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Chinese Students' Employability

Enhancing the Employment Success of UK-educated Chinese Students was a British Council-funded research project undertaken by The University of Warwick in conjunction with AGCAS aimed to provide holistic employability and entrepreneurship support for UK-educated Chinese students before, during and after their studies in the UK, to effect a systemic change in Chinese student employability outcomes and success. Another important aspect of the research was to discover the destinations at a sector level of UK-educated Chinese students. This groundbreaking work was done via AGCAS members sharing their data sets.

Project rationale

Thousands of Chinese students attend UK higher education institutions. The majority will return or work outside the UK/EU. It must be clear to students, and those providing financial support, that UK education is a sound investment, and that their employment outcomes/career decisions will be fully enabled by choosing to study in the UK.

Remote from their cultural environment, while studying in the UK Chinese students must quickly understand their destination labour market and what they can do to maximise their employability. Necessary information includes available jobs, labour market sectors, recruitment culture, and employers’ requirements. They are likely to have little information, experience or contacts in the destination job market, nor how to accommodate altered career aspirations resulting from their UK experiences.

Careers and recruitment professionals in the UK and China need and want to understand how their professional skills and practice can be tailored to different cultural contexts. This project researched student and employer perceptions, education for careers professionals and recruiters and resources and data for careers professionals to use with recruiters, alumni and students.

Phase I – Graduate Destination Sharing

    •  For the first time in the UK, this project enabled UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to share Chinese graduate Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) data.
    •  Led by AGCAS to ensure data confidentiality and anonymity.
    Providing an evidenced-based picture of UK-educated Chinese graduate destinations.

Phase II – Research

    •   To gather detailed qualitative and quantitative feedback from Chinese employers, students and alumni on graduate success for returning UKeducated Chinese students.
    •   Insights into the Chinese labour market and how UK-educated Chinese students can enhance their employment prospects.

Phase III – Education & Resources

    •   Development of new workshops, events & online resources for careers professionals, via the AGCAS website.
    •   Enabling UK HEIs to use and disseminate the online resources to help meet the needs of their students.



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© Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services 2017