How post-study work policies of countries decide where foreign students choose to study
When studying abroad, foreign students would prefer a country which gives them a chance to use what they learned in their course to work there.
Students who decide to study abroad, usually look at it as a way of enhancing their career prospects; and the provision of working in the same country right after the completion of the course can further enhance their career plans. They get a better insight into the applicability of their course study if given a chance to work in the host country.
This can go a long way in enriching their professional experience, widening their perspective and empowering them with the ability to work in a dynamic set up. Many such students who set foot in the workspace of the host country have turned out to be brilliant professionals in various fields. Some have even ended up launching their own ventures, creating more job opportunities and settling there. It is no stretch to say that post-study work rights can open doors to multiple individual success stories and growth opportunities for the host country. However, even though there is a whole world to choose from, students seek out particularly those countries that have favourable post-study work policies.
Generally, the best study destinations are found in ‘traditional immigration countries’ like Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the US. While New Zealand has mostly been a prized destination among students, recent developments in the UK’s policies have put the country back in the front seat. Both these countries are set to gain higher traction in the international education market. Let’s see how:
Changing policies in the United Kingdom
The UK is back to becoming one of the most popular study destinations following the present government’s restoration of its two-year post-study work visa policy. This has opened multiple opportunities for foreign students, who can now seamlessly switch to a skilled work visa once they find a job after the completion of their studies.
Earlier, the then-Home Secretary Theresa May had scrapped the post-study work visa as a part of immigration crackdown in 2012, which was discouraging students to apply in UK universities. In spite of housing the world capital of higher education (London) and offering world-class education, the UK was witnessing a low influx of foreign students. As the country gears up to welcome them back with professional opportunities after study, Indian students and others are actively considering the UK as a preferred study destination once again. To avail the benefits policy that comes in force from 2020-2021, students must know that it will be a separate visa. They will have to fill a new application form, inclusive of immigration health surcharge and payment of a visa fee. Moreover, graduates need to see if their leave expires before the visa’s implementation as if it does, they will not be eligible for the benefits.
New Zealand: open employment opportunities for foreign students
With all its eight universities ranking in the top 3% of the world, New Zealand is well-known for its quality education and conducive learning environment. It has been gaining high traction among students, particularly the South Asian students for its liberal post work visa policies, in comparison to the UK and the US. It allows students to work for almost any employer without any restrictions on the kind of job or its location after the completion of the course. The visa can be extended for up to three years. Moreover, the education programs that it offers are based on the British education system (also followed by South Asian counties, including India).
Realisation of economic benefits of cross-border student mobility
Many countries like the UK have been going through an anti-immigration sentiment, which had led to restrictive post-study work policies. However, after witnessing a drop in the foreign student influx, the host countries are realizing the immense economic benefits of cross-border student mobility. These are high revenues generated from student tuition fees, increased spending by them on multiple other expenses and value addition by an international talent for the employer corporations. Thus when Boris Johnson government annulled the earlier restrictions on post-study work rights in the UK, employers were as thrilled as the international students planning to study in the country. After all, opening post-study rights is not only beneficial for the students, but also to the host country’s economy. This can go on to drive the growth of the international economy and lead to a more connected, vibrant world, which will be full of limitless possibilities.