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Recent UK Graduates Now Working in 173 Countries

This year's DLHE1 survey of the destinations of UK domiciled2 graduates reveals that 2015/16 graduates3 from UK higher education providers are working in 173 of the world’s 195 countries.

All UK higher education providers have access to this data via the HESA Heidi Plus business intelligence software.

Of the 281,7504 full and part-time students from the UK who graduated in 2015/16, 7,165 were working in 89% of the world’s nations, excluding the UK, just six months after graduation.  Of those employed abroad, 34.3% graduated in STEM5 subjects.

France, USA, and Spain attracted the most UK graduates.  These have been the top three destinations for three years – before then, Australia and China replaced Spain in 2011/12 and 2012/13, respectively.   The top ten countries include four EU states – France, Spain, Germany, and Ireland – which attracted 28.3% of those 2015/16 graduates who are working abroad.

The information shows a slight downward trend over five years for the number of UK graduates working abroad soon after graduation.  In 2011/12, 7,780 (2.7%) UK graduates were employed in 183 other countries, six months after leaving university – with the number peaking at 8,335 (2.7%) graduates, also in 183 countries in 2013/14.  Most recently, the 7,165 UK graduates working abroad shows a decrease in both the actual number, as well as the percentage (2.5%), of the UK graduate population who are employed in other countries.

For the third consecutive year, France, USA, and Spain attracted the most UK graduates.

However, UK graduates continue to travel and work abroad, and to be in demand by employers all over the world.  Next year we will be able to identify any changes to graduate destinations that result from the continuing Brexit process. 

DLHE information is vital for higher education providers, policy-makers, industry, graduate employers, local government planners, and recruitment consultants who need verified and comprehensive insight into what students do, following graduation.

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For more information on the DLHE survey

All UK higher education providers have access to this data via the Heidi Plus business intelligence tool

This information is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

1 The Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey consists of all UK, European Union and non-EU domiciled leavers for whom destinations data is expected and sought from UK HE providers in 2015/16 six months after graduating. This survey had a response rate of 75.9% of UK-domiciled leavers with a known destination.

2 For the purposes of analysis, ‘UK-domiciled’ students are those whose normal residence before starting their course was in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Isle of Man, or the Channel Islands

3 Student leavers who are UK-domiciled2 full and part-time, undergraduate, first degree, post-graduate, and doctorate students who responded to the survey and had a known country of employment outside the UK

4 2015/16 graduates with a known country of employment

5 STEM subjects are science, technology, engineering and maths.  Click here for a full list of STEM subjects(1-A)

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Joe Macari-Information Analyst

Joe Macari

Information Analyst

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