important intercultural skills:
Employees with these skills are seen to benefit organisations through their ability to:
Findings suggest that education providers should do more to contribute to the development of a workforce with the necessary intercultural skills by prioritising:
Study Abroad in a New Global Century: Renewing the Promise, Refining the Purpose (Volume 38, Number 4)
ASHE Higher Education Report, 2012
Study abroad has become crucial in preparing university graduates with intercultural competencies needed to succeed in today’s global economy. The federal government, business community and higher education sector in the United States are united in their belief that study abroad is critical to such success.
This book looks to address two fundamental questions: Who studies abroad (or who does not) and why? What are the outcomes of study abroad? The authors research how increasing study abroad participation might be improved and pose recommendations for ways study abroad in the 21st century can renew its purposes and fulfil its promise.
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