How can the WONKHE international student report help students find employment?

Home of higher education policy, WONKHE set up a sub-commission last summer to look at the issues faced by international students. The report was published after investigation during 2021 and was based on in-depth focus groups with 60 international students from seven different universities across the UK. They identified some of the barriers international students faced during and after studies and gave advice on how universities and the government can meet those demands to improve support throughout the student journey. Today, we’re looking at what the most pressing issues they identified were, and how to tackle them with support from GradLink and your institution.

Work experience and internships are integral

The report shows that despite the opportunities gained from the new Graduate Route for international students, there are still gaps where more support is needed. There were areas such as a lack of understanding of the UK jobs market, and of recruitment processes and practices where students felt they didn’t have the necessary knowledge to progress.

It is worth investigating what services are available at your institution. Most universities will have a volunteering team, which can often be overlooked by students. In today’s competitive market it can give you the edge over other applicants and provide you with tangible evidence of your skills. These examples can be used in your applications and in interviews when delivering your answers. As a student, not having work experience is very common but there is something that you can do about it. Volunteering opens up your opportunities and can provide you with an extra reference. Schemes such as International Talent at UWE Bristol match students to local placements, look online or speak with your careers team to see if there is similar support where you study.

Students want more support on graduate employment

The students surveyed felt they needed more support both while studying and after graduation. Many students have felt a disconnect over the past few years due to a lack of face-to-face interactions which is likely to have had an impact on vital information to help students succeed in gaining employment. Initially, we would encourage students to speak with their careers team as they hold a wealth of knowledge and can advise on schemes, events and opportunities around campus and with local businesses.

GradLink provides a free service for international students across the UK, to do just this. To access this help, register online to see our global jobs page with graduate roles and internship opportunities. The website also shares a dedicated page to support students who want to work in the UK with the top advice and webinars to make this possible.

More support to find graduate opportunities back home is needed

This is a key concern for international students, and one of the reasons for the creation of GradLink. Our service aims to meet the gaps left for students by connecting them to employers in their home countries and sharing country and industry-specific advice for working in each region. If you’re looking to connect to employment in your home country, check out our regional support, partnered employers in your home country and set up job alerts for the graduate roles you would like to pursue.

By Jen Garmston Published: Feb 17,2022

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