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  • International Students in the UK: Migration intentions, influences and destinations

    CPC have issued a policy briefing to accompany a report published today on the findings from a survey of international students in the UK that compares their intentions to stay or leave the UK with their actual movements once they graduate.

    Tracking the destinations of international students can be difficult but these new findings provide insight into the intentions and movements of a large cohort of students. Conducted with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Universities UK (UUK), the report uses unique longitudinal data collected from an online survey.

    The research team, Professor Jane Falkingham, Professor Corrado Giulietti, Professor Jackline Wahba and Dr Chuhong Wang, have been investigating questions such as: Do students stick to the migration plans they have before graduating? If they have left the country, do they want to return to the UK?

    Speaking on the report, Professor Giulietti comments: “Our research shows that the vast majority of international students stick to the migration plans made before graduation. Nearly 9 out of 10 students who, before graduating, said that they intended to leave the UK immediately after graduation have actually left the country. However, there is also a clear indication that the prospects of Brexit have made our sample of students think that the UK is a less attractive place to live in for non-UK nationals. The EU referendum has affected respondents’ perception about the attractiveness of the UK as a place to live, work or study. Interestingly, it is non-EU students that view it more negatively than EU students. It is therefore not surprising that a large proportion of the students with negative views went on to leave the UK.”

    Key Points

    • Nearly 9 out of 10 students who -- before graduating -- said that they intended to leave the UK immediately after graduation have actually left the country.
    • Among graduating students who have left the UK, only a minority would like to return to the UK: 8% to pursue further education and 13% to return for work reasons.
    • More than two-thirds of our sample of international students think that the results of the EU referendum have made the UK a less attractive place to live for non-UK nationals. Students also think that the UK would have worse employment prospects. However, only a minority reports that the result of the EU referendum has decreased the value of UK higher education.

    Read the full report and policy brief.

    To coincide with the publication of the report and subsequent policy brief, CPC members took part in the University of Southampton Public Lecture Series 2018 on migration and population. Many of the staff who worked on the study were at the first event on 'The costs and benefits of international students' to discuss these latest findings. You can watch the lecture on Youtube:

    The report is a continuation of research from our 2017 Technical Report with the ONS and UUK on ‘Survey of Graduating International Students in 2017’ that prompted calls to subtract international students from UK migration data.

    To keep up to date with all CPC's news and events, follow us on Twitter @CPCPopulation

    Posted 09/10/2018 13:55