In the past two decades, we have seen steady increases in the number of people studying or attending transnational higher education in the Asia Pacific region.
Firmly convinced that international and transnational higher education will enhance their employability and that Asian governments, universities, students and their parents are eager to participate in international education.
This interest is reflected in an increasing number of international students worldwide, rising from 2.1 million in 2000 to about 5 million in 2014 – an annual increase of 10%.
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OECD further predicts on the basis of the trend of studying abroad that global demographic change means that the number of international students in 2025 may reach 8 million.
The figure below shows that the Asia Pacific region is one of the major contributors to student mobility globally, with 53% of all migrant students in the world in 2011. More specifically, the net number of students studying abroad has increased from 459,850 in 1999 to 1208,061 in 2014. The British Council forecasts in 2012 that India and China will provide 35% of global growth to international students between 2011 and 2024.
The steady increase in student mobility in the Asia Pacific region
An increasing number of students studying in or participating in transnational higher education in the Asia Pacific region are closely linked to the strong cultural beliefs in the region, and higher education raises career development and reputation.
Good education and academic qualifications are considered to be significant achievements. As a result, Asian families and individuals pool their resources and family assets in support of their children’s college education. This promotes the popularization of higher education, which relies heavily on the privatization and Marketization of education.
For Asians wishing to study abroad, one of the most popular destinations is the UK, with the next chart showing an increasing number of incoming students from around the world. Britain is ranked as the second host country by international students in the Asia Pacific region (second only to the United States) – generating about 4.23 billion pounds in tuition through non-EU student fees in 2014-15 (though the ups and downs have started to flatten in recent years). The number of overseas students studying in the UK has been on the increase.
Chinese students ability to employ
Our current study is a pilot study of a larger project for UK international students and East Asian graduates, looking at their careers, earnings, jobs, and liquidity. A research team at Lingnan University in Hong Kong is studying carefully how Chinese students studying in the UK can recover their job search and career development experience and return home.
We conducted a preliminary online survey of 106 respondents and conducted 20 follow-up interviews in January 2017. Contrary to most Chinese media reporting that international study does not increase graduate employment rates, our respondents to overseas study how to improve their job search and career progression. These positive assessments are encouraged by the employment rate in this group and the subjective evaluation of how overseas students study as a transrating experience.
Our study has a balanced sex ratio of 53 males and 53 females. Most receive a master’s degree (89%), which they consider more “economically” due to the relatively short duration of the year (compared to a master’s degree in China, which typically takes two to three years).
Looking for college jobs in China
Some interviewees mentioned that British universities offer graduates further study discounts and encourage them to pursue further studies in the UK. Interestingly, instead of citing academic interests, our respondents generally agree that having a master’s degree from a UK university will improve their career prospects
The employment rate of our respondents is good. Nearly 59% of people find jobs within three months, while 32% find jobs within six months. All respondents indicated that they can be employed within one year.
After obtaining an overseas degree, some interviewees said they are in no hurry to find a job, and they plan to choose a gap year or at least a “period of relaxation” before entering the labor market.
Most importantly, participants actively assessed their international learning experience. About 90% of people value overseas study and have considered such experience
Greatly increased their job search. As one interviewee put it:
“Although my family has some connections with the company she currently works with, I would not have had the chance to interview without a foreign degree … Some may not be published as Specific hiring criteria, but you know that HR officers will be shortlisted based on their qualifications for higher education, and will benefit those who graduate from overseas.
” In addition, our respondents did not think international study was based on the degrees and qualifications they received. For them, above all, the soft skills they acquire from abroad, such as their language skills, personal and interpersonal skills, international perspectives, analytical skills and self-management, and organizational / problem solving skills, enable them to act as a “global citizen”.
In addition, they appreciated their learning and living experiences abroad, and through these experiences they learned to respect and tolerate different cultures to make them more responsive to external changes. Stay in “comfort zones” and social networks in mainland China, where Chinese young people studying in the UK have to face many of the unprecedented challenges alone:
“Studying abroad is not a university-acquired knowledge or a single certificate, but it means a lot of me … has become a more open and confident person, “one interviewee shared with us. The significance of a British university hinders the rise of Chinese and Asian universities in the global university rankings, leaving students in these areas to study abroad.
Our research clearly shows that Chinese students still have strong motivation if their Chinese students have sufficient financial capacity. Due to the large number of local university graduates, it is not surprising to see that Chinese university graduates enrolled in postgraduate curriculums and find a one-year masters degree particularly attractive.