International student numbers reach record highs in Canada, the UK and the US; New EU proposals could improve status of millions of gig economy workers

International student numbers reach record highs in Canada, the UK and the US; New EU proposals could improve status of millions of gig economy workers

Today’s global news summary brings news from Canada, Europe and China, and discusses issues as diverse as attracting foreign students, gig work, and plummeting birth-rates.

Canada, UK and the US: Number of international students reach record highs
Migration and ethnicity | Education and human capital

According to new research by the Mitchell Institute at Victoria University, a record number of international students are choosing to attend universities in Canada, the UK and the US, despite the pandemic. The Conversation also reports that countries such as Australia and New Zealand are still seeing a big drop in new international students. The findings from the report showed that “the first waves of the pandemic caused a large fall in new international students. But countries that have opened to international students have rebounded strongly.” Whilst the number of new students from China is still low compared to what they were pre-Covid-19, India and Nigeria are seeing new record levels of students choosing to study abroad. The study reveals the renewed emphasis and importance of attracting international students.

In his article Arnaud Chevalier highlights that international student mobility can be good for migrating students, their home country, the host country, and those remaining at home. “International student migration can foster economic growth in both home and host countries,” he writes in his article.

Related content
IZA World of Labor articles
How to attract foreign students
University study abroad and graduates’ employability

Key topics
Education and labor policy

Does studying abroad enhance employment opportunities?

What are the benefits of attracting foreign students

IZA Discussion Papers
The Impact of Brexit on International Students' Return Intentions
The Relative Labour Market Performance of Former International Students: Evidence from the Canadian National Graduates Survey
Study Abroad Programmes and Students' Academic Performance: Evidence from Erasmus Applications
Do Study Abroad Programs Enhance the Employability of Graduates?

New EU proposals could improve status of millions of gig economy workers
Labor markets and institutions

A new draft legislation from the EU for gig economy companies, such as Uber and Deliveroo, could ensure that their workers receive minimum wage, sick pay and holidays, amongst other employment rights. The initiative is also part of a plan to curb fake self-employment. “Publishing long-awaited draft legislation […], the European Commission said the burden of proof on employment status would shift to companies, rather than the individuals that work for them. Until now, gig economy workers have had to go to court to prove they are employees, or risk being denied basic rights,” The Guardian reports.
Paul Oyer has recognized that the gig economy serves as an alternative safety net for some workers in times of economic downturn. However, in his article he also notes: “policymakers should carefully construct laws and regulations that allow firms and workers to engage in employment relations that maximize efficiency.”

Related content
IZA World of Labor articles
The gig economy

IZA Discussion Papers
Paying Gig Workers – Evidence from a Field Experiment

China: Birthrates are plummeting to a record low
Demography, family, and gender

The Guardian has reported thatan editorial in a Chinese state-run news website has suggested Communist party members are obliged to have three children for the good of the country, as Beijing seeks to address plummeting birth-rates.” The editorial was first published last month but as a result of the wave of reaction, the original article has been removed from the website. The piece stated that every member of the ruling party “should shoulder the responsibility and obligation of” China’s population growth as well as consider the country’s three-child policy.”

IZA World of Labor author Wei Huang has looked into how the one child policy in China has impacted social and economic outcomes. Read his full article here.

Related content
IZA World of Labor articles
How does the one child policy impact social and economic outcomes?
Can government policies reverse undesirable declines in fertility?
Measuring the cost of children