Part II: From High seas to inquisitive classrooms – Selection process, QS rankings, Post-study work options
Finally, the application has been submitted. The nervous pangs start. Your mind goes over a thousand contraptions. Will I be shortlisted? Was my test score good enough? How would my profile fair with other applicants? Though it is a pressure situation, one should not overthink.
The shortlisting of an applicant for an interview and the final selection is done by Adcom – Admission Committee. Generally, the committee consists of the Recruitment Director, Program Director, Eminent Faculty, and Alumni. Adcom always has a holistic approach while reviewing a candidate.
Thus, the overall profile of the applicant matters and not just the test scores. Adcom uses a very complex methodology to determine the suitability of a candidate. Lest be assured each application is exhaustively reviewed. This is why the shortlisting and selection takes quite some time. Thence, there are three admission rounds (or rotations).
International applicants are usually encouraged to apply by first or second rotations. In every round, x no. of applications are received and y no. of applicants get selected. But there isn’t any constant figure such as this specific number of applicants must be selected.
Unlike in India, where every institution has a fixed number of seats, foreign universities do not have such a structure. They just have an intake range for a class. If for a certain year, Adcom is unable to find suitable applicants among the pool, then the remaining seats lie vacant. The suitability of an applicant for their institution is the sole focus.
Based on the application, a candidate is shortlisted for an interview. For general MS programs, the interview is with an Adcom member only. For MBA and specialized Master’s programs, the interviews can be with both Adcom and alumni.
The interviews can be held over skype or in person, casual or formal, over a coffee, or at a tapioca bar (I vouch for that).
The basic notion for conducting an interview is – whether the applicant is really what he or she mentions in the essays. A lot of situational questions, behavioral questions, and competency-based questions are asked.
The applicant is judged by his or her depth on the subject matter, approach, and circumstantial awareness. The way the candidate behaves in the environment to the candidate’s attire – everything is noted. For further reading – There is an interesting article about the correlation between the colour of a tie, worn by a candidate, and his or her personality – by BBC’s Alina Dizik.
Take an example – if the interview is in a cafe, the candidate is expected to order something (say a coffee – the bill is paid by the interviewer only).
During the interview process if the candidate only answers the questions and does not drink the coffee – it is held negative. This may be interpreted as – if you do not want to drink the coffee, why did you order in the first place or a lack of multi-tasking, incoherent decision-making or be deciphered as – unable to properly utilize all resources at a managerial position in stressful situations, etc.
Upon completion of final interviews and having bided one’s time, eventually the results get announced.
A query, predominant and lingering, while opting for higher studies – Which university to select? How does one university compare to another? Need not fear, Quacquareli Symonds is here.
Abbreviated as QS, it is an organization that has been doling out university rankings ever since 2004. Applicants generally follow these rankings (both world rankings by university and subject rankings by the university) when choosing institutions. A degree from a top 200 QS-ranked university adds value to your profile, opens up networking opportunities, and even makes you eligible for zoekjaar.
Financial Times rankings are also followed for business degrees. Many a time one may find few universities in FT 100 rankings but missing from QS 100 rankings or vice-versa. This is because some universities take part in QS surveys while some respond to FT surveys. Remember rankings are not absolute truth, they are just perceptions.
Post-study work options
North America has been the prime destination for higher studies worldwide. Universities in the USA and Canada offer some of the finest education in the world. Add to it the job opportunities, work visas, and stress-free way of life being just a few things that attract international students.
The USA has the highest number of establishments among the top 200 in QS rankings. Graduate programs under Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) allow students to work in the USA. Optional Practical Training (OPT) for 1 year is available to these students after graduation, which can be extended to a further 24 months. Thus a total of 36 months of work opportunity. Also, a candidate, with a Masters’s from a US university, is eligible for the 20,000 master’s quota in the H1B lottery system. H1B is valid for three years and can be further extended by another three years. Thus a total of six years.
Canadian universities such as the University of Toronto, University of British Colombia rank among the top 50 in the world. The Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) allows a student to stay and work in Canada after studies. For a 2-year study program, the PGWP is valid for 3 years. After getting sufficient work experience a person can apply for permanent residency via the express entry program. With a large landmass, abundant resources but a dwindling working population, Canada – offering excellent work-life balance – has amongst the most favourable immigration laws worldwide.
Among Indians, Europe has been the oldest destination for higher learning. Moreover, if someone plans to study further with respect to the maritime industry. Apart from housing well-known universities, the continent offers attractive job opportunities and an admirable standard of living.
Ox-bridge, London School of Business, Imperial College, to name a few, are centres of pre-eminence, offering immense brand value, exciting research opportunities, eminent faculties, and a diaspora of accomplished alumni.
Apart from the Doctorate Extension Scheme and Start-up route, the latest system introduced is – the Graduate route. Students with Masters, graduating after summer 2021, are allowed to stay and work in the UK for up to 2 years. Those with PhD. are allowed to stay and work in the UK for up to 3 years. After completion of the aforementioned period, students are to leave the UK.
But if they wish to stay and work, they need to apply for another category of visa – Tier 2 General work permit. Along with 5 years of full-time employment, a stable income, good moral conduct, and no criminal record, one can apply for ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain Visa’ (ILR visa), in layman’s term – permanent residency.
Birthplace to some of the oldest universities in the civilized world, Deutschland is the home to legendary institutions such as Technical University Munich, Ludwig Maximilian University, Heidelberg University, RWTH Achen. Since technical and scientific education is their forte, hence there aren’t many well-known German B-schools apart from FSFM, Mannheim, ESMT, and Otto-Beisheim.
