Australia: Stakeholders and Students Supporting Reintroduction of Work Schedule for International Students
In a recent survey, it has been revealed that the majority of international students, graduates, and education stakeholders in Australia are in favor of the government’s decision to reintroduce a work cap for students. The survey, which included over 6,000 respondents, highlighted the varying preferences for work allowances among students, graduates, and providers.
Until July of this year, international students were allowed to work without any restrictions on the number of hours. However, starting in July, a cap of 48 hours per fortnight will be reintroduced. The survey found that among the student respondents, a 40-hour work allowance per fortnight was the preferred option, while graduates selected either 30 or 40 hours. Education providers and stakeholders leaned towards a 30-hour work allowance.
The reintroduction of the work cap is supported by education providers and graduates who have witnessed the negative consequences of excessive work hours on students’ academic progress and well-being. Overworking has been identified as a common reason for course failure among international students since the removal of work hour restrictions. The work cap aims to encourage students to prioritize their studies and maintain a healthy work-study-life balance.
The regulation of work hours is expected to help students improve their time management skills and mitigate the risks of exploitation. Employers often expect students to work more shifts when there are no restrictions, leaving students with limited choice in the matter. The work cap will also prevent parents from expecting their children to work excessive hours to subsidize their studies.
The survey also highlighted the top challenges faced by education providers in supporting students, including providing English language skill support, addressing racism and discrimination, offering mental health and well-being support, finding work opportunities, and assisting students in adjusting to teaching and learning environments.
The research project was funded by the Australian Government through the International Education Innovation Fund. The reintroduction of the work cap reflects the government’s commitment to promoting the well-being and academic success of international students in Australia.
Overall, the survey results indicate widespread support for the work cap among international students, graduates, and education stakeholders in Australia. The reintroduction of the cap is seen as a necessary measure to ensure students prioritize their studies, maintain a healthy work-life balance, and mitigate the negative effects of overworking.