Retention of Foreign Graduates

Some months ago, the Vienna based International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) published a study on admission and retention policies towards foreign students.

Much has been written about the way in which states and universities have promoted international mobility of students and international recruiting. This study looks at what happens with these foreign students after they graduate. This is particularly interesting considering that more and more industrialised countries are looking for ways to promote immigration of highly skilled professionals to help boost their economy.

The study covers the following countries in detail: Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, the USA, and the United Kingdom. Additionally, developments regarding student migration are outlined in the Czech Republic, Italy, New Zealand, Norway and Spain. The report (96 pages) shows some interesting statistics and comparisons. Here are some passages from the executive summary.

On the growth of international students:

The dynamic growth of the international student population over the last five years was also, compared to the US, more pronounced in many European and overseas countries. While the stock of international students increased by only 10% in the US between 2000 and 2005, France and Germany saw their international student population increase by more than 60%, Australia by over 120% and Sweden by 146%.

On retention rates:

On average, between 15 and 20% of foreign students can be expected to eventually settle and work in Canada. In New Zealand, of all first-time students between 1998 and 2005, 13% had already received a permanent residence permit by 2006. In Norway, of all non-EEA students studying there between 1991 and 2005, 18% stayed in the country after graduation (but only 9% of all EEA students). In the UK, a recent survey sent to EU domiciled students six months after graduation in 2005 indicates that around 27% of respondents were employed in the UK (up from 19% in 2000). On the other hand, survey data for the USA indicate that retention rates for foreign nationals who received a doctorate in science and engineering are well over 50% (there are no comparable data on non-doctorate degrees available).

Download the full report here

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