Note From the Editor
While other nations, including Canada, are scrambling to lure in highly-skilled foreign nationals, the United States opted to bolster its STEM OPT (Optional Practical Training) program by expanding the eligibility to eight more qualified fields of study. The move targets to provide more opportunities for foreign students to gain practical work experience in the country.
In Canada, the recent draw in Quebec through the Arrima Expression of Interest system resulted in 1,218 candidate invitations, targeted to fill work opportunities in the fields of technology, engineering, health, and education.
All these key developments and more from the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands and Greece in this week’s edition of MSM Reporter.
The United States is expanding the fields of study eligible for STEM OPT (Optional Practical Training) to provide more international students with opportunities to gain practical work experience in the country. The move comes amid increased efforts by other nations, like Canada, to attract high-skilled foreign nationals. The announcement includes adding eight new fields, such as mechatronics, robotics, and automation engineering technology, linguistics, and computer science, among others.
Quebec conducted a recent draw through the Arrima Expression of Interest system, focusing on tech, engineering, health, and education occupations. The draw resulted in 1,218 invitations being issued across three categories. The first category targeted tech occupations with a minimum score of 584 and a required oral French language ability of level 7 or higher, while the second category focused on engineering, health, and teaching occupations with a minimum score of 592 and the same French language requirement. The third category aimed at candidates with job offers outside the Montreal area, with no specified minimum score.
Teachers in the United Kingdom are increasingly considering teaching opportunities in Doha, Qatar, following recent strikes in the UK over funding cuts, heavy workloads, and poor well-being. Over a 10-year period, teachers’ salaries in England decreased by an average of 11% when accounting for inflation and the cost of living. As a result, some teachers are seeking better compensation and conditions abroad, with Qatar becoming a popular destination due to higher pay, benefits, and cultural resonance for certain individuals.
The Netherlands has become a premier study destination for international students, with over 122,000 students from 160 countries making up 12% of the total student population. The country’s high-quality education system, extensive range of English-taught programs, and strong international rankings contribute to its appeal. Though accommodation can be challenging, the Netherlands offers affordable tuition fees and stay-back options for graduates, making it an attractive choice for ambitious students seeking a transformative educational experience.
The Institute of Public Affairs has attributed the rental crisis in Australia to the record number of international students entering the country. The IPA claims that the influx of more than 250,000 foreign students in the last financial year has led to severe housing shortages and rising rental costs. The think tank also criticized the government for not having a clear plan to address the housing and infrastructure pressures caused by the large intake of international students.
New Zealand universities, including the University of Canterbury and the University of Otago, are establishing partnerships with Indian academic institutions like the Bombay Stock Exchange Institute. These collaborations enable Indian students to begin their studies in India and complete their courses in New Zealand, making them eligible for post-study work visas. Despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic, the education sector continues to foster international partnerships, promoting mutual growth and resource sharing between New Zealand and India.
The cost of college education in the US has been skyrocketing, with the average American saving around $5,011 annually, making it challenging to save enough for a top-rated university, which can cost over $95,000 per year, including living expenses. Factors driving the rise include expensive professors, competition for wealthy students, reduced state subsidies, and a massive increase in student loan debt. Despite rising costs, some students benefit from financial aid, but the overall net price has decreased slightly in recent years.
Public confidence in higher education has declined by 20% over eight years, with only 36% of Americans having a significant level of trust in the institution now, compared to 57% in 2015. Distrust has grown across all demographics, with Republicans showing the largest decline (37%) and Democrats experiencing a 9% drop. The cost of education and concerns about liberal agendas on campuses are among the factors contributing to the decline in trust.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has made a final offer to end public sector strikes by proposing pay increases of 6% and above for teachers, doctors, and other workers. The multi-billion pound deal aims to address industrial unrest but could lead to budget cuts in other areas. While some unions have accepted the offer, doctors’ unions remain skeptical, and the government faces challenges in balancing rising inflation and public debt levels.
Outgoing Education Minister Robbert Dijkgraaf has proposed a bill in the Netherlands to restrict English instruction in higher education. The bill aims to limit courses taught in languages other than Dutch to one-third of course credits unless there are valid reasons for deviation. Dijkgraaf believes excessive internationalization has led to overcrowding and reduced education quality, prompting the need for a strategic rethinking of internationalization and talent exchange.
Study in Greece, a non-profit organization supported by multiple government ministries, aims to raise the profile of Greek academia internationally. Through active promotion of Greek universities at global events and fairs, and by providing valuable information to international students and academics, the organization strives to establish Greece as a leading destination for study, research, and collaboration. With a focus on showcasing Greek culture and history, SiG also aims to attract students worldwide and foster connections with the Greek diaspora.
Indian students studying for a master’s degree in France will now receive an extended post-study work visa for five years, as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This new visa allows students to stay in the country after completing their studies to explore job opportunities and gain work experience. Previously, Indian students in France were given a two-year post-study work visa, but now they have an extended period to find employment related to their field of study.
Founded in 1975, Northern Lights College serves the top third of British Columbia, offering hands-on training and education to facilitate successful transitions into further education and the workforce. Enriching lives, communities, and industries in northern British Columbia and beyond, the college is committed to accessible, applied, and academic learning.
Offering a wide array of programs, Northern Lights College seamlessly integrates classroom instruction with applied learning, ensuring that students acquire the essential skills and knowledge to thrive in the Canadian workforce. Each two-year diploma or degree is thoughtfully designed to prepare students for a rewarding career journey.
The Transport and Business Logistics Program equips individuals with operational and analytical capabilities for the dynamic logistics and transportation industry. It offers hands-on experience through internships with leading companies, along with guest lectures and industry visits for valuable insights. Students also gain up-to-date IT and managerial skills, making their learning practical and applicable in the transport and logistics sector.
Upon completion, students earn a Professional Bachelor degree in Transport and Business Logistics, with specializations in Operational Logistics or Supply Chain Management from TSI. Graduates of the program can pursue various rewarding career paths, including enterprise logistics managers, transport managers, supply chain analysts, procurement managers, and warehousing or terminal managers.
MSM Reporter is collated by a globally spread team of MSM and is published every Thursday.