International experience, universities support and graduate employability – perceptions of Chinese international students studying in UK universities
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© 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group Recent policy developments in English Higher Education have resulted in employability placed in the spotlight, whereby the success of universities will be measured based on graduate employment. This represents the latest focus placed on employability in the sector, as universities are increasingly expected to provide employment-ready graduates to meet the demands of a global economy. In response universities have invested considerable energy into initiatives and services to enhance the employability outcomes of graduates. However, institutions have largely been UK-centric on their focus, with limited attention paid to the employability needs of international students. In this paper, we report the outcomes of a study centred on the largest group of non-EU domiciled international students in the UK, those from Mainland China. Drawing on survey data we examine Mainland Chinese students’ attitudes to their employability and the support they engage with through their UK University. We pay specific attention to the opportunities presented through the ‘international’ nature of the HE experience, and consider how these are utilised by both the students, and their institutions, to develop their future employability. We conclude by proposing recommendations for universities and institutions to enhance the support offered to this often overlooked, but significant group of students.
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