The performance effects of international study placements versus work placements

Chris Jones, Yuan Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To be competitive, universities across the world are embedding an international perspective into every layer of an institution’s operational structure. For higher education (HE) providers that offer sandwich degrees (4-year undergraduate courses with a compulsory placement after the second year), this allows students to choose a range of options. Students can enter the labour market for one year, or they can go overseas to study at a foreign institution. For some students, it might even be possible to do both. However, regarding final year degree performance, which option leads to higher student performance? In this paper, we aim to shed light on this empirical question. Our results are drawn from Aston University (UK) which is a world-leading University in Advanced Technology. Overall, using a large student dataset, we find that for students who have a compulsory placement built into their degree programme, the work placement has a more powerful impact on student performance compared to an international study placement abroad. Our findings have important implications for universities across the world that offer sandwich degrees to their students.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalHigher Education
Early online date14 May 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 May 2022

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