Faced with demographic as well as economic changes, Germany and Japan have liberalised immigration controls for skilled migrants, set targets for foreign student enrolments in university, and introduced visa categories to enable foreign graduates to enter their labour markets. Yet a relatively modest share of foreign graduates actually receives jobs appropriate to their skill-level and remain in these labour markets. In this article, we focus on organisational recruitment and employment practices, especially those related to skill formation and the structuring of careers, as factors affecting the remain rates of foreign graduates. Our analysis shows that while obtaining the same educational credentials as native students, foreign graduates are disadvantaged because the employment systems of the host countries operate according to the logic of national labour markets, entailing institutionally and culturally specific skill expectations as well as formation processes. Consequently, foreign graduates either fail to enter the market, or are placed in lower or niche categories in a differentiated labour market.
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