Being the largest European economy, Germany is a hotbed of opportunities. Graduate students are eligible for an 18 months work visa known as a Temporary Residence Permit. They need to apply for this before they graduate. Suppose they have graduated and have returned home, then they need to apply for a Jobseeker visa if they wish to come back and work in Germany. After securing a job, the person may apply for a German Residence Permit or the EU Blue Card.
German Residence Permit allows a foreign national to stay in Germany and work for a period of 2 years, provided he or she maintains employment status. This can be further extended as desired. With a German Residence Permit, length of stay in Germany for at least 2 years, B1 level in the German language, and full-filling a few other criteria a person can apply for Permanent Residency.
EU Blue Card allows non-EU foreign nationals to work in Germany and 25 other EU nations. People with a STEM background are more likely to get an EU Blue Card. A few other criteria need to be fulfilled. If a person plans to settle permanently in any of the EU nations, then the EU Blue Card process is the most appropriate. An EU Blue Cardholder can also get a permanent residency in Germany, provided he or she satisfies the conditions laid out for those having German Residence Permit. The exception being – German Residence Permit holders require 2 years of employment while EU Blue Card holders require 33 months of employment.
Amidst institutions such as Rotterdam School of Management, Utrecht University, VU Amsterdam to boast off, the Dutch value knowledge and talent highly.
Zoekjaar or Orientation year visa is the common route opted to search for work after graduation. Any candidate who has completed a Masters or Post Graduate program of 12 months in the Netherlands or has graduated from any of the top 200 universities according to QS or THE or ARWU rankings is eligible for this. Zoekjaar is valid for 12 months where one can search for work anywhere in the Netherlands. After finding suitable employment, the person (through the company) needs to apply for GVVA (or Single Permit) or Highly Skilled migrant permit.
An EU Blue Cardholder can also work in the Netherlands. Satisfying certain conditions, following which a person can apply for permanent residency after a 5 year period of stay.
From Insead, the world’s topmost institution for finance, to Ecole Polytechnique, among the world’s esteemed establishments for science and technology. Along with HEC Paris, PSL Research, Ecole Grandes, etc France has a multitude of higher learning academies – par excellence.
The visa de long sejour etudes (VLT-TS) allows a graduate master’s student 24 months of non-renewable temporary residency authorization (APS). If the person wishes to stay and continue working in France beyond the duration of VLT-TS, he or she needs to apply for a residence permit at their local prefecture two months prior to the expiry.
Carte de sejour is a renewable residence permit that is valid for three years. Carte de resident is a renewable residence permit that is valid for ten years. The EU Blue Card route is another way.
Home to Maersk, J.Lauritzen, Torm, ‘Denmark and shipping’ provide the apt example of a perpetual relationship. Needless to say, organizations such as Copenhagen Business School, TU Denmark, Aarhus University have a strong alliance with the maritime industry.
Once you graduate, you have a six-month job search visa, which is extendable by another six months. After securing a job, one can either apply for Establishment Card – this allows you to stay in Denmark for 2 years extendable by 1 year, work full time, and enjoy government benefits; or apply for a work visa based on the fast track scheme.
PR is available if stay in Denmark is up to a period of 3 years and 6 months during a four-year period and upon satisfying certain conditions.
The land of developing countries, quirky economies, and mammoth markets. Utilizing her large labour force, she has pioneered the concept of cost-effective manufacturing. Not only fuel-efficient cars and durable electronics but also massive shipyards and coherent service-repair sectors. Asia represents – opportunities, scope, and career growth.
With an area, less than 300 sq km, and a population, of approx 6 million, this island city-state is the financial, shipping, and commodity trading hub of Asia. Having a plethora of world-class academies – NUS, NTU, Singapore campuses of Insead, and MIT Sloan – no doubt this nation has been a favorite among Indians seeking quality foreign education but closer to home.
If a student secures a job before graduation, then he or she can apply for either Employment Pass or S-Pass. These passes are renewable and depend on the salary offered by the firm. If a student is unable to secure a job before graduation, then he or she can apply for Long Term Visit Pass (LTVP). This is a non-renewable 1-year job-seeking visa. With a work pass and six months of residence, one can apply for permanent residency.
Another benefit for studying in Singapore – the govt offers tuition grants to candidates if they work for a Singaporean firm after graduation. The candidate is contractually obliged to work for a minimum of 3 years with the firm. The eligibility of this scheme, though, varies from time to time.
A continent most unique in nature. What safari is to Africa, tourism is to Oceania. Australia and New Zealand promote sustainable living, where there is a perfect balance between work and personal life.
Monash, UNSW, Melbourne Business School, University of Sydney are renowned centers for higher learning. Following the update to 485 PSW (Post-study work), one can stay and work in Oz for up to 4 years depending on the regional areas. Since 485 PSW does not carry the Occupational list, a candidate’s field of specialization is not a determining factor in the issuance of a visa. There are also multiple routes to permanent residency on offer. Each route with its own conditional requirements. Oz also has the famous Global Talent track program for promoting skilled immigration.
The first thing that comes to mind when we talk about NZ is Tauranga’s Waimarino Adventure Park or the scenic tour to Cape Kidnappers from Port of Napier. The University of Auckland, University of Otago, and AUT offer quality education at an affordable price. One can apply for Post Study work visa upon graduation and work for 2-3 years depending on certain laid-out criteria. If your field of specialization falls under the Skill Shortage List then you can opt for a Long Term Skill Shortage work visa. Upon completion of 2 or more years of stay in NZ on a work visa, one can apply for permanent residency.
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