UK students regret not studying abroad

A survey of students and graduates by milkround.com has revealed that the majority of participants regret not taking the opportunity to study abroad as opposed to in the UK – which could be seen as an indictment of the UK’s Higher Education system. 91% of those who took part in the survey, an incredibly high proportion, stated that they wished that had not stayed in the UK to go to university.

The majority of the graduate respondents said that they felt the skills they would have gained whilst studying abroad would have helped them get further in their careers already, with three out of five saying that they expected graduate recruiters to favour graduates with degrees from foreign universities.

When asked which country they would have preferred to study in if they had not remained on Albion’s shores, almost half plumped for the US, with Spain coming in second place. The favoured destinations for studies were:

  • United States of America – 46%
  • Spain – 14%
  • Australia – 8%
  • Netherlands – 7%

Despite the lean towards countries in which English is a first language, or in the case of Spain and the Netherlands, a widely understood second language, the surveyed students and graduates did not show much sign of a fear of a language barrier and culture shock, with just 17% stating that they would be very concerned about such difficulties.

Milkround.com spokesperson Mike Barnard said: “With the fight for UK university places so strong this year, school leavers should note how many graduates wish they had studied abroad. It’s a more expensive alternative, however the evidence here is it is an exciting option that is often considered but rarely seen through. Graduates who wish they had gone abroad still could to live out their dreams – with a postgraduate degree that could add language skills to their CV along with a couple of letters after their name.”

However, the survey suggests that there could be severe repercussions should the UK’s brightest and best students choose to take up such an opportunity. According to the survey, three quarters said that they would have considered staying in the country they studied in after graduating, meaning a depleted pool of graduates would be returning for our own employers to choose between, which could have an impact on the already tender economy of the UK.

Information from the Milkround.com article Nine out of 10 graduates wish they had studied abroad.

For an insight into the university students and graduates on The Student Room, see our General University Discussion or Postgraduate forums.