Note From the Editor
In the ongoing theme of rebound and recovery in international student numbers and engagement, several different countries are updating their COVID policy and guidelines. Also emerging are issues around student housing as well as the lack of awareness in visa sponsorship and issuance among employers, which brings to light the challenges of international students that may have already existed before the pandemic. Good news still abound, though, including an amicable settlement between a college and a Nigerian student denied visa, as well as rosy projections of how international students will contribute to nations’ economies.
Beginning January 5, all travelers aged two years and older, including international students, originating from China will be required to test negative for COVID-19 in order to travel to the United States. A maximum of two days prior to departure from China, Hong Kong, or Macau, the traveler must take the FDA-approved test. Pre-flight testing has been demonstrated to reduce the number of infected passengers boarding planes, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
A recent study published has revealed that many Canadian international students face multi-step, indirect pathways to Canadian permanent residence (PR). Completing studies alone rarely enables international students to qualify for PR in Canada: among those in the 2010-2019 cohort receiving PR by December 2020, a mere 12% did so without needing to obtain a work permit after completing either one level (9%) or two-plus levels (3%) of study. Much of the outstanding 88% had to depend on combined studies and either one (60%) or two-plus (< 20%) post-education work permits to obtain PR in this country. The Conference Board of Canada, which conducted the report, recommended establishing purpose-built immigration pathways for international students to guarantee smoother, more timely, and more predictable immigration journeys.
Thousands of international students in the United Kingdom, especially those from India, benefit from the Graduate Route visa since it allows them to remain in the country for at least two years after finishing their studies and obtaining employment. However, according to a study conducted by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) and surveyed 656 business leaders, less than half of the respondents were aware of the said visa program. Many employers who took part in the survey also failed to elaborate on their use or lack of awareness of the scheme, as well as provided somewhat inconsistent answers around visa sponsorships.
A study conducted by researchers in the north of Ireland has found that the risk for mental illness, alcohol, and drug misuse among higher education learners can be linked to their subject areas. The programs with low rates of risk for mental illness include nursing and life and health sciences, while students in business programs have the highest rate of drug misuse. Research authors, who studied nearly 2,000 first-level undergraduate students in their study, recommend “tailored interventions and prevention strategies” in addressing students’ mental health issues.
Australia, a leading international education destination, is welcoming back learners in higher numbers this year. Despite the rebound, a problem in affordable and adequate housing emerges, especially as even before the pandemic, students are already facing low demand for private rental vacancies and high-cost rents. In addition to the problem, a number of universities have been selling off a portion of their student housing to respond to falls in revenue during COVID; University of Technology Sydney, in 2021, sold three buildings with 428 beds to Scape, the biggest provider in the country’s billion-dollar purpose-built student housing space.
As New Zealand continues to welcome travelers after having one of the strictest pandemic-enforced border controls in the world, a new system is replacing its paper Passenger Arrival Cards. By June 30 this year, an online system called the New Zealand Traveler Declaration will be enforced – a system that may be familiar to some as it was launched in March 2022 to collect COVID documentation and information from people entering New Zealand after border reopening. The new system is likely to be implemented between April and June.
British High Commission statistics have shown that India has now overtaken China as the most important nationality in terms of issuance of sponsored research visas within the UK. Yet while Indians could have been issued the most important variety of UK student visas this year, finding lodging and surviving in cities where their universities or faculties are mostly based have become a problem for college students all over the world amid inflation.
JPMorgan reports that a full recovery of Australia’s tourism is bound to add 0.5 percentage point to its gross domestic product (GDP), while the return of international students specifically from China will contribute an additional 0.4 percentage point. The latest data from Australia’s Department of Education showed that students from China comprised 26% of total enrollments, the largest percentage from a particular country.
Iranian universities have a total of 94,000 foreign students studying in the country, with 24% or 27,000 studying at public universities, according to a statement released by Hashem Dadashpour, deputy minister of science and head of the Student Affairs Organization. International students are a key priority of the ministry in light of President Ebrahim Raisi’s emphasis on the importance of absorbing foreign students. Dadashpour stated that 107 universities have been certified to enroll international students and that the ministry is focusing mainly on enrolling students from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Now that restrictions have lifted and borders have reopened, the number of Indian students studying in countries such as the US and Canada is seeing a steep increase. Data from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security shows that during the first 11 months of 2022, the number of F-1 (student) visas issued to Indians was nearly 100,000, which is over double the amount issued during the same period in 2019. This increase in numbers means that for the first time in many years, American institutions will see more Indian students than Chinese students. Similar trends are also being observed in Canada and other countries. The growing demand for international education among Indian students is likely to continue in 2023 and is likely to be driven by a variety of factors.
According to new data from the Centre for Population, the global COVID shutdown is causing Australia’s population to be smaller than expected and older on average. Well-managed migration will play a critical role in Australia’s future economic development, according to the center’s treasurer Jim Chalmers, noting the importance of attracting talent, filling genuine skills shortages, and protecting migrant workers from exploitation. Though the numbers of migrants and international students are slowly rebounding, the government’s jobs and skills summit highlighted the need to draw in more people to Australia, such as more pathways to permanent residency.
Precious Christianah Ademokun had high hopes she would be in Canada and part way through a college programming program by now. Instead, after months waiting in Nigeria for her study permit application’s processing, she was denied a student visa and was out $9,000 after George Brown College wouldn’t refund her. After CBC Toronto shared Ademokun’s story, she said in an email that the Toronto-based college has promised to refund the entire amount as soon as possible. The specifics remain private, but Ademokun is “very grateful” for the resolution.
Mount Saint Mary’s University, Los Angeles (formerly Mount St. Mary’s College), a private, Catholic university in Los Angeles, is an institution primarily for women. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet founded it in 1925, and it now has two campuses just over 16 miles (26 km) apart: Chalon in Brentwood and Doheny in North University Park, near Downtown Los Angeles.
Mount Saint Mary’s is Los Angeles’ only women’s university and one of the most diverse in the country. The Mount is well-known throughout the country for its gender equity research, innovative health and science programs, and commitment to community service. The University, as a leading liberal arts institution, offers year-round, flexible, and online programs, including a Co-ed Weekend and Evening College and Graduate Division. Mount graduates are engaged and active global citizens who use their knowledge and skills to improve themselves, their communities, and the world.
Coast Mountain College’s Business Administration program provides the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in today’s competitive job market. The program offers various diplomas for a duration of two years, which can help prepare the students for different types of careers in business and administration, whether it be a career in office management, finance, or starting their own business. The program is designed to help students specialize in certain areas such as Accounting, General Management and Human Resources. Additionally, the courses taken in this program can also be used as credit towards certain professional designations, such as the Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR).
MSM Reporter is collated by a globally spread team of MSM and is published every Thursday.