November 01, 2023
Nov 11, 2023
· Press Release

United Kingdom University Students Over-indexing on Skills to Prepare for Competitive Job Market


Skills-based learning is more in demand than ever as recruiters up the ante in talent race, according to edtech company Instructure’s global report

LONDON, NOVEMBER 1, 2023 – Instructure Holdings, Inc. (Instructure) (NYSE: INST), the leading learning platform and maker of VLE Canvas, announced today findings from its annual State of Student Success and Engagement in Higher Education Report. As recruiters increasingly focused on hiring for specific skills and attributes rather than only degrees, the report finds that 70% of UK students in higher education are now considering skills-based learning opportunities in addition to their degree.

The 2023 State of Student Success and Engagement in Higher Education Report – which was commissioned in partnership with Hanover Research, was presented today in Liverpool to leaders and faculty from some of the top UK higher education institutions during Instructure’s CanvasConnect event.

The survey highlights findings from 522 UK higher education students and 99 UK university administrators and faculty members. Among the findings, the survey revealed that UK students are considering the following skills-based learning opportunities for career advancement while at university:

  • Apprenticeships (52%)
  • Certificates (47%)
  • Micro-credentials and Badges (14%)

In addition, almost half (48%) of UK students see the immediate workforce opportunities available from a degree as being one of the most important factors in their decision to enrol in a university.

Unsurprisingly, 60% of UK students choose to pursue skills-based opportunities for career advancement.

Daniel Hill, Managing Director of Europe, Middle East and Africa, at Instructure, commented:

“Our research shows that those institutions who are diversifying their offerings and innovating on an apprenticeship and micro-credentialing strategy are better placed to thrive amongst this new generation of students. In order to deliver on those strategies, a wider learning platform that enables flexible learning pathways and a world class student and administrative experience has never been more important.”

Given the change in perception of what universities should be offering students as we move into 2024, it’s positive to see that half (50%) of UK students surveyed said their institutions offer certificates and apprenticeships (41%). However, 18% of students and 12% of educators still aren’t sure about what upskilling and reskilling options their institution offers to supplement traditional degree offerings.

The survey also revealed data associated with access to technology, the desire for generative AI guidelines and training, and the need for mental health support as key trends and challenges impacting higher education student success and engagement worldwide. Read the report here.

Survey Methodology

The 2023 State of Student Success and Engagement in Higher Education survey was developed in coordination with Hanover Research and fielded in July 2023. After fielding and data, the study consisted of 6,100 qualified, completed responses, 4,850 students and 1,250 faculty members, academic staff and administrators in 17 countries. The data was then cut into crosstabs by region, country and role, along with various additional subsegments, such as socio-economic status. We performed statistical significance testing across segments with a 95% confidence level using a Z-Test with p = less than 0.05 and a margin of error +/- 1% for the overall sample size. For any questions regarding the underlying methodology or data, please contact us at

About Instructure

Instructure (NYSE: INST) powers the delivery of education globally and provides learners with the rich credentials they need to create opportunities across their lifetimes. Today, the Instructure ecosystem of products enables educators and institutions to elevate student success, amplify the power of teaching, and inspire everyone to learn together. With our global network of learners, educators, partners and customers, we continue to deliver on our vision to be the platform that powers learning for a lifetime and turns that learning into opportunities. We encourage you to discover more at


Ana Calabrese
International Communications Manager