Note From the Editor
Many international students find themselves in limbo in this week’s dose of intl ed news, from Vietnamese international students scrambling for job opportunities in the US amid mass layoffs among tech companies to planned curbs on international student visas in the UK. But it’s not all dark days ahead: Canada has announced extending work permits for Hong Kong residents, students with Australian degrees now have their qualifications recognized internationally, and students fleeing Ukraine find a safe, affordable haven in Serbia. These and more developments in this week’s MSM Reporter.
Job cuts among small businesses and multinational conglomerates such as Microsoft, Meta, and Amazon – affecting 150,000 tech workers’ employment in the US in January – is seen to translate to a lot of international students experiencing difficulty finding jobs. A case in point: Vietnamese international students. The Open Doors Report on International Exchange revealed there were over 20,000 Vietnamese students enrolled in the US. Pham Quang Vu, an engineer at Meta, said that there are fewer internships and job opportunities being offered today for international students pursuing an IT career.
Vice-chancellors worry that new restrictions on international students could cost billions of pounds to the United Kingdom economy. Despite strong opposition from ministers and officials across government, university leaders have been informed that the Home Office may gain traction and support in backing limitations on international students applying to UK universities, which may be “an act of economic self-harm.” Professor Hugh Brady, president of Imperial College London, argued that cutting international student numbers will hurt universities and have a large impact akin to restricting UK tourism.
Sean Fraser, minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship, has announced that Canada is extending and expanding the open work permit program for eligible Hong Kong residents. The extension of the program’s deadline to apply and the expanded eligibility criteria target Hong Kong residents who have graduated from a post-secondary institution, either in Canada or abroad, within the last 10 years. This will provide more opportunities for Hong Kong residents to advance their careers and gain valuable work experience in Canada for up to three years, as opposed to the previous five-year limit.
As one of the most preferred international education destinations worldwide, higher education officials at the National College of Ireland (NCI) have paved the way for Indian students to secure promising careers. In a recent interview, an NCI official stated that in lieu of the foreign student-friendly stay-back visa, the university would provide opportunities for global learners to connect with potential employers. On top of this, they will also conduct events, webinars, and sessions to help overseas students learn more about programs, visa guidelines, and opportunities that align with their long-term career aspirations. Annually, there are over 6,000 Indian students heading to Ireland as one of the major senders of overseas students to the country.
German students enrolled at higher education institutions overseas were seen to have decreased especially during the early periods of the COVID pandemic. Among the international education destinations where German students declined in numbers included China, US, and UK, among others. Despite this downward trend, there are countries where German foreign students have increased in numbers, such as Austria and the Netherlands. Meanwhile, international students in Germany remain high, with some 440,564 global learners enrolled at a German higher education institution in the 2021-22 winter semester. Major senders of global learners to the country are China, Turkey, and India.
An AU$20-million initiative rolled out last year to lure international students back to Queensland has been paying off as the state’s economy is seen to get a boost from the arrival of overseas learners in local institutions. Just this year, there have been over 100,000 foreigners who aspire to study in the Sunshine State. Additionally, Study Queensland’s action plan includes a roadmap that maximizes the opportunities opened by the incoming 2023 Olympic and Paralympic games. In terms of source countries, the Ministry of Tourism, Innovation, and Sport also taps into potentially fertile markets for foreign students such as Vietnam, Columbia, and Brazil. The state government looks into fast-tracking the enrollment of students coming from these countries.
The low annual cap on H-1B work visa petitions in the United States is the biggest hurdle for companies looking to recruit foreign-born talent, according to new research. The H-1B visa denial rates returned to low levels following the administration’s losses in federal court during former President Donald Trump’s last year in office, the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) reported in a new study. In April 2022, employers submitted over 483,000 H-1B registrations, nearly 400,000 above the 85,000-annual limit for H-1B petitions. The denial rate for (new) H-1B petitions for initial employment in FY 2022 was 2%, with the rate dropping during the final year of the Trump administration after judges declared many of its H-1B-related actions unlawful. This led to a legal settlement and changes to restrictive immigration policies that led to the denial rate for new H-1B petitions for initial employment in FY 2021 dropping to 4% – far lower than the denial rate of 24% in FY 2018, 21% in FY 2019 and 13% in FY 2020.
