Good news for F1 visa holders in US, deportation looms for int’l students with low grades in UK, and more in this week’s MSM Reporter

Good news for F1 visa holders in US, deportation looms for int’l students with low grades in UK, and more in this week’s MSM Reporter

Note From the Editor


In a landmark policy update, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that international students in the United States on F visas can now directly apply for immigrant visas under the Employment-Based (EB) category. 


In Canada’s remote Northern College, Indians make up 96% of all international students, and officials – reflecting broader trends of diversification – have committed to intensifying efforts to recruit more students from Africa and Indonesia. 


In the UK, deportation may be looming ahead for international students who fail to achieve high grades while on two-year graduate visas. This week, we also report on how international students can navigate US college waitlists, a Canadian university rolling out a new code of conduct for agents, and new visa fees and tougher dependent rules legislated in France. 


Read intl ed news from all over the world in this week’s edition, or head over to for more international education news, insights, and thought leadership this week. We’re grateful for your company and readership in 2023, and we hope to see you in the new year for more of the top news in international education every week. Enjoy the rest of the holiday season and have a happy new year!


Good news for international students looking for US immigrant visa

In a landmark policy update, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that international students in the United States on F visas can now directly apply for immigrant visas under the Employment-Based (EB) category. F1 visa students “may be the beneficiary of a permanent labor certification application or immigrant visa petition and may still be able to demonstrate their intention to depart after a temporary period of stay,” according to the released document. The new guidance is aimed at clarifying what is required for employment authorization, status changes, extensions, as well as reinstatements for these students and their dependents. In addition, the policy revision extends opportunities for foreign students who have completed STEM degrees, and they are now able to use their 36 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT) to work at early-stage startups. 

Hindustan Times

In remote Canada, a college becomes a magnet for Indian students

At Northern College, situated in a remote town and where winters can feel subarctic, Indians make up 96% of all international students. Over 60% of foreign students in Ontario’s public colleges, too, are from India. Officials have committed to intensifying efforts to recruit more students from Africa and Indonesia to reduce their dependence on India, which this year began to have strained diplomatic relations with Canada. In September, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the Indian government was involved in the killing of a Canadian Sikh separatist near Vancouver; India categorically denied any involvement and forced out 41 Canadian diplomats. Canadian public colleges and universities have been hit hard by budget cuts and have relied more heavily on the higher tuition that international students pay. At the same time, foreign students turn to these institutions for permanent residence in the country. 

New York Times

UK may deport international students with low grades on two-year graduate visas

The United Kingdom is reportedly contemplating the deportation of international students who fail to achieve high grades while on two-year graduate visas. The initiative from the UK Migration Advisory Committee, which has been entrusted with the task of reassessing the graduate visa program by UK Home Secretary James Cleverly, is part of a five-point strategy aimed at reducing net migration by 300,000 individuals. In 2022, there was a record-breaking net migration of 745,000, a climb from 184,000 in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic. Data also showed a surge in the number of two-year visas granted to students staying in the UK after completing their studies in June 2023: the figure rose by 74%, amounting to 98,000 students, compared to the previous year.

MSM Reporter

Luke Sheehy named new chief executive of Universities Australia

The Universities Australia Board has announced the appointment of Luke Sheehy as the new chief executive for a five-year term, effective from Feb. 7, 2024. With more than two decades of leadership and experience in higher education, Sheehy successfully led the Australian Technology Network of Universities for nearly five years and assumed pivotal roles in government, education, and strategy consultancy for the Asian Development Bank and Swinburne University. Sheehy linked Australia’s success to “a strong pipeline of skills delivered by [its] world-class universities,” and touted 2024 as a “year of big reform.” Universities Australia represents 39 member universities, offering expert policy advice, statistical evidence, and media commentary as well as engaging in submissions, policy development, and representation on various governmental and industry bodies.

MSM Reporter

Chinese still largest group of foreign students in US

Students coming from China remain the largest group of international students in the US in 2023. Amid a slight dip, China is still the top country of origin for foreign students pursuing US education, with the State Department granting more than 600,000 international student visas in fiscal year 2023 ending in September – the highest issuance since fiscal 2017. Of the total numbers, 289,526 visas were awarded to Chinese students, which however reflected a decrease of 560 students compared to the previous year. Back in November, the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs affirmed the office’s focus on shortened wait times in fiscal 2024, citing that wait times for the more than 20 types of visa categories, including students, were almost nonexistent. As of December 4, the current wait times for Chinese student visa applicants vary at US consulates across China from three to eight days.

VOA News

3 foreign nationals are among the wounded in a Prague university shooting

On a days-long violent rampage ending in a shooting at the Prague university he attended, an unnamed student has left 14 dead and dozens wounded. The nation is now grappling with its worst mass shooting in recent history in the heart of the capital city, in a philosophy department building at Charles University. Czech authorities said that 13 people died at the scene in the Faculty of Arts and one died later in a hospital. Meanwhile, 25 people were wounded, including three foreign nationals: two from the United Arab Emirates and one from the Netherlands. Charles University was established in 1348, and the building where the shooting took place is located near the Vltava River in Jan Palach Square, a busy tourist spot in Prague’s Old Town. It is a few minutes’ walk away from the Old Town Square, a major tourist attraction that comprises a popular Christmas market.

