Internationalisation of higher education

UK Students Studying Overseas


In this project for the Department for Education, supported by external consultants, CRAC has provided a current picture of the outward mobility of UK HE students. The UK is one of the top destinations for international students, but relatively little is known about UK students who undertake a whole degree programme abroad (‘diploma’ mobility) rather than studying in the UK. Study abroad (or ‘credit’ mobility, such as through Erasmus) within UK degree programmes is better understood, although proportionally fewer UK students take part compared with other nations. There is an aspiration to improve the level of participation.

In addition to analysis of existing administrative data on participation, we  conducted two online surveys – one of students at UK universities who considered or spent time abroad within their degree and a parallel survey of UK nationals who are undertaking or recently undertook an entire degree programme abroad.

Through these surveys and a range of interviews we have mapped the extent and range of mobility undertaken and the populations that participate, across different subjects, levels of HE study and regions of the world. Detailed research explored why individuals participate and their decision-making (i.e.  motivations, barriers, enabling factors, choices) as well as mobility experiences and impacts.

The project was completed in February 2019 and publication of the research report is awaited.

UK Students Studying Overseas