INTO University Partnerships has introduced “Return & Connect“, a new digital and physical service initiative designed to enhance career opportunities for international students by bridging the gap between their educational achievements and professional employment opportunities globally.

The platform is engineered to help international students reconnect with their home countries after their overseas education by facilitating access to employer and alumni networks. This connection is crucial for gaining in-market work experience and securing post-study employment placements both during and after their studies.

Developed in collaboration with INTO’s university partners from the UK, US, and Australia, this innovative service integrates academic institutions, students, alumni, and employers into one seamless system.

John Sykes, CEO of INTO University Partnerships said: “The Return & Connect service represents a pivotal step in INTO’s commitment to supporting the professional development of international students. It revolutionizes the landscape of employment and post-study work placements.
“With concerns over long-term employability driving international student decision making, this initiative empowers universities to extend the reach and impact of both their careers and alumni services well beyond their home campus and into parts of the world, traditionally under-served by the majority of overseas universities hosting large populations of international students.”
The Return & Connect service will initially roll out in Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and mainland China in summer 2024 and will expand to other key international student markets in a phased approach.
Professor Sir Steve Smith, UK Government International Education Champion. said: “Return & Connect is a great idea that tackles a challenge that all universities face in providing accurate and timely employer connections to students that graduate and seek to return home, but it also simultaneously provides available in-market resource to strengthen all important institutional alumni activity. I wish them every success.”
As part of this groundbreaking initiative, INTO has forged an exclusive collaboration with mShare Tech, a leading Chinese firm renowned for its innovative internship and career services and tech solutions for students and graduates in the domestic market. This partnership will for the first time specifically streamline the journey for returning Chinese students as they enter the workforce post-study abroad.
mShare’s dynamic platform has served as a go-to resource for over 24 million students and graduates across Mainland China since establishing in 2016, offering a wealth of employment and work experience opportunities. Today, with an annual volume of new registered student users at over 4 million, it provides 330,000 employers registered on the platform with access to a vast talent pool for recruiting candidates for various roles.
As part of the partnership with mShare, INTO will leverage its global presence and profile in top study abroad destinations worldwide to work with universities to enroll international students on Return & Connect platform free of charge. Meanwhile, mShare will utilize its extensive local network of employers and expertise to seamlessly integrate its student registrations into the Return & Connect platform, establishing Return & Connect as the exclusive brand for international students in China.
John Sykes added: “We are thrilled to collaborate with mShare Tech to empower Chinese students who have completed their studies overseas with enhanced career opportunities. The launch of the ‘Return & Connect’ service underscores our commitment to unlock career opportunities for international students and facilitating meaningful connections between education and employment.”
Mr Rocky Zeng, CEO of mShare Tech, said: “The partnership demonstrates INTO and mShare’s shared vision of fostering global talent and advancing career pathways for international students. INTO’s unrivalled global reach and mShare’s extensive network in China will give returning Chinese students a distinctive advantage to thrive in the competitive job market.”
Under the agreement, mShare will develop new, specialized subscription propositions for employers on its platform, enabling them to access, engage, and service students in China who are studying abroad or have completed their studies overseas.
During launch phase, INTO is offering overseas universities free presence on the Return and Connect (China) platform. Universities can also enhance their presence and support for students through teaming up with market-based career experts, which INTO will facilitate. A wider variety of flexible subscription and revenue sharing models will be available as the initiative is rolled out.