An exploration of the impacts of the Australian post study work visa arrangements

Year: 2016

Author: Rahimi, Mark, Tran, Ly, Dang, Xuan Thu, Tan, George

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Gaining work experience in the host country is becoming one of the key drivers of international students’ choice of study destination and critical to the future of the Australian international education sector. Since 2013, the Australian government has been implementing a set of visa arrangements to provide international graduates from Australian universities with the opportunity to enter and integrate into the Australian labour market. However, up to date, the impacts of post study work visa arrangements on international graduates’ employment outcomes are largely unknown. It has been also unclear about how the new arrangements have been perceived, recognised and made use of by other Australian key stakeholders. This study, using a mixed-method approach for data collection and analyses provides evidence on the effects and implications of these visa arrangements for various stakeholders. This paper reports an examination of how the Australian government’s post study work visa is achieving its objective and the ways its outcome are perceived by employers, international graduates, policy makers and academics. In particular, we present an initial analysis of employers’ survey to outline their perceptions about the post study work visa arrangements. The early stage findings suggest that further action is required to improve stakeholders’ awareness of the goals and the use of these visa arrangements. The paper also discusses whether and how the introduction of the post study work visa arrangements has impacted international students’ expectations and employments outcomes.