Why the new post study work visa is just the icing on the cake for UK education

The announcement of the return of the post-study work visa or Graduate Route is big news.  It clearly opens up the prospect of UK based work experience as well the immigration routes for international students and their families and will undoubtedly boost international student recruitment for universities all over the UK.

This is great news for UK universities, international students and also for UK businesses which will now have easy access to a diverse, motivated, UK educated pool of talent. 

Historically the UK has been the number one global location for an international education.  There are loads of stats which substantiate this, but one I found particularly compelling was this one:  a survey published in 2017 showed that more of the world’s leaders had studied in the UK than any other country. There are lots of ways to interpret this, but what occurred to me was:

  1. Those with the resources to make a choice have been choosing the UK.
  2. Studying in the UK is a powerful platform for later success, not just in the UK but also in students’ home countries.

Further evidence that study in the UK has a lifelong impact with or without the post-study work visa comes from recently published survey results showing that 99 percent (yes, really) of Indian students who had studied in the UK and are currently in work are in professional roles with a significantly higher number than the international average in managerial positions; 90 percent of Indian students saying they were satisfied with their UK study experience; 80 percent of students saying they are happier today as a result of having studied in the UK.  

Clearly the opportunity to extend work and study opportunities in the UK for two years after graduation is game changing for the sector and individual students, but let us not forget that UK education is a driving force for success around the world – that it drives successful work in the UK as well is just the icing on the cake.

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