ABC News

What US college waitlists mean for international students

A student placed on a college or graduate school waitlist has not been formally accepted but may be offered admission as slots become available. At the most selective colleges, a mere 7% of waitlist candidates are admitted. As prospective international students prepare their applications for admission to US colleges, there are several things to know and considerations to make when it comes to waitlists, including student visa considerations and financial aid. Financial assistance may be of critical importance, as admission offices often require a commitment within 48 hours after they have offered a waitlisted student a coveted space. 

US News

Cape Breton University introduces code of conduct for student recruiters

Cape Breton University in Canada has instituted a code of conduct aimed at ensuring accountability among recruiting agents in response to surging international student enrollment. The new guidelines, effective since October, establish a framework for agents working to attract students to the campus and outline penalties for any violations. Experiencing record enrollment figures, particularly from international students, CBU seeks to address concerns regarding misinformation and its impact on the local community. The code of conduct – which introduces processes for monitoring, inspecting, and auditing third-party agencies and partners engaged in student recruitment on behalf of the university – comes in response to reports of students being promised ample job opportunities and housing, contributing to a housing shortage in the community, and inundating local businesses with international student resumes.

MSM Reporter

France announces new visa fees for foreign students, tougher dependent rules

A contentious immigration bill gets a final nod from French legislators to essentially tighten regulations for international students and workers seeking entry into France. Reflecting a compromise between French President Emmanuel Macron’s party and the conservative opposition,  the newly endorsed law will now make immigrants eligible for state support only after residing in France for an extended period, ranging from several months to years. It also introduces hurdles for immigrants seeking to reunite with their families in the country and enforces new visa fees for international students. The government has defended the stringent measures, saying: “It’s not by holding your nose in central Paris that you can fix the problems of the French in the rest of the country.”

Graphic Online

Global culture, better jobs top motivating factors for Indians aspiring to study abroad

Better career opportunities, deeper cultural immersion, and mastering new languages surface as the major motivational factors for Indian students to pursue higher education overseas, as Oxford International’s Student Global Mobility Index (SGMI) reports. Almost 50% of the Indian students surveyed named better career opportunities as the top motivational factor to study abroad, 42% cited cultural experience, and 41% mentioned the development of language skills. When it came to the biggest barriers in studying overseas, about 50% of Indian students cited cost of living while 35% cited high tuition fees. The study covered over 500 current and prospective students in key markets such as India, Pakistan, Vietnam, and Nigeria.

Economic Times

Transnational education holds untapped potential for global universities: report

A recent report from the International Higher Education Commission (IHEC) has unveiled the untapped potential of transnational education to significantly amplify academic, operational, and financial returns for UK providers and their global partners, offering enhanced educational experiences and broader access for students. It also positions TNE as a sustainable global talent pipeline for various industries. Key findings have underscored the UK’s global leadership in TNE, boasting over 500,000 students enrolled in overseas degree programs. Despite this, the report highlighted that TNE is yet to fully realize its potential, necessitating innovative approaches to delivery and the involvement of a diverse range of providers.

MSM Reporter

NTU approves foreign student semiconductor program

National Taiwan University (NTU) is set to establish an international semiconductor program starting next year, recruiting an initial 25 students from overseas. After a two-year pilot period, the four-year bachelor’s degree program would be open to 50 international students annually. The program, slated under the Act for National Key Fields Industry-University Cooperation and Skilled Personnel Training, aims to introduce more foreign talent to Taiwan’s high-tech industry. Students who graduate can pursue further studies at other research institutes established under the act or at semiconductor-related graduate schools. One of the requirements of the program is to pass a Mandarin proficiency test equivalent to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages B1 level. 

Taipei Times

Featured Institution - Pacific States University

With a long and distinguished history, Pacific States University is a private non-profit educational institution founded in 1928 and has since provided a comprehensive education in the fields of business, and computer science to more than 12,000 graduates. Located in Los Angeles, it offers classroom and field-based learning opportunities designed to prepare students for preparation in their professional fields of choice. It is approved to operate by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) and accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). Aside from small classes, experienced and well-educated faculty, and a major metropolitan area with global markets, students will enjoy Southern California’s year-long outdoor living climate, endless beauty in which to work, study, and play, and multicultural population. 

Pacific States University

Featured Program - Culinary Management Diploma

The Culinary Management Diploma at Selkirk College equips chefs, food and beverage managers, and restaurant owners today with the business, leadership and human resource skills they need in addition to a strong culinary foundation. Courses include Management Communications, Computer Applications, Food and Beverage Cost Controls, Food Service Management, Human Resource Management, Organizational Leadership, and Mixology and Oenology. The program provides both the fundamental culinary and management skills for students with no previous culinary backgrounds looking to manage, own, or operate a food and beverage business in the future.

Culinary Management Diploma

International Education Conferences & Workshops



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