Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Australia Seeking Foreign Students

Sydney Harbor
Photo by Paul Bica
Australia — the land of sunshine, drop bears and Olivia Newton-John — is working to make Australia an attractive destination for skilled expats. I've previously written about how Australia is making it much easier for skilled US workers to seek work in Australia, but now they've changed the Australian Temporary Graduate Visa to make it easier for international students to remain in Australia.

In reversing some Australian 2009 visa restrictions, Australia is now set to allow all foreign graduates of Australian universities to work in Australia for up to four years. In this case, the Temporary Graduate Visa allows you to remain in Australia for at least 18 months, but if you meet certain qualifying criteria, you can remain for up to four years, at which time you can receive permanent residency and remain in Australia. To be eligible, you must speak English, have graduated from an Australian university and be under 50 years of age. The following applies:
Graduates who have completed a Bachelor degree, Masters by coursework degree or Masters (extended) degree in Australia are eligible to apply for a two year post-study work visa.
Graduates who have completed a Masters by research degree or a Doctoral degree in Australia are eligible to apply for a three or four year post-study work visa respectively.
It appears that much of what has motivated this change isn't just "we want skilled workers" but "our universities need more money". The strong Australian dollar and reports of violence against foreign (mostly Asian) students has led to Australian universities experiencing a much lower foreign enrollment rate. Unlike Europe, Australia follows the US model of making universities profit centers, so any threat to said profit is a general threat to a large sector of the Australian economy. However, while it's far more expensive to study in Australia than most of mainland Europe, it is claimed that studying in Australia is less expensive than either US or UK universities.