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Nine out of 10 graduates wished they had studied abroad

Graduates wish they had ignored the UKís higher education system in favour of studying at an American university

Graduates wish they had ignored the UK’s higher education system in favour of studying at an American university.

In a survey of students and graduates by Milkround.com, 91 percent of respondents said they wished they had studied abroad rather than remained in the UK – with America their top destination. Around half claimed they had considered going abroad before starting university and 81 percent said they fully expected to pay more to study overseas.

As part of the survey by the graduate recruitment website, respondents were asked to state which country they found most appealing to study in. The results put America ahead of sunny Spain and Australia.

Countries graduates find most appealing to study in:

  • United States of America 46%

  • Spain 14%

  • Australia 8%

  • Netherlands 7%

The top four show a leaning towards studying where English is prevalent – even in Spain, English is spoken by a significant portion of the country. However, just 17 percent claimed they would be very concerned about a potential language barrier indicating that students are confident of going abroad and integrating into a foreign country.

The majority of respondents thought they would be getting ahead in their career by studying abroad: three in five said they expected graduate recruiters to look more favourably on a candidate with a degree from a foreign university.

However, there is an indication a brain drain will happen if more students did opt to go abroad for university as very few would return home to wow UK recruiters. According to the survey, three quarters said if they had studied abroad, they would have seriously considered remaining in their country of study after graduating.

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.”