Post-study res­i­dency plan is the smart move for stu­dents, sup­port­ers say

The National - News - - NEWS EMIRATES - ANAM RIZVI AND OMNIA AL SALEH

Stu­dents and ed­u­ca­tion ex­perts wel­comed plans to pro­vide two-year post-study res­i­dency visas to out­stand­ing stu­dents who have stud­ied in the UAE to al­low them more time to find a job.

The aim is to re­tain more tal­ented stu­dents, although it was not clear how a stu­dent’s tal­ent would be de­fined for the pur­poses of the visa.

San­jeev Verma, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Dubai ed­u­ca­tion con­sul­tancy In­tel­li­gent Part­ners, said the new visas will help the coun­try de­velop.

“[The visas] will at­tract more stu­dents. The de­ci­sion will have ex­ter­nal ben­e­fits and will ben­e­fit the econ­omy in more ways than one. It will in­crease the depth of in­dus­try here – when you set up an in­dus­try, you need qual­i­fied staff,” he said.

“There will be mul­ti­plier ef­fects. If you look at any stu­dent who goes over­seas, he or she is look­ing for a ca­reer. If there is no pos­si­bil­ity of a ca­reer, the ap­peal of that place di­min­ishes con­sid­er­ably.”

Un­der the present sys­tem, stu­dents have an aver­age of six months to ap­ply for jobs after grad­u­a­tion, de­pend­ing on when their visa is re­newed.

Sachin Nair, 22, an In­dian fi­nance grad­u­ate from Amer­i­can Univer­sity of Shar­jah look­ing for a job in the fi­nance sec­tor, said six months was not enough time to se­cure em­ploy­ment in the cur­rent mar­ket.

Get­ting a two-year visa would give stu­dents flex­i­bil­ity and re­duce stress, he said.

“It helps you get to a place where you make an in­formed de­ci­sion. You don’t have to take up a job as soon as pos­si­ble just to stay in the coun­try.”

Mace­do­nian stu­dent Anas­tasija Sto­jchevska se­cured a job as an an­a­lyt­ics spe­cial­ist in the avi­a­tion in­dus­try through a ca­reer fair.

“I con­sider my­self lucky that my job of­fer came be­fore grad­u­a­tion. After grad­u­a­tion, sum­mer is slow in the UAE and it’s not the best time to ap­ply for jobs,” she said.

The stu­dent, who has re­cently com­pleted her bach­e­lor’s de­gree in eco­nomics, had many ques­tions about the new visas and how they will work.

“If a stu­dent doesn’t find em­ploy­ment in two years, do they have to go home? What and who de­ter­mines that?’

The new law will ease the pres­sure on fi­nal-year stu­dents, said Sara Omar, 20, an Egyp­tian ad­ver­tis­ing stu­dent at the Amer­i­can Univer­sity of Shar­jah.

“I would also have to look for hous­ing to stay in after dorms close. Now I have more time to do both with­out hav­ing to go through this has­sle dur­ing my stud­ies.”

The re­form will give in­ter­na­tional grad­u­ates at univer­si­ties in the UAE a chance to seek jobs that suit their in­ter­ests, said AUS mar­ket­ing stu­dent Nada You­nis.

“There are many op­por­tu­ni­ties in the UAE that grad­u­ates tend to miss out on be­cause they don’t have the chance to stay and look for a job,” said Ms You­nis, 20.

“Now that I am not forced to take the first job I am of­fered. I can take my time in look­ing for work.”

The pro­posed two-year visas for stu­dents are an ac­knowl­edge­ment of their work and am­bi­tions

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