It’s still worth it for overseas students to study in Australia, but universities could be doing more

It’s still worth it for overseas students to study in Australia, but universities could be doing more

For years, it has been predicted the increasing number of students flowing into the graduate jobs market would result in falling salaries, underemployment, and students taking on second and third degrees to get an edge in the competitive jobs marketplace.

But what of students who spend upwards of A$200,000 on obtaining a degree in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States or Europe? Many students come to Australia from overseas and pay full market rates – A$100,000 is a very conservative estimate for fees alone, with costs of living on top of that – for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

Until now, we’ve known relatively little about how they fare when they return home and if there’s been a valuable return on their substantial investment. New research from the International Alumni Job Network (IAJN) reveals the return on investment for an international education is still positive for international students, and they’re generally also positive about the experience.

But it’s in the best interest of individual universities to actively work with businesses in home countries to help secure job prospects for graduates. Some universities currently do this, but most do not.

How many students study abroad?

According to the Institute of International Education, each year over 5 million students study abroad. Of them, more than a million go to the US. Australia is currently the third-largest destination country, but federal education minister Dan Tehan recently predicted Australia will overtake the UK in 2019.

Each year, the numbers increase in a seemingly unstoppable flow of students seeking an overseas degree as the passport to a better life. In Australia alone, the figures are breathtaking, with a 17% increase in just one year to be now valued at A$34 billion to the Australian economy.

Meanwhile media reports – and common sense – suggest the graduate employment market in some source countries is contracting, due to a number of factors. These include increasing inflows of internationally educated graduates, and improvements in higher education provision at home.

The China Daily, for example, reported last year that in 2007, 1.44 million students left China to study overseas, with 440,000 returning after graduation. In 2016, 5.45 million students left and 4.33 million returned home. Another 666,000 were set to return home in 2017 and compete for jobs with the 7.97 million freshly minted graduates from Chinese universities.

Return on investment

The IAJN survey covered alumni who originated from and returned to eight Asian regions: China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Respondents studied in Australia, the US, the UK, Canada, New Zealand or Europe.

The survey found, thankfully, the vast majority of students were more than satisfied with their international experience. In general, Indonesians were the most positive about their international experience (92%) and Indians the least positive (75%). Some 86% of Thai students thought international education was important, compared with 64% of Indians.

When it comes to satisfaction with return on investment, things get a little skewed. More than 70% of returned alumni were satisfied with the return on investment, with the exception of Indonesia (67%) and India (a lowly 46%).

Obviously, the reasons are far from straightforward. We hypothesise the responses are based on where students are getting their pre-enrolment information. We suspect using agents and university websites as the primary source of information may be too steeped in marketing hype and not enough in reality. By contrast, students who received their information by word of mouth from family, friends and other alumni were much more realistic in their expectations of studying abroad.

Graduate incomes

This study used US dollars to calculate the average wage of returned graduates because it’s the best benchmark.

In terms of income, the story is also mostly a positive one. While half of all returnees earned less than US$1,000 per month (A$1,411 per month or A$19,930 per year) in their first job, 33% reported earning more than US$4,001 per month (or A$67,729 per year).

Returns on investment depend very much on where students come from and how their earnings on return compare with their locally educated compatriots. For example, the average monthly wage of a Vietnamese-educated local is just US$175 a month and US$343 for Indonesians. On the other hand, locally educated graduates from Singapore and Hong Kong earn on average US$1,966 and US$1,722 per month respectively.

As expected, earnings growth accelerates over time. Some 40% of returned alumni earned more than US$10,000 per month (A$170,000 per year). Although we must take account of the fact some alumni responding to the survey gained their degrees more than two decades ago and were part of a relatively elite group who travelled overseas for study at that time.

On the downside, 30% of PhD graduates reported currently earning less than US$500 per month. One would assume this is a result of gender and age (such as for child bearing women). But within three to seven years, most graduates witness healthy salary increases, also as one would expect.

Attitudes towards Australian Go8 universities

The IAJN was also able to break down attitudes of students who attended a Group of Eight university (UWA, Monash, UNSW, ANU, the University of Melbourne, UQ, the University of Adelaide, and the University of Sydney). Responses to other individual universities were too small to be meaningful. According to the survey, there was little financial benefit from studying at a Go8 university (compared to a non-Go8 university) for a first job. The ANU provided the best returns on investment over time.