The most recent ranking of best Canadian cities for international students by Clever Canadian has placed Windsor at 38th out of a list of 50 cities. The survey looked at factors including diversity, internet speed, tuition, and cost of living, as well as the percentage of students who graduate each year. Clever Canadian also claimed that Windsor has lower rental expenses than other cities in the province. However, other data revealed that the city is becoming more expensive as fewer houses become available. CBC News also found that international students in the city were more likely to use food banks and find it difficult to find part-time work locally, adding to their financial woes.
Data shows more than 88,000 workers have been laid off by over 200 tech firms in 2023 alone. Along with the uncertainty of losing employment, immigrants have been experiencing a double whammy since in many circumstances job losses jeopardize their visas. The 60-day deadline that holders of H-1B visas in the US, for instance, need to adhere to has particularly come under fire in the past few months. Nonetheless, the US is not the only country that’s giving out-of-job immigrants a deadline; in the UK, the skilled worker visa imposes a 60-day deadline as well for holders who have lost their jobs.
Australia has ratified the UNESCO Global Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education, making Australian degrees recognized internationally. Such an initiative – the ratification of which is considered a “significant education milestone” – benefits students, including international students, wanting to work and further their studies abroad. The treaty, which was first created in 2019, now includes 21 nations at various participation levels. These countries include Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, France, and Japan, among others. The United States, India, and China have not yet signed.
A report from BONARD, a leading provider of independent data, research and advisory for the rented residential sector, has revealed that rental rates for student accommodation have risen dramatically as a result of rising demand from overseas students. Prices in Canada and Australia have risen by 8%, while the average rent in the UK has risen by 4.4% to £1017 a month for a single studio. Student housing supply is not keeping up with demand, and the economic slump is adding to market uncertainties induced by the epidemic. Increasing inflation and the oil crises are other factors driving rent hikes. Due to the high exchange rate common in most African nations, several colleges are urging international students to delay their travels if they have not yet found somewhere to live.
Shinga Chikura, a 26-year-old British citizen, had to evacuate Ukraine at the onset of the Russia-Ukraine conflict in 2022 and pursued his medical education at the University of Nis in Serbia. Since the outbreak of the war, the University of Nis has seen a surge in international students wishing to study medicine in English. The university has been offering an English-language medical degree for four years and recognizes the majority of relevant previous credits. It also provides assistance to immigrants from Ukraine, to add to the significantly lower cost of living in Serbia than in the likes of Germany.
The College of the Rockies is a public community college in Cranbrook, British Columbia, Canada, with regional campuses in Creston, Fernie, Golden, Invermere, and Kimberley. University studies, adult basic education, health, child youth and family studies, administrative studies, tourism, computer technology, fire services, and trades are among the programs available at the institution. The Bachelor of Business Administration in Sustainable Business Practices, the College’s first four-year degree program, was offered in 2010.
The Master of Science in Computer Science (M.S.C.S.) and the Master of Science in Information Systems (M.S.I.S.) programs provide advanced education in computer information systems, computer programming languages, Internet programming languages, software engineering, computer database applications, computer networks, e-commerce, and artificial intelligence. The programs offer a 2-year OPT extension for eligible students, with a new tuition rate and quarterly payment options. Classes are held quarterly, and graduation requirements include completing 64 quarter units for the M.S.C.S. and 56 quarter units for the M.S.I.S., with the option of pursuing a double concentration by taking an additional 24 quarter units (6 courses). Both degrees are awarded upon fulfillment of these prerequisites.
MSM Reporter is collated by a globally spread team of MSM and is published every Thursday.