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Australia: Better career prospects for international students

Every year, Graduate Careers Australia conducts the Graduate Outlook Survey (GOS) to examine graduate recruitment practices and trends from the perspective of employers in Australasia. Earlier this month, this leading authority on graduate employment issues in Australia published the results of the 2011 iteration of this survey. The 2011 GOS was launched in August and collected a record 518 employer responses. Interestingly, the latest survey included a number of new questions, including several focused on international graduates, which revealed a few positive patterns. Specifically, in 2011 the proportion of employers recruiting international graduates increased by almost 12% over the previous year, and settled at just 4.5% below the 2008 level—when the recruitment of international graduates reached a peak due to the changes in the Australian Government’s General Skilled Migration programme. This stands in contrast to other recent GOS reports, which registered negative (2009) and stagnant (2010) results for international student recruitment. Sector-wise, the 2011 increase has been largely due to growing demand for international graduates in the communication, technology and utilities industries followed by accounting and finance; manufacturing and construction; mining and engineering. Despite widespread concerns about the retention of international graduates, large employers are twice as more likely to hire this group of graduates than employers with fewer than 500 employees. In the meantime, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship is expected to release guidelines for universities to implement the country’s new student visa programme based on last year’s ‘Knight review’ (see ACA Newsletter – Education in Europe, September 2011). Under this system, international students enrolling in participating universities will face fewer hurdles to secure a visa, while universities take on more responsibility for students’ bona fides. Reportedly, the guidelines will allow for some flexibility and discussion in monitoring and assessing universities’ individual performance. Graduate Careers Australia The Australian