Monash and UNSW had the highest satisfaction with return on investment at 75%. Sydney alumni also downplayed the role their international education had on their subsequent career (69% satisfaction compared to 84% at ANU and Monash). The dynamics behind these sorts of statistics will be up to individual universities to analyse and understand.

But the survey found Sydney University had the highest rate (15%) of alumni earning more than US$10,000 a month in their first job. Somewhat ironically, Sydney also registered the lowest satisfaction with return on investment (62%) – perhaps a culmination of high fees and the cost of living in Sydney.

Obviously, it’s in the interests of individual universities to actively work with businesses in home countries to help secure job prospects for graduates. The power of word of mouth and social networks should not be undermined.

The value of the international education sector might have hit an all-time high, but there’s pressure on individual universities to do their best to ensure graduates get a genuine return on their massive investment in their education abroad.

 

One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts wants migration more than halved

One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts wants migration more than halved

One Nation’s lead Senate candidate Malcolm Roberts believes Australia’s migrant intake should be radically slashed to just 70,000 per year.

The current migration program’s target figure was technically 190,000, although there were only 162,000 permanent visas approved in the 12 months ended June 30.

“I have done the research in detail but that’s what we’re going with, but I’m not making this a party issue and there are others who say – around 70,000, which is a zero net,” he told the LibertyFest conference in Brisbane on Saturday.

Tasked with debating “Immigration, how to draw the line”, Mr Roberts said he wanted immigration, not “colonisation”.

Mr Roberts – who was born in India to a Welsh father and Australian mother – said he was “not an immigrant”.

He then immediately followed that statement with: “Although I am an immigrant because the Australian citizenship standards have changed so much in the last 140 years.”

“So I share with you [the other speaker on stage, Satya Marar] some immigrant status in that I was born overseas but my mother was Australian, but I had to become an Australian at the age of 19, so it’s somewhat confusing,” Mr Roberts said.

Last year, the High Court found Mr Roberts was a citizen of the United Kingdom by descent at the time of his nomination.

He was forced out of Parliament due to section 44 of the constitution which effectively excludes dual citizens from being federal politicians.

Mr Roberts said the government should be “fixed” before anything else.

“Don’t fiddle with immigration until that’s fixed, fix up government, get back to our constitution and then start wondering about some of the other issues because the key to western civilisation, the key to society is freedom, and the key to our society is at stake right now,” he said.

However, Mr Roberts said immigration was about “who we sit down next to on the train, who we can sit down next to on an aeroplane”.

“We have to decide who comes in here, that’s our government, we use values-based immigration, so it’s not about just economics, because the hip pocket is appealed to by many governments,” he said.

In her maiden 1996 speech, One Nation leader Senator Pauline Hanson argued most Australians wanted the country’s immigration policy to be radically reviewed as the nation was in danger of being “swamped by Asians”.

She updated her rhetoric to “swamped by Muslims” during her first speech in 2016.

Mr Roberts also said taxation had become a monster which was destroying Australia.

“It is the most destructive system in this country,” he said.

Mr Roberts will vie to return to the Senate at the next federal election.

The two-day LibertyFest conference hosted an eclectic group of speakers and attendees, including LNP senators, a sex therapist, Queensland’s chief entrepreneur, free speech advocates and members of right-wing think tanks.

New pathway for permanent residency rolled out for international students

New pathway for permanent residency rolled out for international students

International students will need a full-time job offer and ‘proficient English’ to be eligible under this graduate stream.

Western Australia has rolled out a new pathway to permanent residency for international students.

The new Graduate Occupation List (GOL) was released on Monday.

International students who have studied at least two years in Western Australia at a Western Australian University, have an available occupation on the new Graduate occupation list, have a full-time job offer for more than twelve months and can prove ‘proficient English’ will be eligible under the state government’s graduate stream.

This new graduate stream is available for Western Australian State nomination, namely the Skilled Nominated visa (Subclass 190); or the Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 489).

