Why Do STEM Students Study Abroad?: According to market research with long distance STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) students, in the world’s top four study destination countries, individuals are choosing to study overseas to take advantage career opportunities, better quality education and to have an adventure.
The research report was presented by the British Council and comprised of the views of both undergraduates and postgraduates of STEM degrees, from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada. The respondents were asked about why they chose to study internationally. As well as this, the researchers analysed each country’s policy on post-study careers.
The study revealed that in the UK, the number of undergraduates studying has increased, whilst the number of postgraduates has fallen. In the United States, there has been a surge driven by, China, Saudi Arabia, India and Brazil. As well as this, Canada is also seeing growth as a result of a skilled workers programme. However, Australia is still recovering following a low period in enrolments in 2006.
The survey of 1,348 undergraduate and postgraduate students revealed that the key motivator for STEM students studying overseas was to access a higher standard of education than what is available in their country of origin.
Closely following, as the second key motivator for studying abroad, was the job opportunities and the third was to go on an adventure.
According to the findings, interest in STEM subjects is not remaining steady, indicating that prospective students are fast becoming more discerning when deciding which course to take.
Of the respondents, more than 1 in 3 said that they hoped to find a job in the country they studied in after completing their degree. A smaller percentage said that they wanted to migrate abroad permanently, at a rate of 15 per cent of undergraduates and 14 per cent of postgraduates.
The STEM students in the survey said that the United Kingdom has the best reputation for high-standard education with good career opportunities in their sector. As well as the UK, the United States was also favoured for its career prospects, although, Canada and Australia were found to be attractive to students because they had friends or relatives there.
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