U.K. Allows International Students To Have Placement Year For Industry Experience


A placement year is quite common in universities in the U.K. This is when students are allowed to spend a year working in industry to gain relevant work experience.

U.S. News reported that several U.K. universities and colleges include placement year in their degree programs. Students also have the option of adding it to the curriculum of their choice.

It was noted that, for the 2014-15 academic year, 153,535 first-degree undergraduate students were able to enroll in placement courses at U.K. universities. This is based on data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

There are several advantages to having a placement year. First, students gain real-world industry experience outside of the classroom.

A placement year is beneficial for first-time job seekers, like international students. This time can also be used to put a student's knowledge into practice.

"My placement experience has been amazing," Kunjika Saluja, a Thai national and an economics and management major from Aston University, said. "I have developed immensely as an individual, mastering in time management, relationship building and leadership skills."

Saluja is currently having her placement year at Xerox. She is part of the global procurement team.

Majority of students from Aston University as well as the University of Bath, the University of Surrey and Ulster University participate in a placement year. There are no special requirements for international students.

Another advantage for students who participate in a placement year is having a salary or allowance. It can also help reduce tuition fee rates. While tuition fee rates vary between schools, having a placement year can help students save money since they have an income.

Lastly, a placement year can put international students ahead of other applicants after graduation. Whether international students decide to stay in the U.K. or not, the skills that they are able to gain can be used in their chosen career.

It was previously reported that recruiters are looking at apprenticeships first before offering a full-time job to a graduate. A placement year would be a definite advantage for those who enroll in it.

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