Since the opening of Australian borders on 21st February 2022, the country has seen a large number of international students coming to study in Australia. Predictors are saying that in 2023 the number of students international students in Australia will be observed to record numbers.
It’s great news for universities and employers. The Federal Australian government wants to boost skills in Australia and for this, they are ensuring that more graduates will stay longer in Australia and join the workforce.
The Announcement by Education Minister Jason Clare
The education minister of Australia, named Jason Clare has announced that graduates with a bachelor’s degree can stay in Australia for up to 4 years. This is an increase from the previous stay period of 2 years. According to him, this is to
Strengthen the pipeline of skilled labour.
The graduates who are particularly to be included in this policy include graduates of
But the government’s simple policy would not be enough to bring immediate changes. Basically, it assumes graduates will get jobs in their fields.
What are the Difficulties That International Students in Australia Face?
To provide more international graduates with jobs, carefully calculated steps should be taken than just giving them visa extensions. These key issues include
All Graduates Don’t Get A Job
A major difficulty that international students in Australia face is unemployment. It is observed that even after 6 months of their graduation, one-third of the international students in Australia have no employment. These are the figures even with the least unemployment rate observed in the history of Australia.
The full-time employment rate for international graduates is consistently lower compared to domestic graduates. The full-time employment rate for international graduates in 2021 was 43.0% and for domestic graduates, it was 68.9%. This shows that international students in Australia have a serious problem staying and working after graduation.
Due to unemployment and increasing inflation, international students feel stressed and are pressured to financially support themselves and their families.
Less Paying Jobs
It takes a lot of time to find suitable jobs related to a student’s field of study. Most of the time students don’t find jo relevant to their field of study and as a result, they are forced to take up less-paying jobs. International students in Australia are also reporting that they are doing jobs that are not related to their field of study and that too for less wages.
According to studies full-time employed international students with an undergraduate degree earns 20% less than a full-time employed domestic graduate.
Lack of Work Experience Opportunities
Having limited opportunities to work while studying in Australia makes finding a job after graduation difficult for international students.
It has been observed that as a result of COVID and the push towards more online learning, there are fewer work placements and internships available. Many universities have started offering internships again in 2022, but some students have completed their studies without having any experience working in the workplace.
It is less likely for international students in Australia to have access to local networks that could help them in finding jobs. Additionally, international students are less familiar with Australian workplaces and cultures and find it difficult to adjust quickly. They often turn to internships to gain the experience they need to find a permanent job.
In a 2020 report published by Deakin University, the researchers found that employers are hesitant to hire international students in Australia on temporary visas. As a result of research, employers favor permanent residents since they believe they will stay in Australia longer and are worth training and recruiting.
There is also evidence to suggest that employers believe that international students in Australia will be more expensive to hire, and they will need a greater amount of training on the job to understand the culture of the Australian workplace.
Some people also think language will be a problem, despite of the fact that international students in Australia must meet English language proficiency requirements to get admission in the first place.
Employers choose to believe international graduates do not fit their culture. Employers may discriminate against international graduates based on cultural differences when hiring.
International students are very important for the diversity and productivity of a workplace. The different skill sets, ideas, attitudes, and cultural understandings can help a business grow and operate well in a multicultural country like Australia.
How These Issues Should be Addressed?
So, giving international students in Australia visa extensions is not the solution. To address the issues International students are facing to stay and work after graduation in Australia following steps can be taken.
- Career support should be provided to International students before and after graduation.
- They should be helped with job applications and interviews.
- International students in Australia should be provided with better work placements.
- Graduates’ capabilities and the benefits of hiring international graduates need to be better understood by employers.
The Australian government is constantly bringing in new policies to facilitate international students but there need to be more decisions taken to facilitate international students in Australia so they can stay and work after graduation without having to worry about lower wages.
It is expected that in the future things will become a lot easier for international students in Australia and they will be given the same opportunities and salaries as domestic graduates.
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I’m Nasir Nawaz. I’m a registered migration consultant in Australia. I am based in Sydney. I’ve studied Master of Laws at the University of New South Wales. I’m providing immigration services for several years.
Consult with me for legal advice on Australian visas to permanently live, study, and work in Australia.