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Employment Immigration Issues for International Students in Australia

From Campus Daily News Australia on difficulties faced by international student graduate work rights and immigration


Education in the school of hard knocks:

International students want to work in Australia after graduation and many hope to immigrate, but as the report of a study from Deakin and UTS academics demonstrates, both options are not easily achieved. The report is based on a longitudinal survey of nursing, engineering and accounting students who studied at unnamed universities plus interviews with university staff and employers. And it should be read at any university where growth in international business is assumed.

The report quotes graduates worried immigration requirements can change and depressed when they find permanent residency does not make job hunting easier. Understandably so; “employers are looking for graduates who will easily transition into the workplace, who will not only be hardworking and productive employers but who will also be able to maintain good relationships with staff and clients.

While many employers mobilised a discourse about the values of diversity, hiring an international graduate was often perceived as too risky in the current climate,” the report states.

It raises (but does not endorse) three areas where universities could improve their international graduates’ chances, embedding English language teaching in courses, teaching the so-called ‘soft skills’, teamwork, interpersonal communications and the like and helping them prepare for job hunting.

However it makes clear that the challenge for international graduates extends beyond their own education and abilities. “There is substantial evidence to suggest that by and large, employers would prefer to hire a domestic graduate than an international graduate.”


There are many factors impacting international education marketing and the international student experience in Australia and elsewhere.  These include factors in universities’ external environment such as negative (or panicked/wedged) government policy and media reporting being driven by nativist philosophy and attitudes, while little if any positive news about international education emerges in Australia or the region, in mainstream media.

This is represented by Bob Birrell at CPUR Monash University (‘Australia’s best demographer’ according to Bob Carr) whose ‘research’ revolves round finding fault with foreigners, always, and using multiple proxy issues simultaneously, which are then transmitted by mainstream media (plus several politicians and advocates such as Sustainable Population Australia); becoming ‘memes’ or simply accepted as fact.

These memes or criticisms include sub-par English language skills, unable to assimilate, excluding domestic students, taking jobs off the (youth) unemployed, being given visas and automatic permanent immigration, causing high population growth, temporaries such as students in the NOM net overseas migration described as ‘immigrants’, over loading infrastructure, raising property prices etc. etc..

It’s no surprise the same memes have been appearing in UK media and politics via Population Matters UK, although the difference in the UK is that politicians are challenging the obsession with NOM and its impact upon international education.  However, the driving source of ‘green washing of nativism’ is the same, the John Tanton Network and The Social Contract Press which emerged in (post segregation/zero population growth movement) in the USA with whom Birrell, SPA and Population Matters are inextricably linked….. although they tend not to admit it….. for good reason.


For more news, research and information about international education, population growth, immigration and human development click through.

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