More than one in 10 (13%) UK students on the European Union's flagship exchange programme Erasmus hail from Scottish higher education institutions, which account for only 8.5% of the UK's total student population.
Institutions in England represent 84% of the overall student population but sent out 79% of students on the scheme in the year 2012/13, according to Erasmus figures.
Welsh institutions accounted for 5% of UK students on the exchange, equating to the country's student population share, while 3% of Erasmus students came from higher education institutions in Northern Ireland, compared with its student population share of 2%.
The University of Edinburgh was the Scottish institution with the highest number of students taking part (356), followed by the University of Glasgow (290) and the University of Strathclyde (277). Ruth Sinclair-Jones, the British Council's head of EU programmes, said: "The international experience offered through Erasmus has been shown to make a real difference in terms of people's employability.
"So while students in Scotland deserve praise for reaching out and looking to gain highly sought-after international skills, it is a concern that students in England and Wales are beginning to slip behind.
"The UK overall is only sixth in terms of total students participating in Erasmus; we lag far behind France, Germany and Spain, who have almost three times as many young people gaining vital skills which we all need to compete in a global market."
Erasmus offers students at higher education institutions a chance to spend up to a year studying or working at another institution in the EU, with the majority of costs covered.
Student participation in the scheme has grown across the UK, rising 7% to 14,607 in 2012/13.
The figure is the highest since the programme was launched in 1987.
The number of UK students taking part in Erasmus has more than doubled since 2006/07 when the British Council took over its management in the UK.
The University of Nottingham had the highest number of Erasmus students from England (522), Cardiff University had the highest number from Wales (291) and Queen's University Belfast had the highest in Northern Ireland (234).
Ms Sinclair-Jones said: "Erasmus is for all students and is an ideal way to learn another language and culture.
"As the number of specialist foreign language courses decline in the UK, Erasmus is becoming even more essential.