UK attracts NUS and NTU graduates to S’pore with new visa scheme

Uk Attracts Nus And Ntu Graduates To S’pore With New Visa Scheme

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed below belong exclusively to the author.

Competition for talent in the post-pandemic world now transcends borders and extends to governments seeking to attract the best minds, wherever they may be.

This is particularly important for Singapore as the country has a limited domestic workforce, a rapidly aging society with fewer children than ever before, and yet it is a business hub for thousands of companies that boast the best talent in the world. world.

This is why any draining of local minds from two world-class domestic universities – the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) – would be very costly for the nation as a whole.

And with the new “high potential individual” visa scheme launched by the British government, it could have become a little more difficult to defend against.

Under the very liberal program that was launched last month, the UK will grant bachelors and masters holders a two-year visa and doctoral graduates a three-year visa to move and work in the country.

The only condition is that applicants have graduated from one of the lists of around 30-40 global universities since 2016 published on the British government website (and must be fluent in English, of course).

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Image credit: NUS/NTU

For Singapore graduates, the offer is open to all NUS alumni who graduated from November 1, 2016 and NTU students who graduated after November 1, 2019.

To make the business even more pleasant, they will be able to move with their families (spouses or unmarried partners and children) as long as they are able to guarantee a minimum amount of maintenance cost for the first month (depending on the number of people) and a health surcharge for each year of residence.

It is not necessary to have a job offer before applying. The whole process seems to be very simple and there are no limits or quotas for the number of applicants. London is welcoming all the bright minds that can contribute to its economy.

A welcome challenge to Singapore

The list consists of universities from the US, China, Japan, Australia and a few other countries – but it is arguably the most painful thorn for tiny Singapore, particularly as it already faces a manpower shortage, which is not small. matter to a city-state dependent on foreign investment (who will invest if there are no people they can employ?).

It seems we shouldn’t celebrate any attempts by other countries to steal the best and brightest from local shores, but competition tends to force people to reevaluate their antiquated views.

Just three years ago, the Ministry of Education (MOE) came under attack after revealing its spending of S$238 million (out of an educational budget of S$13 billion) on foreign students through scholarships, among others.

Populists were quick to seize the opportunity to criticize the authorities for subsidizing foreigners when, at the very least, the argument should be that they should spend much more.

No country can thrive in isolation, but it’s 10 times worse for a small city-state that prides itself on being a global nexus of business and commerce.

Singapore Cbd Workers
Image credit: joyfull / Depositphotos

One might expect the British challenge of an open-door policy for anyone with a qualifying degree to come to work in Britain instead of Singapore (or USA, Switzerland, China, Japan etc.) in Singapore, which has already led to an unsustainable squeeze on foreign hiring.

Fortunately, Singapore is not a totalitarian state. No one is going to confiscate passports and stop young graduates from migrating to Britain, so the best answer would be… to offer something similar.

Open the doors, participate in international competitions and see who ends up attracting the most good people. After all, Singapore has many advantages – it’s safe, offers low taxation, no corruption or bureaucracy, it’s clean, green, with great food and a very diverse culture. It’s a travel hub in a beautiful part of the world that offers dozens of exotic destinations in your spare time.

Will the number of Singaporeans willing to leave the green paradise for rainy Britain be greater than the migration in the opposite direction? Why not accept the challenge and see?

If someone wants to steal talent from here, let’s take some back and see who benefits the most in the end. As Singapore’s success has been built on outperforming everyone else, I’m sure she will win in this competition too.

Featured Image Credit: Depositphotos

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