In its latest study launched today, “Train and Retain: Career Support for International Students in Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden”, the Research Unit at the Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration (SVR) provides the first international mapping of local support structures for the study-to-work transition of international students in Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden.
“This new study will provide our members with data and ideas on how to best coordinate with businesses, employment agencies and municipalities, big and small, to help international students make that leap into the Canadian working world,” says Karen McBride, President and CEO of the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE).
The study was based on a representative sample of 238 public higher education institutions in the four countries and identifies shortcomings and issues recommendations for higher education institutions, employers and policy-makers. As the Canadian partner for this comparative international study, CBIE invited its institutional members to share data with SVR’s Research Unit on study to work transition.
In Canada, international students are very likely to find job application training, networking events and other job entry support throughout their entire academic careers. In addition to their alma mater, local employment offices, settlement services and other public service providers also offer career support at about one in every two university or college locations. Other Canadian statistics include:
- At 40 % of university and college locations in Canada, large businesses are actively hiring international students.
- Unlike in Europe, small businesses are better represented among the active recruiters of international students in Canada.
- Local employment offices (48 %) and other public service providers (40 %) are working to retain international students for the local workforce.
The four-country comparison found that today, some international students can already find job application training, a diversity-friendly employer or a knowledgeable and devoted public service employee on or off campus. However, so far only a few higher education institutions coordinate their career support with local businesses, public service agencies and other local actors. Just 26 % of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) join forces with public service providers in order to provide career support to international students, increasing the chances of service duplication.
“Many international students require intensive career support, but instead, they encounter a poorly coordinated patchwork of occasional career fairs, job application training and chance acquaintances with service staff and company representatives which may or may not be able to help them,” says Simon Morris-Lange, author of the comparative study at SVR’s Research Unit.
The study recommendations include:
- Local actors need to break out of their organizational silos and start sharing information to coordinate individual career support;
- They need to exchange information regularly, develop and pursue shared goals and to communicate joint achievements in order to rally support for further coordination;
- Municipalities should play a central role in the local coordination of job entry support for international students.
The study was funded by Stiftung Mercator and Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft. The study and two infographics can be downloaded here [www.svr-migration.de/en/publications] free of charge.
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The Expert Council´s Research Unit conducts independent, practice-oriented research projects in the field of integration and migration. The project-based studies focus on emerging trends and issues with education as one of the main research focal points. The Research Unit complements the work of the Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration. The core funding is provided by the Stiftung Mercator. For additional information, please visit: http://www.svr-migration.de/en/research-unit
The Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) is Canada’s national organization dedicated to making Canada a global leader in international education. CBIE’s pan-Canadian membership comprises 150 colleges, institutes, universities, school boards and language schools which enroll over 1.2 million students from coast to coast.