Covid-19 has turned the higher education sector upside down, yet a significant number of international students is still willing to pursue degrees abroad.
A recent study by IDP Connect — a division of global education specialists IDP Education — highlighted the demand for international education in 2020 remained strong. More than 77 per cent of international students surveyed for the study expressed their willingness to continue with their international education goals, despite prolonged travel bans and global lockdowns due to Covid-19.
Higher education institutes globally have also noticed a sustained rise in the number of international enrolment for various degrees and courses in the past 12 months.
There are many reasons why study abroad programmes are in high demand. For most students, the appeal for overseas education is likely to be a combination of gaining a globally-recognised qualification, experiencing a new culture, expanding their networks, enhancing future career prospects, and most importantly, exploring opportunities for permanent residencies.
“When choosing a study abroad destination, most students look for countries that give them a pathway and the opportunity to stay back and work there and ultimately settle down in the country,” says Clint Khan, Director, Y-Axis, a leading career consultant and immigration firm in the UAE. “Based on these criteria, top countries for international education are Canada, Australia, the UK, Germany and Ireland.”
Get PR in Canada and Australia
Offering an education of international excellence yet at a competitive cost, Canada is one of the most favoured destinations for students worldwide, including the UAE, opting for overseas education. Apart from quality teaching, Canada offers a healthy standard of living and opportunities to work and study.
The IRCC in Canada provides a Post-Graduate Work Permit programme. Under this programme, international graduates can get an open work permit, valid for three years.
“Canada offers international students the options to stay after their courses and gain some work experience. The IRCC provides a Post-Graduate Work Permit programme. Under this programme, international graduates can get an open work permit, valid for three years. They can work for any employer during this period. This also gives students the chance to gain skilled work experience, which is crucial to the success of their PR visa application,” explains Khan.
Australia also offers the Graduate Temporary Visa (Subclass 485) for migrant students who have studied for two years in Australia. “They can live and work here between 18 months and four years. There are two streams for the Subclass 485 visa — graduate work and post-study work,” Khan says.
“With this visa, graduates can decide to stay and work in Australia and apply for job opportunities. Students can later apply for a permanent resident visa provided they meet the points requirements and eligibility criteria.”
Counselling session with the right education specialist is an important aspect to consider as it helps students to understand the courses and streams that are in demand for future employment opportunities.
Syed Jafar Sadiq, General Manager, Cosmos Immigration, advises students to consider various factors before deciding on a country to complete their higher studies.
“Counselling session with the right education specialist is an important aspect to consider as it helps students to understand the courses and streams that are in demand for future employment opportunities. One should also look for the standard of living of the country where they wish to study, along with possible job opportunities during and after the completion of the programmes.”