Students today are flocking to global destinations such as the UK, the US and Canada as prestigious universities have open doors. Students choose courses that suit their unique talent and choose destinations where their qualifications will reap the most financial benefit. Better choices result in improved employability records for universities and students landing their dream jobs, causing a tectonic shift in their lives and as well as of their families.
With no surprise at all, India has always been at the forefront of the post-COVID era study abroad revolution as the source of the world’s best and biggest immigration talent, edging China in quality and now, post-pandemic in quantity.
UK’s aggressive pro-student approach, US’ reincarnation and Canada Immigration 2.0
The game has changed mainly due to the policy changes across the big three: the UK, the US and Canada.
The UK had announced the Post Study Work Visa (or the Graduate Immigration Route), which would allow students, both undergraduate and postgraduate, to work or look for work in the country for two years. Given that this announcement came in just before the onset of the pandemic, the country’s policymakers ensured that the pandemic didn’t eclipse this historical change and made sure it was the first to respond to the pandemic and return students to the country when it was safe. We can see these reap results for the country now that it’s all set to give tremendous competition to the US and Canada, two well-settled immigration destinations that no longer have a North American market duopoly.
The US has shown a rejuvenated spark in its recent measures since the Biden-Harris administration has taken over. It is taking steps and passing bills regularly in favor of immigrant students. It goes to show why the country has been the very biggest as a destination country. With its borders open and students joining physically on campus, it will be an exciting 2022 for the country.
Canada has for a long been the Mecca for immigrants. The country relies on incoming immigrants every year to carry on a significant chunk of the burden of its massive economy. As a receding population, Canada must continue on the path of being a “warm continent” for immigrants, not in the literal sense, of course. Canada’s bold announcement of it being on track to welcome 1 million immigrants in the next three years despite the pandemic is an announcement to the world that “nothing has changed,” at least attitude-wise.
Australia, New Zealand, Germany outliers? Not quite
- Has Australia been closed for foreign travel since the pandemic? Yes. Would this have long-term ripple effects for Australia’s image as a study abroad destination? No. And I’ll tell you why: Australia’s response to the pandemic has been swift for its residents, with 80 per cent of the population about to be fully vaccinated very soon. With plans to open borders for students, it will be a haven against the pandemic. It looks like the country’s preservative approach might as well reap benefits.
- Australia, like Canada, needs skilled immigrants and can only survive so long without them. We can see that in Australia’s declining economy in the last two years. While the travel industry won’t resume normal operations, the universities can finally heave a sigh of relief when students start coming in again in early 2022.
- Australia’s PR market will be supple for the next decade because of the shortage created during the pandemic. It could mean that more states are opening up opportunities for immigrant’s attracting better talent for the rejuvenated Bharat.
New Zealand and Germany, two countries that have most probably handled the pandemic the best globally, are taking active steps to welcome students back. With Australia showing positive news recently, we very much expect New Zealand to follow suit. The world eagerly awaits to hear back from Jacinda Arden, though as I said before, it will be an exciting 2022.
What does this mean for the Indian student?
Very simply, it means more opportunities, better financial options in scholarships and better jobs. The study abroad space is no longer the same, and there are new destinations on the map now that are more lucrative and here for the long ride. Year 2022 will bring hope for students and a test for universities. Would we be talking about the same metrics and be looking at the map the same way in 2023? Possibly not, but student mentality and university response will be key factors driving the wind now. Hopefully, the pandemic will soon be seen in the rear-view mirror, it’s a new chapter in the Immigration industry, and playbooks will be re-written; I hope everyone reading this is as excited as I am for what lies ahead.Internet Explorer Channel Network