Employment Outcomes of International Graduates on Post-Study Work Visa in Australia

Associate Professor Ly Tran1

1Deakin University, Burwood, Australia

The opportunity to acquire experience in the host country labour market is a key driver of international student choice, underpinned by expectations on return on investment in international education, career prospects and migration. Revised and introduced in 2013, taking on recommendations from the 2011 Knight Review, the Australian government’s post study work rights policy aims to provide international graduates with the opportunity to remain in Australia from two to four years and gain work experience. The top five citizenship countries of temporary graduate visa (485 visa) holders in Australia have also been the top five source countries of international enrolments in Masters by coursework (China, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Vietnam) programs since 2013. The majority of past (89%) and current (79%) visa holders in Australia participated in the labour force. But many graduates did not work full-time, and they did not necessarily work in their field of study. A considerable number of graduates were employed in retail, hospitality or as cleaners. Based on a mixed method study that includes a survey with more than 1100 international graduates and 50 in-depth interviews with stakeholders, this presentation discusses the key factors that affect the employment outcomes of international graduates who stay in Australia on the 485 visa.


Associate Professor Ly Tran is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow, Deakin University. Her research focuses on student mobility, international graduate employability and the New Colombo Plan. Ly was named as one of Vietnam’s 50 Most Influential Women 2019 by Forbes Vietnam. Her work won the IEAA Award for Best Practice in International Education.


The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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