Note From the Editor
Rebound and recovery appear to be the prevailing theme at the beginning of 2023, with new official statements declaring a return to near or actual pre-pandemic levels in international student numbers across countries. A Canadian university is even deliberately limiting international student enrollment to a highly popular program as its recruitment proves to be “too successful.” In this week’s issue of MSM Reporter, we showcase these reports plus updates on COVID rules and restrictions across nations, tuition-free universities in Germany, and more.
Some 948,519 international students from more than 200 countries studied at United States higher education institutions (HEIs) during the 2021–2022 academic year – a 4% increase from the previous academic year, according to the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Institute of International Education (IIE)’s recently released Open Doors 2022 Report on International Educational Exchange. International students enrolled for the first time at a US college or university climbed to 80% year over year, a return to pre-pandemic levels. IIE CEO Allan E. Goodman dubbed it an “incredible rebound,” citing investment in international exchange as the best way for HEIs and countries to connect people and ideas worldwide.
With the Canadian government temporarily relaxing the 20-hour-per-week cap on the number of hours a post-secondary student may work off-campus, international students now have fresh access to a diverse range of employment opportunities. This would not only assist them in paying their daily expenditures, but also provide them with an opportunity to get valuable work experience for their future. The country’s high employability rate, along with smooth immigration process, student-friendly policies, and multiculturalism make it a preferred destination for quality education and a strong career trajectory.
The government of the United Kingdom is taking measures to assist international students who wish to remain in the country. According to experts, the fact that international students in the UK can now switch to skilled worker visas even before finishing college gives students more freedom and opportunities, and is a significant step toward attracting and retaining highly skilled workers in the country to help drive innovation and growth in the country.
In order to encourage foreign investment and make Denmark more attractive to skilled foreign workers, the new government plans to set up at least 500 English-language master’s degree programs in areas with a high demand for workers. This is an attempt to get more international students to study in certain areas of Denmark where businesses need a highly educated workforce. In addition, the government is also poised to introduce a scheme with lower pay limits for certified companies encompassed by controlled wage and working conditions, giving them access to additional labor.
A roundup of major immigration changes declared in 2022 and what else to expect in the new year have recently been announced, among them the thousands more migrants who will be coming to Australia in 2023 through the permanent migration program, the fast-tracked visa processing for foreign workers, and incentivizing international students so that they stay longer to fix the crucial skills gap. In its submission to the federal government’s review, policy think tank Grattan Institute urged the country to rethink its objectives for skilled migration, noting: “Permanent skilled migration must select younger, skilled talent to stay in Australia long-term, not address short-term skills shortages.”
The U.S. Department of State has announced that consular officers’ authority to waive the in-person visa interview requirement has been extended by the state secretary until December 31, 2023. The extension of the past authorization includes a waiver of the requirement of personal appearance for specific applications in some visa categories including students (F and M visas), academic exchange visitors (academic J visas), and trainee or special education exchange visitors (h-3 visas), among others.
Too successful – this is what prompted Sydney, Nova Scotia-based Cape Breton University to limit its admissions to its two-year post-baccalaureate diploma program, which is favored by international students, beginning May 2023. The move is part of “the deliberate strategy to manage the enrollment in that program downward,” said Gordon MacInnis, vice president of finance and operations. The recent spike in international enrollment followed targeted recruitment in India that started in 2018 as well as COVID referrals.
The newly introduced dual degrees will make global education affordable for Bharatiya students, according to Professor M. Jagadesh Kumar, UGC Chairman. In an interview, the veteran academician discussed several issues like a four-year undergraduate program (FYUP), foreign university campuses, and 6,000 vacant posts of teachers in Central universities, among others. The professor discussed some major changes in universities as well in 2023.
With China’s zero-COVID policy dismantled, more Chinese students are aiming to study abroad to further their education, experts have predicted. This comes after three years of pandemic controls that restricted academic exchanges between China and other countries worldwide. Furthermore, with strict quarantine regulations ending and less troublesome visa application process for foreigners coming to study or conduct business, international students are expected to stream back into China.
As the COVID situation worldwide becomes more bearable, 88 countries have now scrapped all related travel restrictions. While it remains to have the most stringent rules, China recently announced its plans to remove the need for inbound travelers to quarantine. Those with work and student visas will also now be able to return to China under updated rules. See the list of the 88 countries along with their specific requirements.
Germany leads the way in providing tuition-free institutions to prospective international students from all over the globe. The prospect of tuition-free education particularly becomes attractive to many aspiring global learners in the current economic climate hounded by inflation. Among the top five tuition-free universities were four universities in Germany and one in Finland.
In the hopes of attracting more international students to come to the Australian state, the government of Queensland has launched a new five-year roadmap worth AU$20.6 million. This aims to further drive the post-pandemic recovery of the state’s International Education and Training (IET) exports. According to the government, almost one-third of international students in Queensland are studying outside of the southeast of the state, and with 30,000 overseas students enrolled, regional Queensland is the country’s largest regional education exporter. More international students spell good news for the hospitality and tourism industries facing workforce shortages, it added.
As Yemen continues to experience a severe economic crisis, the United States Department of Homeland Security recently announced that it will provide Special Student Relief employment benefits for eligible Yemeni F-1 nonimmigrant students. This notice provides relief from March 4, 2023 up to September 3, 2024.
The Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri prides itself on providing a distinctive liberal arts program as well as multiple opportunities for students to learn, grow, and engage. With a 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio, Westminster College prepares students to make their mark on the world.
Among its key accomplishments include 98% placement in jobs or graduate school, reaching the top 16% of national graduate earnings, and being the only liberal arts college in Missouri making it on the “2020 Best Colleges” List.
The Certificate in Digital and Media Literacy is St. Thomas University’s response to the increasing demand for digital literacy skills in the job market. This program allows students to build knowledge and understanding of the digital landscape. It also draws on courses from departments such as Anthropology, Communications and Public Policy, and Sociology, among many others, to deepen students’ foundational background in digital and media literacy.
MSM Reporter is collated by a globally spread team of MSM and is published every Thursday.