“Not all international students have access to all occupations”
While Masters and PhD graduates will have access to all occupations on the Graduate occupation list, Bachelor and higher degree graduates will only be able to access some of the occupations on the Graduate occupation list.

The university qualification in Western Australia does not need to determine the occupation one wishes to nominate from the Graduate occupation list for State nomination, the announcement says.

“International students must meet English requirements”
All applicants applying through the graduate stream must demonstrate a ‘Proficient’ level of English unless holding a passport from the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, the United States, Canada and New Zealand.

“Work experience requirements waived for Masters and PhD degree holders”
Under the graduate stream, the work experience requirement is waived for students who hold a Western Australian PhD or Masters Degree.

However Bachelor and other higher degree graduates will need to give evidence of work experience, which could either be at least one year of Australian work experience in the nominated (or closely related) occupation over the last 10 years or at least three years of overseas work experience in the nominated (or closely related) occupation over the last 10 years.

“Provide a contract of employment”
All applicants must have a contract of employment for full-time employment for at least 12 months in Western Australia in the nominated (or closely related ) occupation.

Students intending to apply for a Subclass 489 visa must provide a contract of employment located in a regional area of Western Australia.

“Demonstrate sufficient funds”
International students will need to demonstrate sufficient funds to settle depending on how many family members are intending to migrate, with a minimum of AUD 20,000 for a single person.

Check the Graduate Occupation List below:
https://www.sbs.com.au/yourlanguage/hindi/en/article/2018/09/27/new-pathway-permanent-residency-rolled-out-international-students

Sydneysiders want migration restricted in the city: poll

Almost two-thirds of people believe migration to Sydney should be restricted and new arrivals sent to the regions, exclusive polling reveals as the Premier says she wants a better not bigger NSW.

The ReachTel poll for the Herald also shows that overdevelopment remains a key issue for voters, as the state and federal governments face the pressue of worsening congestion and population growth.

The poll results come as the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, signalled plans to slow the intake of some temporary migrants and to encourage new arrivals to settle regionally.

Mr Morrison, with his Immigration Minister David Coleman and Cities Minister Alan Tudge, are looking at simplifying the visa process to get more migrants to move outside the major cities.

More than 63 per cent of voters polled for the Herald supported restricting migrant numbers while 50 per cent opposed more development in Sydney to accommodate population growth.

The Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, said the debate around population should focus on people and how to” ensure the best quality of life for all of us”.

“I want NSW to continue to be seen as the magnet for human talent,” Ms Berejikian said.

“But I am also fiercely committed to protecting and improving our way of life, and all that we love about our local communities -our parks, our open spaces, our beautiful beaches, waterways and bushland.”

Ms Berejiklian said there needed to be a national debate about population policy and she would be encouraging Mr Morrison to “join me in leading that discussion for the country’s benefit.”

“States are on the frontline of infrastructure and service delivery so it makes sense we should have a say on population policy,” Ms Berejikilan said.

“Rather than talk about a big Australia, we should always strive for a better Australia. We also need to encourage and make it easier for people to consider moving to regional NSW.”

The Migration Council of Austalia chief executive Carla Wilshire said redirecting migration to the regions was not going to fix the congestion problems plaguing Sydney and Melbourne.

“I can understand why people in Sydney feel like this but by restricting migration, it doesn’t solve an underlying under-investment in infrastructure and urban transport,” Ms Wilshire said.

The poll of 1627 people taken on Thursday night also asked voters to nominate the issues of concern to them, with the cost of living emerging as the most important to voters.

More than one-quarter of people identifed cost of living as their main concern followed by energy prices and housing affordabilty.

The environment was ahead of hospitals, schools and transport, according to the poll.

The polling also shows that the Coalition and Labor are neck and neck six months out from the state election, with Opposition leader Luke Foley edging ahead of Ms Berejiklian as preferred premier.

The weekend marked six months until the March poll, which is looking increasingly likely to result in a hung parliament. The government has only a six seat majority.

The polling shows the fallout from the bruising leadership spill in Canberra has had an impact in NSW, with 40.4 per cent of voters saying the change in prime minister had altered their view of the state Liberal Party.

The Coalition’s primary vote has slumped to 35.1 per cent, down from 41.9 per cent in March.

