Note From the Editor
Increased numbers, reflecting both good and bad, appear to be a prevailing theme in international education this week. An all-time high of 82,000 student visas were issued in 2022 by the US Embassy in India amid the continuing threat of job cuts and layoffs in the US tech sector, while Canada breaks record by welcoming over 550,000 new international students in the same year. The United Kingdom saw an uptick in Nigerian and Indian applicants, Estonia received higher taxes from international students and graduates, and a district in Shanghai, China is enhancing incentives for returning international students and professionals. These and more news stories, also reflecting downward trends and movements on the other hand, in this week’s edition of MSM Reporter.
Amid current concerns around job cuts and layoffs in the technology industry in the United States, the number of Indian students enrolling in schools in the country is on the rise. An all-time high of 82,000 student visas were issued in 2022 by the US Embassy in New Delhi and four consulates in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai. The majority of Indian students who are already in the US are also optimistic about their employment chances in Optional Practical Training (OPT) and curricular practical training (CPT), which are temporary employment authorizations available to international students. “In a few cases, the economy may have led to jobs being eliminated, but our students have found new placements and many have moved into H-1 B work status,” said John Martellaro of University of Missouri-Kansas City.
The number of international students studying in Canada in 2022 has reached an all-time high of 551,405, hailing from 184 different countries, according to data released by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Another all-time high number of 807,750 international students holding valid study permits was recorded as of December 31, 2022. Students from India, China, the Philippines, France, and Nigeria are a few of the leading countries responsible for the influx of international students into Canadian universities.
The United Kingdom has established a new committee of experts in education to assist in the creation of a new international education plan that takes into account the many benefits that international students bring to the country. With former UK universities minister and Parliament member Chris Skidmore in charge, the International Higher Education Commission (IHEC) will promote the contribution of international students to the country’s economy. Furthermore, the commission will make the necessary suggestions to improve International Education Strategy 2.0, which includes visa offers that are competitive with those of other study destinations around the world, as well as address challenges in finding skilled manpower from hospitality to healthcare.
The Australian government has recently made significant changes to student visa work restrictions, relaxed in light of the pandemic and completely removed in January 2022 to allow primary and secondary student visa holders to work over their normal limit of 40 hours per fortnight to address workforce shortages. This will end on June 30, 2023, according to the Department of Home Affairs, to ensure “that student visa holders are able to focus on obtaining a quality Australian education and qualification, while remaining able to support themselves financially, gain valuable work experience, and contribute to Australia’s workforce needs.” Post-study work rights, on the other hand, have been extended, specifically from two years to four years for bachelor’s degrees, from three years to five years for master’s degrees, andfrom four years to six years for all doctoral degrees. This extension is intended to provide international students with more opportunities to gain skills and experience, particularly in fields like health, teaching, engineering, and agriculture.
Around 500 students are enrolled at the Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki (Witt), one of the last polytechnics in New Zealand that transitioned under the umbrella of Te Pukenga. A rising number of these students come from overseas, with international student numbers bouncing back to near pre-COVID levels at Taranaki’s only polytech amid organizational and management changes at the learning institute. The student projections this year were based on applications received, although actual attendance was subject to international students being granted the necessary visas to come to Aotearoa. Most of the students attending the polytech came from India and Nepal, with others from Cambodia, China, South Africa, and Vietnam.
In an important ruling, the Federal Court has stated that as long as international students can prove their ability to pay for their tuition and other fees when required, they can be invited to apply for a study permit. Moreso, they will not be penalized for unpaid tuition during the stage involving application submission. Under this ruling, international students no longer need to fully pay (or part of) their tuition fees to qualify for the application for a study permit. Furthermore, this ruling eliminates an essential barrier for foreigners who are looking to study in Canada but may not be able to fully or partly pay their tuition upon submission of their permit application.
Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), the United Kingdom’s shared admissions services for higher education, has disclosed that while the number of Nigerian and Indian students applying for undergraduate courses at UK universities increased, applications coming from China dropped by 4.2 percent. The new UCAS data revealed, overall, that the number of applications for international education in UK universities via UCAS has increased by three percent. The said increase is driven by applications that come from the US, India, and Nigeria. The largest increase at 23.1 percent was recorded in the number of applicants from Nigeria, then followed by US applicants with a 9.8 percent increase, and a 5.4 percent increase in applications from India.
An analysis estimates that during the 2021-22 academic year, international students and graduates paid a total of €22.4 million in taxes to the Estonian government. During the said academic year, international students paid over €14 million in taxes to the Estonian economy, while international graduates who remained in the country after finishing their studies remitted over €8 million in taxes. There’s also been a notable increase in the number of international students who decide to remain in Estonia for employment after graduating, many of whom finding work in the capital city of Tallinn.
The European Studies Program at Freie Universität Berlin (FU-BEST) has welcomed 111 students from overseas for a sixteen-week academic program. FU-BEST offers a comprehensive range of courses to international students, including German language classes and subject options from multiple disciplines. The program also provides special mental health support services to the international participants, ensuring their well-being throughout the duration of their studies. Additionally, FU-BEST follows the North American academic calendar and has been officially recognized by both the US-based Forum on Education Abroad and the German government, highlighting the quality of education and enriching academic experience it offers international students.
Dahlia Rera Oktasiani, a student from Bali, and other international students in Australia continue to face difficulties adjusting to the high cost of living and inflation rates in the country. To cope with the financial constraints, some of these students have resorted to “hot-bedding” (where their bed is only available for some hours of the day or night so others can sleep in them) and working longer hours. Meanwhile, others are relying on loans and family support to cover their tuition and other expenses. In an effort to provide relief to the students, the government has recently lifted the 40-hour work limit; however, this initiative is set to expire in June and hours will be restricted again.
The Council of Higher Education (YÖK) has addressed concerns around the disruption of the 2022-23 spring semester following the destructive earthquakes in southeast Turkey. It announced that the spring semester for higher education will commence with online classes on February 20, and a hybrid education option may be evaluated at the beginning of April. Students affected by the earthquake have been granted a “special student status,” which allows them to take courses from an equivalent diploma program at a different university and have their credits transferred to their original institution. Furthermore, students in applied training – such as fourth, fifth, and sixth-year medical, dentistry, veterinary medicine and other higher education program students – will have the opportunity to practice hands-on training face-to-face.
In an effort to optimize the business environment and attract overseas talent, Changning District in Shanghai has introduced a special support policy for the rental of talent apartments for international students returning to China. Under this policy, eligible applicants are able to receive up to 4,000 yuan ($586) per month for a period of up to 12 months. To be eligible for this policy, applicants must have obtained a master’s degree or above from one of the world’s top 100 universities or the top 20 universities in their major, must not own a home in Shanghai, and their stay in China must not exceed one year. The policy is designed to provide financial support to international students who wish to return to China and develop their career prospects.
Taylor College in Belleview, Florida offers associate degree and diploma programs without the need for prerequisite courses, giving students a thorough educational experience. The institution is committed to giving its students the resources and assistance they require to make the transition into careers in the healthcare sector. It prepares its students for lucrative jobs in the industry through practical learning experiences including clinical rotations in diverse settings. The college also has complete accreditation from the necessary oversight organizations, such as the Accreditation Council for Education in Nursing (ACEN), guaranteeing that its graduates have access to possibilities for excellent education.
The MSUB College of Business offers a comprehensive Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree that gives students both in-person and online options and minors to select from. There are five primary specializations available in the BSBA program: accounting, general business, finance, management, and marketing. Students can also minor in marketing, business, finance, information systems, or accounting. The College of Business also offers advising worksheets as a tool to make sure students are on track with their degree plans and to help them further maximize their education.
MSM Reporter is collated by a globally spread team of MSM and is published every Thursday.