Exploring the influence of individual and academic differences on the placement participation rate among international students: A UK case study

Ian Crawford, Zhiqi Wang, Georgina Andrews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (SciVal)
184 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: The paper investigates the low placement participation rate among international students compared with UK students, by examining the impact of individual factors such as gender and domicile and academic achievement such as prior academic qualification, prior academic results and subsequent academic results on students’ choices of degree programmes as well as their graduation status.
Methodology: This study adopts a quantitative approach by using 268 accounting and finance students in a UK university.
Findings: The analyses show that UK students on entry are 35% more likely than international students to choose a degree programme with a placement module after controlling for individual and academic differences. Among females, international students who switch to a degree without placement following entry significantly and statistically underperformed their UK counterparts who complete a degree with placement from the first year onwards. This trend is not observable among male students. Instead, male students who select and graduate with a degree without placement are the worst performers, regardless of their nationalities.
Research limitation: The quantitative data used here are collected in a UK institution so the results reported here may lack generalisability.
Practical implications: International students need to know more about the benefits of undertaking placements on their academic performance and the development of generic skills before entry. Moreover, UK universities need to provide more assistance to international students, especially females about how to secure placements and how to widen their search for potential placements.
Originality/value: To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to explain the low participation rate among international students in UK higher education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-357
Number of pages16
JournalEducation and Training
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2016


  • Placements; international students; academic performance; self-selection; accounting and finance students


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