A roadmap for building more diversity in your international enrolment

For the past couple of years at least, institutions and schools that aim to build their foreign enrolments have heard the prevailing wisdom about how to recruit: diversify. Which is shorthand, in many cases, for “diversify beyond China and India.”

It’s not that China and India are no longer major drivers of enrolment growth for many countries – they definitely still are. For example, China alone has accounted for about half of overall enrolment growth in the US for the past 15 years. And in 2015/16, between one-third and one-half of international students in the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK were from China and India.

But the history of international education tells us that nothing is perennially stable. Political instability, economic crises, a shifting geopolitical landscape, currency fluctuations, visa and post-study work rights policies, natural disasters, and increased domestic higher education capacity are all capable of disrupting student mobility patterns.

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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.