Labor’s primary vote has also taken a dip to 31.5 per cent from 32.5 per cent six months ago, the polling shows.

Mr Foley has pushed past Ms Berejiklian as the more popular leader, with 50.2 per cent of voters polled believing Mr Foley would make a better premier.

But despite Mr Foley’s personal standing, only 41.1 per cent of voters think Labor is ready to govern again.

Foreign students put off by high costs

Foreign students put off by high costs

High university fees and the hefty cost of living in Australia were the reason almost half a survey group of would-be international students decided not to come to the country.

QS Enrolment Solutions, a global company that surveys student opinions, said of more than 3000 international students who wanted to come to Australia in 2017 but ended up not doing so, more than half said they they couldn’t afford the fees.

 

For more info click on this link below :

https://www.afr.com/news/policy/education/foreign-students-put-off-by-high-costs-20180909-h154io

Is Canada a viable option for applicants struggling to get PR in Australia?

 

Following the recent changes to Australia’s visa system, there are many skilled migrants who are struggling to get Permanent Residency (PR) in Australia. But can immigration to Canada be an option for these applicants?

If you are a skilled worker with the right experience, skills and background, you may be able to make Canada your permanent home through its Express Entry Program.

Like Australia, Canada’s skilled migration program is also a points-based system which is designed to attract highly qualified and experienced professionals to best meet its skills needs.

Following the recent changes to Australia’s visa system, there are many skilled migrants who are struggling to salvage their dream of becoming Australian permanent residents*.

Migration experts believe the ‘visa changes’ have adversely affected the chances of these applicants in the skilled visa categories.

Many applicants who are struggling to meet the desired standards for PR in Australia now aim to move to Canada. But is Canada a viable option for these applicants?

A migration agent in Melbourne says many of his clients are worried due to these changes.

“The visa sector has seen huge changes in the last two years. Some of our clients are now extremely distressed about their prospects in Australia and aim to apply for Canada in high hopes,” he told .

“We’ve seen an impact due to the changes to the skilled occupation lists and state nomination criteria. Some applicants also had their hopes shattered due to the abolition of 457 visas and more recently, due to an increase in points threshold from 60 to 65 for skilled visas.”

He suggested that Canada’s skilled migration program is quite similar to Australia.

“There is not much difference in terms of the point system designed for various skill subsets, job experience and the English language capacity of the prospective applicant,” he says.

“But there are certain occupations that are in high demand where applicants can or may benefit from Canada’s Express Entry program.

“For an example, the transport industry is in a booming stage in Canada so potentially experienced truck drivers should explore this promising opportunity.”

Australia can be a bigger country’: Scott Morrison’s new Population Minister reveals he DOESN’T want to reduce immigration

Australia can be a bigger country’: Scott Morrison’s new Population Minister reveals he DOESN’T want to reduce immigration

Scott Morrison’s new Population Minister reveals he DOESN’T want to reduce immigration
New Minster for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population Alan Tudge has outlined his plan for immigration policy which focuses on a ‘bigger Australia’ with more decentralised population areas.

‘My view has always been that Australia can be a bigger country. But ideally you have a broader distribution rather than very rapid growth in some areas,’ Mr Tudge told.

New Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Mr Tudge are shifting the focus away from reductions to immigrant numbers and towards a redistribution of where they are settled.

Mr Tudge has said that he is in favour of population growth, however, the areas where new immigrants are settled must be broader and not focused in major cities like Sydney and Melbourne

‘I’m not suggesting that for a second that it’s migrants’ fault – not at all,’ he said.

‘If you’ve got regions that can’t find workers and smaller states that want more people, then the immigration program is something that should be looked at.’

He did, however, not comment on a specific plan that would require new migrants to settle in regional areas for five years as a condition of their visas.

A decision on the time period for mandatory settlement was due to go to the Turnbull cabinet last week, but the leadership spill put that discussion on hold, The Australian reported on Wednesday.

The proposal has yet to be put to Scott Morrison’s new cabinet, and the prime minister’s office would not comment on the development of the policy.

It is understood a new visa class would apply to the skilled and family migration program but could also apply to refugees.

Almost 90 per cent of new migrants are settling in metropolitan areas such as Melbourne and Sydney.

