Tag Archives: student study abroad

The Demise of Tier 1 and the Threat to Business Education

There is no doubt that following the scrapping of Tier 1 Post-Study visa of the UK Points Based System student numbers are down. Many UK business schools have reported enrolments down compared to this time last year. The Association of MBAs contacted its 47 member education providers in the UK and discovered shocking concerns. Over 90% of members were against scrapping the post-study route, citing fears of damage to competitiveness, reputation and finances, not only of the schools themselves, but also the wider economy.

MBA degrees are targeted primarily at mature students who already have a wealth of business experience behind them. Many are taking the next steps in advancing their careers, often spending between £30,000 and £50,000 on tuition alone. According to a recent survey by the Association of MBAs, 51% of students are self-funded, 32% receive company sponsorships, 10% use bank loans and none receive government assistance.

The message of the Coalition’s immigration policy is precisely the opposite of the slogans: the UK is to all intents and purposes “closed for business”. The UK is also loosing the talent its universities are producing: it will become much harder for graduates to use the specialised knowledge, skills and networks that they have learnt during their course in the wide UK economy.

Before the UK introduced the Points Based System and the Post-Study Visa, the majority of international students graduating in the UK immediately returned home. There were simply few opportunities available in the UK and students. What has been important for providers of business courses in the UK is that the post-study route gave students an increased perception of opportunity, making the UK a highly attractive study destination. Sadly, this perception has now been deeply dented once again.

Unintended Consequences

Scrapping the post-study work route will have many unintended consequences and ultimately sends out a negative message about brand UK:

  • Reduced competitiveness: UK business schools will lose out to their competitors across the world. Currently 8 UK business schools are in the Top 50 of the world, but rankings rely on attracting the brightest and the best.
  • Loss of diversity: Internationalisation is a key ranking factor for universities and a reduction in international student numbers would harm UK business school rankings. Further, diversity and mixing with a broad range of cultures are pillars of the best business programmes.
  • Reduced revenue: Universities face the prospect of tight spending cuts and a significant loss in revenue from lost enrolments following the scrapping of Tier 1 Post-Study Work. In 2008, 73% of all students enrolled at UK business schools were international students. That is an average of 126 international students per UK business school. A serious amount of money.
  • Reduced labour force competiveness: A reduced recruitment pool of graduates in the UK will make international companies less willing to base or continue to base their operations here.
  • Wider UK economy damaged: Overseas business school graduates are a major export industry and boost UK investment in the long term due to the networks and ‘good will’ generated during their time as students. The UK currently trains, influences and exports business leaders from major global financial centres. In 2008, students from outside the EU comprised of 83% of all international students enrolled at UK business schools. The top non-EU feeder countries were: India (19%), China (5%), Nigeria (5%), the United States (4%), Singapore (4%), United Arab Emirates (4%), Malaysia (3%), Russia (3%), Egypt (3%) and South Africa (3%). A total of 83 countries were reported.

Global competition

The UK already faces strong competition from business schools in Europe, North America and Australia, markets which offer attractive employment opportunities to graduates. And high quality English-language MBA provision is expanding rapidly in emerging economies such as China, India and Latin America—these are the highest growth regions for accreditations by the Association of MBAs.

UK schools must compete at the highest level to attract students to its programmes and the consultation has already had a negative impact on MBA providers. While the new policies are not as bad as initially anticipated, the damage of the debate is already done. Much has been made in the foreign press, particularly in emerging markets, of the bad atmosphere for foreign students in the UK.

And while Tier 2 visas remain an option for graduates, many smaller companies such as start-up business ventures lack the resources and infrastructure to deal with the complexities of the bureaucracy surrounding that process.

Working After Your Studies – an International Comparison

The UK’s main competitor countries in international student recruitment also make some allowances for international students who wish to stay and look for work after completing their studies. Some of these can lead on to further grounds for extending their stay (e.g. as workers).

New Zealand’s Skilled Graduate Job Search visa

For students who complete a course of at least three years’ completion time and do not have a job offer. They must apply within three months of the end of the student visa and meet a minimum maintenance funds requirement. Successful applicants are allowed to stay and work for up to 12 months. In addition, the Practical Experience After Completion of Studies work visa is for persons with an offer of employment relevant to their studies. It lasts for two years (three years if working towards membership of a professional association).

Australia’s Skilled – Graduate (Temporary) visa

Subclass 485 is for students who have completed an eligible qualification due to at least two years’ study. It lasts for 18 months and is subject to age restrictions. The application must be made within six months of completing their studies. Applicants must have the skills and qualifications required to meet the terms of the Skilled Occupation List and nominate an eligible occupation on the list.

Canada’s Post-Graduation Work Permit Program

For students who graduated from a participating Canadian post-secondary institution having studied full-time and for longer than eight months. Persons must apply within 90 days of having completed the course and whilst their study permit is still valid. They are granted a work permit for no longer than the length of studies (and possibly shorter), up to a maximum of three years.

Germany allows extended residence permits

Students who complete a full-time university course can extend their student residence permits for up to a year in order to look for a job appropriate to their degree. Whilst looking for a job they are subject to the same employment restrictions as students. There is also a requirement to have sufficient maintenance funds in place.

France Probation converted to work permit

Students who earn a degree equivalent to a Master’s or above can apply for a temporary, non-renewable residency permit valid for six months. This entitles the holder to work in any job ‘at up to 60% of full employment.’ Persons with a contract related to their studies and a salary of at least 150% of the minimum wage are then allowed to work full-time (they must then apply for a change of residence status from ‘student’ to ‘employee’).

