A third of young Britons keen on foreign study

Increasing numbers of British students are opting to study abroad, drawn by the chance of experiencing a different culture and the possibilities of working abroad for a multinational on graduation, according to new research.

students abroad
The study by the British Council, involving almost 3,000 Britons aged between 16-30, found that many were keen to spend time in countries that do not have English as their first language.For example, Generation UK China, a British Council campaign launched two years ago, saw the number of young Britons going to study in China rise from 6,491 in 2013, to 7,365 last year.The council has now launched a similar initiative aimed at increasing the number of British students going to India to continue their studies.Also, the EU's Erasmus programme has seen the total of UK students in continental Europe more than double in seven years. In the 2013-14 academic year, 15,566 Britons were studying in other EU nations, an increase of 6.8 per cent on the previous year and 115 per cent higher than in 2007.The council's survey showed that 34 per cent of British students were interested in furthering their studies abroad. The USA remains the most popular destination followed by Australia, France, Germany and Canada.Some 42 per cent of respondents said they would be interested in heading for a country that does not have English as its first language.Prof Rebecca Hughes, director of education at the British Council, said, "This latest evidence confirms that a growing number of the UK's students are recognising the huge value to be gained from international experience. Our universities play an important role in supporting those ambitions."The UK needs graduates who have the skills and confidence to compete globally, and can compete against foreign talent that may speak more languages, and have wider international experience."The barriers, real and perceived, to British students going abroad are gradually diminishing, and the UK's Strategy for Outward Mobility is a very positive step in the right direction."The government, sector and industry all need to unite behind a move like this this to ensure that our next generation has the best possible opportunities to succeed in the future."The survey found that 48 per cent of those keen to study abroad wanted to do it because they wanted to have fun travelling and exploring different cultures.About 30 per cent said their eventual aim would be to work for an international company and relocate overseas, while 15 per cent said their aim was simply to find the best education they could in the world.For more Re:locate news and features about education, click here

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