A population package put before Government before last week’s leadership spill included the proposal for new migrants to be settled in regional areas for a period of up to five years – after this migrants could choose to relocate.

The newly appointed PM has created a separate portfolio of population to be lead by former Citizenship Minister Alan Tudge.

Department of Home Affairs figures revealed by The Australian showed that of the 112,000 skilled migrants that arrived in the country over the previous financial year, 87 per cent settled permanently in Sydney and Melbourne.

Mr Tudge has previously said that the number of incoming migrants was not the only factor in growing population pressures, but rather where these migrants were settling and the distribution being focused in major cities.

‘If the population was distributed more evenly, there would not be the congestion pressures that we have today in Melbourne and Sydney,’ Mr Tudge told a forum in Melbourne.

‘Nor would there be if the ­infrastructure was built ahead of demand,’ he said.

Record number of international students sticking around on visas with full work rights

More international students than ever are remaining in Australia for up to four years on graduate work visas following their studies.

The explosion has prompted concern from Labor, but the Vice-Chancellor of the Australian National University (ANU) has argued they are not displacing other workers.

In March 50,000 international graduates were in Australia on the 485 visa — an increase of more than 16,000 in just 12 months.

Labor’s immigration spokesman, Shayne Neumann, said international students are an important contributor to the economy, but rapid growth in a visa subclass could be cause for concern.

“It’s incumbent on the Turnbull Government to ensure the integrity of Australia’s migration program,” he said.

Last year 350,000 international students were enrolled in universities — an increase of 100,000 in the preceding three years.

The lag between a student’s enrolment and graduation, and the grant of subclass 485 visas, means the number of international graduates working in Australia is set to rise even further in coming years.

International students are allowed to work for 20 hours per week during semester under their visa, but no time or occupation restrictions apply to the “post-study” graduate visa stream.

This provides a visa of two years following study — or up to four years for some higher qualifications — to those who complete degrees of at least two years.

The visa may assist some towards a pathway to permanent residency, but the majority of international students return to their home countries.

‘Very high value people’
ANU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Brian Schmidt told that the visa provides “flexibility” and “financial incentives” to students.

“But it also means the graduates we have here, who are incredibly well trained, have the opportunity to contribute to the Australian economy,” he said.
A 2015 report from the Productivity Commission stated “there is little doubt that immigration has boosted the supply of youth labour” and “continued monitoring of the impact of immigration on youth and graduate labour markets is warranted”.

Since this report was released, the number of temporary graduate visa holders in Australia has more than doubled.

Tweaks to the visa in 2013 gave longer and less restrictive post-study work rights to university graduates than those in vocational training.

According to the 2016 i-graduate International Student Satisfaction Survey, the opportunity to work in Australia following study was more important to students than the opportunity for part-time work during study.

This survey, partly funded by the Department of Education and Training, found the following factors were most important to students coming to Australia:

reputation of the qualification,
reputation of the institution, and the
reputation of the education.
Teacher reputation, opportunities for further study and social life were factors ranked immediately above the opportunity to work in Australia following studies.

 

Students left in a lurch by sudden visa policy change

International students from India have been left in the lurch due to the ACT government’s sudden change in their visa policy.

Earlier this year, Kanish Chug moved to Canberra and enrolled himself in a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) course at the University of Canberra, in the hope of getting five additional points required to beat the high competition in his occupation for skilled migration to Australia.

“I have 75 points. The competition is very high. Only a fixed number of accountants are invited each year and the cut off is very high. When I heard Canberra was giving state nomination for those who lived here, I moved to Canberra hoping it will help me gain five more points,” Mr Chug told.

In July 2017, the ACT government opened up state nomination for occupations which were not on the “open” list of in-demand jobs, if they already lived in the ACT.

If a person could prove they had been living in the ACT on a student visa or graduate visa for at least 12 months and had completed a Certificate III or higher education at a local institution, they could qualify for state nomination.

This prompted many like to move to Canberra.

Anjali* moved her family from Perth to Canberra upon learning this.

“I sold off everything and moved here in September 2017. I have enrolled myself in a Professional Accounting course here, paid thousands in fees, just to become eligible for state nomination.

