Hawthorne, Lesleyanne
January 2011
Canadian Diversity / Canadian Diversité;Winter2011, Vol. 8 Issue 5, p52
The past decade has coincided with extraordinary growth in international student migration to Australia. By mid 2010, over 610,000 students were enrolled, large numbers of whom planned to convert to permanent resident status through “two-step migration”. While international students were initially presumed to face minimal employment barriers (having self-funded to meet employer requirements), the reality has proven more complex. While impressive employment and labour market mobility rates are achieved through the study-migration pathway at 6 and 18 months, perverse study-migration incentives have also evolved. Addressing these, the Australian Labor government has introduced radical policy change in the past 3 years, which has markedly reduced students’ economic category share (from 62% to 35%). From July 2011, additional changes to selection will favour older native English speakers qualified with bachelor or higher degrees. International student demand for Canada seems certain to grow in consequence, in a context where students have become highly discerning consumers – researching global options to secure the optimal study, migration and employment outcomes.


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