Higher achievers? Mobility programmes, generic skills and academic learning: a UK case study

Ian Crawford, Zhiqi Wang, Lu Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (SciVal)
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The received wisdom is that mobility programmes considerably contribute to students in terms of the development of generic skills, language and multicultural competence and competitive advantage in the global labour market. Surprisingly, the impacts of mobility programmes on academic learning have received very limited research interest in the literature. This study uses students enrolled on international management and modern language degrees in a British university to investigate the benefits of a yearlong study abroad programme, on the development of linguistic and multicultural skills measured by their academic results pre- and post-international mobility. Using a control group of students who stay on campus, quantitative data drawn from a longitudinal study over 8 years conclusively suggest that study abroad students academically outperform control group students after controlling for gender, domicile, ethnicity, socio-economic status, prior academic performance and age. The implications of these results on higher education and policy-making are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-86
JournalIntercultural Education
Issue number1
Early online date5 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Yearlong study abroad
  • academic learning
  • control group
  • language skills
  • quantitative methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Education


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