International graduates: Navigating the home and host labour markets

This research digest focuses on how international graduates navigate the labour market both in their host country and at home. It explores the key factors that facilitate or inhibit their participation in the workforce across these different contexts, proposes key recommendations for practice and charts a way forward to support international graduate employability.

The discussion is underpinned by a framework for international graduate employability and home/host market navigation (Figure 1, p.5). This framework is based on an adaptation of Clarke’s (2018) model, with the addition of the push and pull factors influencing international graduates’ decision to remain in the host country or return home. Clarke’s model outlines four main components of graduate employability:

  • human capital
  • social capital
  • individual behaviours, and
  • individual attributes.

It also takes into account how graduate employability is subject to the supply and demand of the labour market. The adapted framework extends these components and identifies the political, socio-economic and policy factors that govern the broader context in which international graduates decide to stay on or return and how they negotiate the labour market.


Ly Thi Tran & Huyen T. N. Bui, Deakin University

Published: December 2019