The number of British students now studying in China has gone up some 25%, from 3,174 to 4,250 students over the past five years. This is according to Newsbeat reporter Natalie Ostroff in her article: “British students urged: Go to China to boost job hopes”.
It’s not an enormous number per se. But the British Council is now encouraging Britain’s youth to consider studying in China, as the educational charity believes it’ll boost students’ future job prospects. Moreover, the UK government wants to increase the number of students working or studying in China to 15,000 over the next few years, reports the BBC.
The UK’s effort to send their students east does make sound economic sense; China is already the world’s second biggest economy. Moreover, economists predict that it is expected to overtake the US in GDP in the near future.
Moreover, students in the UK are having a tough time to get jobs. Quoting a 25-year-old graduate from Liverpool, Ostroff shows that graduates who try to join graduate schemes and go through rigorous assessment processes, get told that they lack experience. Naturally, the only choice that remains for many students is to look for opportunities else where, even if that means outside of Britian.
Yet, according to the British Council, the UK needs to do more to send its students to the emerging markets in Asia, as other countries like France tend to do a better job in guiding their students to China. This might be the case, but what do governments have planned to then later on attract these educated and experienced youngsters back home?
The fact that British students are considering to study and work abroad, where they have a better chance to develop personally and professionally, is just further evidence for organizations that the talent market is becoming increasingly global.
Obviously, talented people will migrate to where they can seize the best opportunities and will not stick around in their home country, if prospects look dull. It’s already the case in countries like Portugal, Spain, Greece, etc and other nations will struggle to reverse the brain drain effect that is already in motion.
Again, the question remains – can companies in the UK attract these young professionals back home? Or will these new professionals just stay where the grass is surely greener? Time will tell!
Ostroff, Natalie (2013). British students urged: Go to China to boost job hopes. [Online] Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/25367555 [Accessed on 3 January 2013]