AUSTRALIA-BASED International Development Program (IDP) Philippines said it expects the number of Filipinos going abroad to study to increase by 10 to 13 percent in the next five years.
IDP Philippines Country Director Jose Miguel Habana said there is currently a “stronger and continued interest” among Filipinos to study abroad, and he expects it to grow an average of 10-13 percent annually over the next five years amid recovery from the pandemic.
According to the education placement service provider, there are currently at least 49,000 Filipinos studying overseas.
The number of Filipino students studying abroad increased by more than 50 percent when compared to the previous United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization tally of 22,709 students before the pandemic, it noted.
Habana said the main motivation for Filipinos in studying abroad are the career opportunities after completing their course.
According to the report, Australia and Canada are the top two countries preferred by Filipino international students due to the high quality of education and the employment chances after graduation in these countries.
It said that Canada is the top country to study for seven out of 10 Filipino students, or 70 percent of the total applicants. This is followed by Australia which is preferred by 66 percent of applicants, while New Zealand ties with the United States and are each preferred by 45 percent of applicants, it said.
IDP’s research listed the top six country destinations with Filipino migrant students.
These are Australia with 15,916 Filipino students, followed by Canada with 15,545, United States, 5,284, United Kingdom, 2,640, Japan, 2,221, and New Zealand, 1,334.
These nations have also developed schemes to entice international students and meet the demand for trained labor, Habana noted.
“Because there was no migration [in these countries] during the pandemic, they had a big scarcity of skilled workers in the healthcare sector, engineering, and IT, among others, and it’s a massive need,” he said.
More Filipino workers needed
Aside from pursuing higher studies, more Filipinos are leaving the Philippines because of a “big demand” in the workforce in other countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK, and Ireland.
Habana said Canada, Australia, and the UK offer to lure skilled workers through their work-study programs.
“This allows them to experience working in that environment even while attending school, which makes it much easier for them to transition once they graduate,” he said.