Australia makes changes to post-study work visa laws—Who will suffer?
Originally reported by our sister brand Business Review Canada, some changes have been made to post-study work visas laws. These changes will affect a range of countries, including both Canada and Australia. And while change is sometimes considered to be a good thing, we can’t help but wonder how this new law could actually hinder the economy.
Therefore, Business Review Australia is taking a closer look at these changes to try and understand why they’re taking place and whether or not they’re actually necessary.
RELATED TOPIC: Is Australia’s economy in line to match Canada’s?
The change officially took place on July 13th—a Statement of Change in Immigration Rules declared that international students are forbidden from extending their visa after their studies have been completed, which ultimately changes future career prospects for said students.
In a statement discussing the matter, the Minister of State for Immigration James Brokenshire said that this new law is a way to “reduce net migration and tackle immigration abuse, whilst ensuring we maintain an excellent offer for students who wish to study at our world-class universities.”
But is this fair?
Students will now be prohibited from applying for work visas unless they first leave the country. Current laws that allow students to work for up to 10 hours a week will even be dropped. Even more so, education visas are expected to be cut from three years to two; students will not be able to extend their studies unless the establishment they are registered with has a “formal link to a University.”
Due to the new ruling, two opinionated sides have been created, each with their own reasons as to why this change in law is or isn’t necessarily fair.
For starters, those who come to Australia to get an education help the economy—plain and simple. Whether these students are paying rent, dining at restaurants or taking part in city activities, they are spending money and bringing new life to a tired environment. Take away these foreign students and what will happen? Will the economy suffer?
On the other side of the spectrum, is it right for these students to potentially take job opportunities away from local residents? Should the better person be hired for the job? Or should the job go to the person who was born and raised in an Australian city?
One university professor said, “International students bring money, and if they stay, talent to the country.”
It’s an obvious case of entitlement. However, there are many factors to consider regarding this issue. Specifically, what’s fair? A company should choose an employee on merit alone—not where he or she was born and raised.
Don’t forget, the economy is also a major issue that needs to be considered. Particularly, what will happen to the country now that these new post-study work visa laws have been implemented? It goes without saying that rough times could definitely be ahead for the country.
Perhaps this is an example of when change isn’t necessarily good.
[SOURCE: Study International]
Business Chief Legend: Ho Ching, CEO of Temasek
Ask Singaporeans who Ho Ching is, and the majority will answer the ‘wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’. And that’s certainly true. However, she’s also the CEO of Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and one of the world’s largest investment companies.
Well, she is until October 1, 2021, as she recently announced she would be retiring following 16 years as CEO of the investment giant.
Since taking the reins in 2004, two years after joining Temasek as Executive Director, Ho has gradually transformed what was an investment firm wholly owned by Singapore’s Government into an active investor worldwide, splashing out on sectors like life sciences and tech, expanding its physical footprint with 11 offices worldwide (from London to Mumbai to San Francisco) and delivering growth of US$120 billion between 2010-2020.
Described by Temasek chairman Lim Boon Heng as having taken “bold steps to open new pathways in finding the character of the organisations”, Ho is credited with building Temasek’s international portfolio, with China recently surpassing Singapore for the first time.
As global a footprint as Ho may have however, she has her feet firmly planted on Singapore soil and is committed to this tiny city-state where she was not only educated (excluding a year at Stanford) but has remained throughout her long and illustrious career – first as an engineer at the Ministry of Defence in 1976, where she met her husband, and most notably as CEO of Singapore Technologies, where she spent a decade, and where she is credited with repositioning and growing the group into the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia.
It’s little wonder Ho has featured on Forbes’ annual World’s Most Powerful Women list for the past 16 years, in 2007 as the third most powerful woman in business outside the US, and in 2020 at #30 worldwide.
But it’s not all business. Ho has a strong track record in Singapore public service, serving as chairman of the Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research and as deputy chairman of the Economic Development Board; and is a committed philanthropist with a focus on learning difficulties and healthcare.
As the pandemic kicked off, she not only led active investments in technology and life sciences, with German COVID-19 vaccine developer BioNTech among the most recent additions to Temasek’s portfolio, but through the Temasek Foundation – the firm’s philanthropic arm which supports vulnerable groups close to Ho’s heart, handed out hand sanitiser and face masks.
So, you would be forgiven for thinking that at age 68, Ho might simply relax. But in March 2021, just as she announced her retirement from Temasek, Ho joined the Board of Directors of Wellcome Leap, a US-based non-profit organisation that’s dedicated to accelerating innovations in global health. Not ready to put her firmly grounded feet up yet it seems.