Other students can accept an offer of employment after graduation, but must request a change of residence status. This is assessed according to factors including the employer’s motives, the applicant’s background and their length of studies in France.

UK Must have skilled job offer and switch to Tier 2 before student visa expires

The current Post-Study Work route will be closed from April 2012. Those graduating from a UK university with a recognised degree, PGCE, or PGDE will be able to switch into Tier 2. There will not be a limit on these switchers. They will only be able to switch if they are in the UK, before their student visa expires. The normal Tier 2 requirements will apply, except for the Resident Labour Market Test.

Students whose course was for 12 months or longer will have 4 months after their course end date, all others will have just 2 months to secure a skilled job offer and apply to switch into Tier 2 of the Points Based System.

The Four Phases of Cultural Adjustment

If you plan to study in a foreign country, most likely you look forward to finally reaching your destination. After all, you’ve spent so much time preparing yourself for the trip: you’ve packed and repacked, saved money, worked out a travel itinerary. It’s only natural to place so much importance on the moment of your arrival. However, you should know that there’s so more to prepare for! The journey doesn’t end once you arrive. In fact, that’s when it really begins.

Those who have studied abroad often talk about ‘culture shock’ or ‘culture fatigue,’ a process they underwent once they arrived in the host country. Often they describe it as a series of phases through which they passed during their time abroad. If you’re planning to spend quite a long time in a foreign country, consider familiarizing yourself with these phases.

Phase 1: Cultural Euphoria

You’ve just arrived in a foreign country. You’re standing outside, watching people walk by. Your luggage is at your side, and you’re far from home. You’re excited. You’re eager to explore new things, meet new people, and finally begin your studies. As you gaze about, you realize that here for your observation is an unfamiliar culture. How exciting!

Phase 2: Cultural Confrontation

But later, you finally understand that, like it or not, you are also a part of that unfamiliar culture and subject to its whims and fancies. You’re both observer and participant, and as such, you must confront this new reality. You’re no longer immune to the stresses of everyday life. In fact, you’re overwhelmed by them, because everything is so alien to you in this new land! You’re terrified, perhaps lonely, and you miss the familiar life you once had.

Phase 3: Cultural Adjustment

You seek solace in the predictability of your daily routine. You throw yourself into your studies. Maybe you explore a little further beyond your area of comfort. Time passes and you one day realize that you’ve suddenly gotten pretty good at maneuvering through this new country. Sure, you still occasionally feel like an outsider, but you’re comfortable with this label because you understand the your struggles.

Phase 4: Cultural Adaptation

By this time, others mistake you for a local, so confidently do you carry yourself into every situation. You communicate well with all kinds of people. You can spot subtle differences in the culture of your host country. More importantly, you’re attuned to how these subtle differences create new and exciting situations to experience. You eagerly explore beyond your comfort zone. You can’t get enough of this new world, and you can’t bear to leave it. Ultimately, you understand that while you have adapted quite well to the culture, there is much about it that you still don’t know understand. And you’re okay with this.

This guest post is contributed by Angelita Williams, who writes on the topics of online colleges and universities. He welcomes your comments at his email Id: angelita.williams7 @gmail.com.

Advice On How To Study Abroad

Are you interested in meeting new people, seeing new places, or trying new things? Are you looking for something to make your resume stand out in the crowd? Are you looking to take courses for college credit next summer? Consider studying abroad.

What is study abroad?

Study abroad is the opportunity to take courses for college credit in another country. This can be done through study abroad vendors, such as International Studies Abroad (ISA) or CIEE, as well as university faculty-led programs.

Where can I study abroad?

Many colleges/universities will accept credits from foreign universities that are U.S. accredited. There are study abroad opportunities on every continent, even Antarctica! Popular destinations for study abroad students include, but are not limited to: Australia, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, South Africa, and more!

What can I study?

Study abroad vendors offer students a wide range of courses, from foreign languages to natural sciences, business and marking to studio and performing arts. Before applying and registering for courses through any study abroad vendor, be sure to have course credits pre-approved by your college/university. That will ensure that the credits will transfer back and count towards your degree plan.

How can I afford it?

Look for scholarship opportunities, especially within your college or university. If your college or university has a study abroad office, there may be scholarship money available for you, as well as financial aid. Depending on tuition and fees for your college university and the price of the study abroad program, you might find it cheaper to take summer courses abroad than at your home institution!

I want to study abroad… what do I do first?

1. Discuss your study abroad plans with your advisor. He/she will be able to guide you to select the best courses to take abroad.

2. If your institution has a study abroad office, make an appointment to discuss your study abroad options, as well as apply for your school’s program, if necessary. The study abroad office will also aid you in getting your courses pre-approved.

3. Apply for a U.S. passport. If you are staying for more than sixty days, the country in which you would like to study may require you to get a visa. You can find information about passports, as well as visa requirements for specific countries on the government travel website.

4. Apply for scholarships and financial aid, if needed.

5. Once your courses are pre-approved by your college/university, apply for the study abroad program. There is usually an online application with a non-refundable application fee. It will also provide you with dates for payment and payment options. Keep an eye out for any information/instructions materials in your e-mail and your mailbox. Your program will provide you with a housing application, packing list, etc. prior to your departure.

6. Book your airline tickets. Make sure that you have plenty of time between connecting flights. Two hours is a great layover period for international flights, just in case there’s a long line or you have problems getting through security and customs.

7. Read up on the country you will be studying in. Learn about the language, culture, history, politics, etc. The more you know, the better you will adjust to living there whether it be for a few weeks or several months.