A recent survey has shown that over 50 percent of UK university juniors and seniors are planning to move away following graduation. A couple of reasons for this include accommodation difficulties and confidence finding local job opportunities.

The Survey

According to UPP’s recent student survey, despite the fact UK universities are ranked among the top higher education institutions in the world, students have a tendency to gain their education and then migrate away rather than find careers in the country- a phenomenon called “brain drain.”

The survey showed that only 35 percent of London students are planning to move, whereas in the Western Midland, as high as 64 percent will. This survey also supports findings by Centre for Cities. They showed that around six months following graduation nearly 35 percent of all university graduates end up residing in London.

Brain drain is important to reduce, as it reduces the value universities add to the surrounding communities. Students also leave behind all the social capital they had built throughout their years at university. Many attribute this problem to the fact that students feel compelled to pay high rents just to get a proper foot in the door career-wise.

According to recent research, two important factors have been attributed to UK brain drain. First, many young students lack the confidence with regards to finding high quality jobs where their universities are. Secondly, they struggle with accommodation issues.

What Can Be Done?

It’s recommended that universities work harder to try and retain their graduates. One way they could do that is by investing more in creating more connections between their students and local businesses they could be interested in working for.

Surveys have also shown that students wished their universities did more to provide them with access to potential workplaces. This way, universities would be increasing the value of what they offer to students as well as boosting the local economy.

Universities could also do more to alleviate the pressures of housing for students, particularly international students who do not have the option of staying home.

Some experts recommend building graduate accommodation so as to help properly bridge students between their student life and their working life.

Such solutions wouldn’t only boost universities’ image, but would create a new stream of income alongside it. With the current debate of tuition fees being too high, universities’ attempts to alleviate pressures off of students could be particularly useful.


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