British Council drive to get more UK students in China

More scholarships and internships will boost graduates in the business world, says chief executive Martin Davidson

The British Council is to offer more scholarships for UK students to study in China amid concern from businesses that graduates lack the experience to work with the rising economic giant.

The council’s Generation UK campaign aims for at least 15,000 UK students to study or gain work experience in China by 2016.

In 2011, about 3,500 studied in the country, a figure Generation UK aims to increase by at least a third by September 2016.

The council said that it would boost the “amount and variety” of available academic scholarships as well as offering two-month funded internships across China for UK students.

University careers advisers were taken to China in March to help them to better understand job opportunities available in the country, the council said.

Martin Davidson, the council’s chief executive, said that business leaders had told the organisation “many times” that they “fear for the UK in a global economy if our young people do not gain international experience and skills”.

“This campaign is designed to provide that. Currently the UK lags far behind other nations in terms of young people’s outward mobility,” he warned.

This is not the first time concerns have been raised that UK students are failing to pick up experience overseas during their time at university.

In March 2012 a report, Recommendations to Support UK Outward Student Mobility, by the UK Higher Education International Unit recommended the creation of a national strategy to encourage student mobility, noting that the UK ranked 25th in the world in terms of the number of students studying abroad.

During five upcoming workshop sessions in London, Cardiff, Manchester, Edinburgh and Belfast, the council will explain to university staff how institutions can participate in the campaign.

In the autumn, the British Council will also stage a roadshow targeted at students.

david.matthews@tsleducation.com

Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Register to continue  

You've enjoyed reading five THE articles this month. Register now to get five more, or subscribe for unrestricted access.

Most Commented

  • Woman taking homeopathic medicine

Alternative treatments in healthcare plan is latest in a series of homeopathy-related controversies

  • Man lying beneath rugby pile-up

Six academics share their experiences before delivering a verdict on the system

  • Zygmunt Bauman with hand over mouth

Eminent sociologist has recycled 90,000 words of material across a dozen books, claims paper

  • Foot about to step on banana peel

Kevin Haggerty and Aaron Doyle offer tips on making postgraduate study even tougher (which students could also use to avoid pitfalls if they prefer)

  • Sorana Vieru, National Union of Students

Sorana Vieru says exams and essays 'privilege' more advantaged students, calls for changes to 'Middle Ages' format