Aston in the top ten for European work placements

European Work Placements
Pictured: Danielle Sanghera, on placement in Seville

14 February 2014

Aston University is one of the top ten universities in the UK for student work placements in Europe. 

According to the latest Erasmus student data, Aston is ranked 8th out of 169 UK universities for the volume of European work placements organised and arranged over the last five years. Among universities with students numbering 14,000 or less, Aston comes first. 

The University’s International Placements team, who are responsible for helping to coordinate overseas work experience, developed several initiatives to encourage students to seek positions abroad. These include providing students with opportunities to meet peers who have completed placements abroad and staging interactive intercultural awareness sessions. 

Carolina Salinas, International Placements Manager at Aston, said: “We are delighted to have been ranked so highly within Erasmus. With an ever increasing demand for a culturally agile workforce, an increasing number of global organisations are actively recruiting Aston students onto placements every year.” 

With an ever increasing demand for a culturally agile workforce, an increasing number of global organisations are actively recruiting Aston students onto placements every year

“These placements are often associated with foreign language courses, but at Aston those days are long gone. Placements in Europe are available to all students and many of the opportunities do not require knowledge of a foreign language. In fact, 65% of placements overseas are undertaking English-speaking roles.” 

The Erasmus finding come in the wake of much public discussion about the various merits of taking work placements overseas. International mobility is a core feature of the Government’s higher education strategy, evidenced by launch of the UK Outward Student Mobility Programme to boost the number of students undertaking work or study placements abroad.   

Aston’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Helen Higson, said: “Employers are increasingly looking for people with an awareness of global citizenship. By integrating into another culture, students become adaptable, confident and self-aware. They learn to function in a multicultural team and adapt to different communication styles. At Aston, we consider work placements to be vital, whether they are in the UK or overseas. We hope to have all of our students undertaking a placement year by 2020.” 

Students from Aston who choose to take their placement year in Europe work in a wide variety of roles, such as Marketing Executives, HR Coordinators, Chemical Engineers, Biomedical Lab Researchers and Project Analysts. There are currently over 300 students on a placement abroad. 

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For further media information, please contact Jonathan Garbett, Aston University Communications on 0121 204 4552 or j.garbett@aston.ac.uk