The British Council commissioned CFE Research and LSE Enterprise in May 2014 to conduct research to examine the impact of international experiences on individuals, employers, the economy and society. The purpose of the research is to provide evidence to inform a report that will be produced by the British Council setting out the benefits of international experiences to a UK audience of senior policymakers, business leaders/employers, education and culture sector stakeholders, think tanks and the media.
The findings presented in this document draw on a literature review that investigates the evidence on the provision, scale and benefits of different types of international experiences. The findings complement a second literature review of key evidence on the UK’s competitive position and the role of skills within this.1 The literature reviews helped to inform the design of primary research with individuals with and without international experiences and a series of case studies.
The aim of this literature review is to provide a summary of the nature and scale of international activity in the UK, and to compare this with activity in the US and Germany. The focus is on outward mobility of UK-domiciled learners and the benefits offered by these international education experiences.
The review is based on analysis of approximately 150 reports and papers on international education opportunities, and information from websites of organisations that provide or monitor international experiences. We find that there is a lack of data collection and research on the scale and impact of international experiences, at both national and international levels. The most evidenced topic is international higher education, which is also the largest area of activity.