New Regulations Allow Post-Grad International Students to Work in China after their Studies

The Chinese government has decided to set regulations concerning post-study labour allowing Post-Grad international students to work after completing their degree in the country.

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The action was called as a strategy to establish China as a study destination and attract potential talents to globalise its workforce. The new regulations announced on 6 January by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, Foreign Affairs and Education, stated that foreign students who have graduated with a master’s degree or above from the universities in China or other “well-known universities” are eligible to work.

Previously, international students with foreign degrees were required to have two years of work experience outside China. This, however, prevented international students in the country from continuing to work after graduating from their studies according to Erik Skuse, research manager at Emerging Strategy, a market intelligence company based in Shanghai.

“This policy change is a recognition that if China wants to expand its international higher education capacity further, it must leverage the attractiveness of China’s massive, globalised employment market among foreign students seeking to start careers,” commented Skuse.

The country is taking action to grow its number of global students from of 390,000 students in 2015 according to the Ministry of Education.

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To apply for the one-year work visa, students must have had previously secured a job with a Chinese company according to their respective field of study, which meets local skill demands and offers a salary set to market standards. Student applicants must be over the age of 18 and have obtained a B (80%) grade average or higher.

This new policy hopes to encourage more foreign students to choose China as a study destination and then to stay and work here,” commented Jill Tang, founder of CareerXFactor, a talent recruitment company for graduates with foreign degrees.

She also mentioned that China will still need to import either knowledge or people from overseas to accommodate certain skills.

Tang also says that certain big companies are thinking of providing internships or graduate programmes for international students and later send them back to their homelands to contribute to the growth of the company there.

USA now home to 1 million international students

While a future count may be uncertain amongst the Trump presidency debacle, the Institute of International Education (IIE)’s Open Doors report portrays a continuing increase in the number of inbound international students.

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A 7% growth during the 2015/2016 years was put out by the Open Doors report, which drew its results from more than 3,000 prestigious higher education institutions in the USA.

China and India, as previewed in previous reports, hold the bulk of inbound international students, with Chinese students accountable for 31.5% of the entire international student population in the USA, with a 8.1% overall increase to a complete 328,547 students. Meanwhile, 24.9% more Indian students were reported to be coming in to the country as compared to the 2014/2015 numbers. Other countries such as Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Canada, among many others are too home to the highest number of foreign students in the USA, although a notable decrease in students was seen from Saudi Arabia and Canada. The biggest decrease in international students, however, was from Brazil, a decrease of 18.2%, which may be linked to the government’s Scientific Mobility Program freeze.

The total student population in the USA is now inclusive of 5% international students overall, who, according to the US Department of Commerce, contributed more than US$35 billion to the economy.

In terms of academic level, while both undergraduate (7%) and postgraduate (6%) students increased in numbers during 2015/2016, the highest increase, of 23% was seen in Optional Practical Training.

Courses pursued by a large part of the international student population were STEM subjects, which may lead to a possible correlation with the rise in students from India as well, seeing as how, as reported by IIE, more than three-quarters of Indian students tend to go into the STEM field. What was also noticeable of students originating from India was the higher number or graduate students (101,800) studying in the USA as compared to undergraduate students (19,300).

Students

On the opposite end, 313,000 USA students were reported to be studying abroad in 2015, a minute 3% increase, with two-thirds of the number belonging to the female gender, and 27% racial or ethnic minorities.

IIE President Allan Goodman, on the surpassing of the 1 million international students mark commented, “The Open Doors findings show that international students value the quality, diversity and strong reputation of US institutions and recognize that these institutions will give them opportunities that can help them not only in their education but also in their careers.”