“And now they tell us, this policy is no longer available. I can’t tell you how depressed I am,” she said.

Anjali and Kanish told that the news has been devastating, saying it’s leaving their futures bleak.

“I paid $50,000 for my Master’s degree in Melbourne. I enrolled myself in another degree to get five extra points and have paid thousands in fees.

“It is devastating to learn that all my effort to move to Canberra, my hard earned money was for nothing,” Kanish says.

Anjali says she would have qualified in September for state nomination had they not changed this policy suddenly.

“I don’t know what to do now. I feel cheated,” she says.

Anjali and Kanish are not alone.

Hundreds have signed an online petition demanding the ACT Government honour its original promise and allow international students enrolled in an ACT institution on or before the 29 June 2018, to apply for ACT nomination under the policy in place on that day.

This petition has received over 600 signatures over two days.
“ACT government to review visa program”
The ACT Government has now said it’s looking at a ‘more flexible way’ to help people who had moved there.

“Given that demand for the program is expected to continue to increase, there will be a need to find a more flexible way to manage the program within the limitations imposed by the Department of Home Affairs,” The Canberra Times quoted a spokeswoman of Chief Minister Andrew Barr.

Pathway to claim 5 extra points towards Australia’s skilled migration

Visa applicants in skilled migration program are keen to gain extra points after the federal government announced significant changes in the point system from 1 July 2018.

Australia’s skilled migration program is a points-based system designed to attract highly qualified and experienced professionals to best meet Australia’s skills needs.

There are a number of skilled migration visas that require applicants to score a minimum number of points to qualify for permanent skilled migration.

After the government’s recent announcement of increasing points threshold from 60 to 65, many prospective applicants are looking for alternative ways to boost their chances in the General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa point system.

Some of the new applicants now rely on boosting their points by clearing language test from National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI).

NAATI offers Credentialed Community Language (CCL) Test that gives 5 points to the prospective applicants for their point-based GSM visa.

CCL Exam determines an applicant’s ability to interpret the conversation between two speakers speaking different languages.

Harpal Singh is a NAATI accredited translator and interpreter for Punjabi-English and he also serves as a member of the Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators (AUSIT) and the New Zealand Society of Translators and Interpreters (NZSTI).

Mr Singh told SBS Punjabi that in the last month only there has been an increase in the number of people who wish to take NAATI’s CCL test to gain five points for skilled migration point test.

“This follows government’s recent amendment to the point test threshold, and now everyone is keen to meet the desired criteria by taking up this examination,” he said.

“There’re two options, either you score 7 each in the English proficiency test IELTS or you clear NAATI’s CCL test. Often people find the second option easier as it is conducted at a conversational level compared to the academic nature of IELTS.”

Mr Singh explained that it should be clear that an individual who passes a CCL test is not certified to work as an interpreter or translator.

“This system is designed to benefit people who have multilingual skills. It is only supposed to help them gain five bonus points for their points-based visa applications made to the Department of Home Affairs. This does not provide them with a work opportunity in this field,” he says.

“The overall pass rate of the CCL test is above 50% and that’s why we see a large number of applicants opting for this test.

“It looks quite promising compared to the pass percentage of the test conducted to get certification as an interpreter or translator, which sits well below 15%.

Mr Singh explained that an overwhelming number of candidates take the CCL test lightly and come unprepared for the exam. “Just don’t be overconfident… It is only the practise that will make you through, so put some time and sincere effort if you wish to succeed,” he suggests.

Melbourne-based migration agent told that the recent change in the point test could be attributed to the high calibre of prospective applicants who express their interest in the GSM program.

“I often deal with Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu speaking clients from Indian-subcontinent and I see a huge interest in them to take the NAATI test to gain 5 extra points,” he said.

“The test success rate seems ok but the problem lies in registering for the examination. My clients are struggling to book sessions as there’re no seats available until December.

“It seems like a poorly organised system. I went to check NAATI’s Melbourne office who suggested they don’t have enough resources or manpower to cope-up with this huge increase in the number of applicants.

“The applicants who are desperate to gain this bonus may think of taking this test in the less crowded cities rather than doing it in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. But I seriously doubt if there are any seats left in those cities.