By Tom Whitehead, Home Affairs Editor (Telegraph.co.uk)
Published: 4:35PM BST 23 Sep 2010
One in 40, or 2.5 per cent, of students had jobs overseas six months after finishing their degrees, a study for the Office for National Statistics showed.
That is the equivalent of just under 50,000 UK-resident students immediately leaving the country last year.
Almost half head to other EU countries, especially France, while one in ten find work in America.
Other popular destinations include Japan, Africa, Australia and Canada.
The exodus will further fuel concerns that plans to introduce a graduate tax system will drive even more graduates overseas.
The Coalition has refused to rule out such a system as part of a review of student finance. It would see former students hit by a levy, similar to income tax, when they reach a certain earnings thresholds. Those earning the most would pay more.
Critics have warned foreign students who return home or UK graduates who go overseas would escape such a levy.