With post-study employment becoming a key area of competition among study destinations, the USA is expected to focus on its post-study work offers before the next presidential election, said Alan Goodman, the president of the Institute of International Education (IIE).
Other major countries attracting international students have been competing in the area of post-study employment also due to the increasing demand for skilled workers and their contribution to the economy, he said.
Although the US' recovery from the pandemic would most likely increase international student recruitment, other countries might still be competing for positions in terms of post-study work. Several countries have started offering more post-study work permits and visas in recent years. Some of these include the UK and Australia. Canada, on the other hand, has been regarded as a leader in this area primarily because of its post-graduation work permit programme.
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An F-1 visa allows students to participate in Optional Practical Training (OPT). However, this course must be related to their degree. Other employment options, such as the H-1B visa, are somewhat complex and require the sponsorship of an employer. The nations that offer a green card to international students pursuing a degree could possibly gain an advantage in the talent market.
It is possible that during the next presidential election, candidates would call for immigration policies similar to that of other countries. Companies in the US need skilled workers as their populations get older. Although the issue won't affect the outcome of the election, it's expected to become more accepted in the US. Additionally, university leaders are required to continue spreading the word about the benefits of international education, Goodman added.
US universities should continue helping refugees, including those from the war-hit Ukraine. Through the years, the US has encouraged the flow of international students. It's in the interest of the world that academic doors remain open regardless of what is happening in other countries, he said.
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The IIE is helping about 1,700 Ukrainian students on US campuses and around 4,700 Russian students get emergency funds. These individuals are most likely stranded due to a lack of funds.
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Source: Times Higher Education