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Supporting international students with overseas LMI

As research for one of the modules of the AGCAS/Warwick CEIGHE Diploma, Rachel Coombes, Trainee Careers Consultant at the University of Exeter, examined to what extent UK institutions should be trying to support international students with overseas labour market intelligence (LMI).

Background

This issue had been raised in my institution in relation to whether we should be providing country-specific employability pages. In undertaking research into the matter, I contacted a number of UK higher education institutions through AGCAS-SERVICELINK to gain their perspective on the situation. I was surprised by the amount of interest in my enquiry.

Growing demand for overseas LMI

There is definitely a growing demand from students for overseas LMI, particularly with the growing numbers of international students attending UK institutions. However, with a growing global marketplace it is not just international students who may need this information, but home students looking to work abroad too. Given the number of different countries students may be interested in, how best to provide this information, and to what extent, seems to be a topic high on the agenda for a number of institutions.

General resources

There are many useful websites that institutions are using to support their students. The main ones are:

  •   AGCAS Country Profiles on the TARGETjobs
      (Find out about working abroad) and TARGETcourses (Studying abroad)
      websites.
  •   Going Global
  •   Gradlink
  •   I-Graduate
  •   Prospects Country Profiles

These websites collate some fantastic resources around specific countries and pull together information that would be highly resource-intensive for institutions to do on their own.

University-specific resources

For some institutions, developing their own country specific LMI wasn't something they had time and capacity for. One institution I spoke to, however, seemed to have developed a very interesting approach to their institution-specific overseas LMI. They did not to go into detailed overseas LMI, thereby duplicating what may already be on other websites, rather they had created country profiles which detailed the institution's DLHE information for a particular country along with alumni profiles, links to further information and jobs advertised by the university for that country. In this way, the information was very specific for that university and could be easily updated.

Workshops

There was a small number of institutions who were starting to provide specific workshops for certain countries. These workshops often focused on the countries where the majority of international students came from such as China, India and Nigeria. Some institutions are also running more general sessions on working overseas, rather than focusing on a specific country.

Events

Virtual international careers fairs also take place in a number of institutions and a few are even able to run careers fairs overseas in a select number of countries.

Alumni

A number of institutions are already using their alumni as sources of overseas LMI. The majority are providing case studies on their websites of how alumni have sourced jobs in various countries and advice they would give. This information not only helps current students, but also prospective ones too.

Conclusion

In reviewing the approaches of different institutions across the UK, it would appear that enabling students to access overseas labour markets is not all about information giving. Further support can be given by providing skills sessions and raising students' awareness of the importance of targeting their applications to the country they are applying to.

Using information resources already developed by AGCAS, Going Global, etc and combining these with institution-specific information can help support students in a less resource-intensive way. However, as with providing information on the UK labour market, it is impossible to cover all aspects, which makes it even more important to empower our students with the tools to start helping them along in the process.

Further information

For further information, please contact: Rachel Coombes, Trainee Careers Consultant, University of Exeter.


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Tags: labour market LMI international students overseas international University of Exeter AGCAS

Created on: 31 January 2014

Last updated: 02 February 2014


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