Is Australia the most sought after destination among Indian Students?
Being one of the most sought after study destinations for the past few decades, Australia in the recent years had witnessed a sudden decline in the number of Indian students enrolling in its Universities and Colleges. The year 2009 marked the maximum number of assaults on Indian students studying in Melbourne and many such reasons attributed to the sudden decline. Some of the other factors are the economic downturn and the decreasing value of the country’s currency. Even though the declining numbers keep varying year on year, the highest ever was recorded in 2010 and 2011 with a 40% drop in comparison to the declining spiral of 2008 and 2009. As a result, Australia also witnessed a decline in the international students registering in its Universities. The security threat faced by Indian students is still a matter of debate among many.
Why do students choose to go to Australia?
Cost effective living and reputed Universities make students opt for Australia for higher education. China contributes the major number of students followed by India. A degree from the University of Melbourne or Sydney University is well recognized in the international market and considered one of the best ways to start one’s career path.
What went wrong in Australia?
This is definitely not a million dollar question!
Students who pursued higher studies in Australia in the last couple of decades have had some pleasant memories to share about their stay and study experience in Australia. However, a few hundred students today claim it is unsecure to travel in the country and have even spoken at length about their bad experiences. A widely accepted truth is that students from India find it hard to meet the cultural differences that they need to come across in a new land. The reason for the attacks could be numerous but insecurity and unpreparedness tops the list. In most of the cases students are clueless about how to get accustomed to the Australian culture and there is nobody to advise them on such matters.
Is it safe to travel?
The Australian government has taken some serious measures to address such key issues. Firstly, it started educating students on Australian culture and the financial differences that they need to bear in mind. Secondly, in order to ensure the safety of overseas students, the Australian authorities had tightened their security by involving more policemen on patrol and guaranteeing student safety. With the right measures taken at the right time Australia has bounced back today with a 30% increase in the number of Indian students travelling to the country. This significant increase was confirmed at a recent event by Peter Varghese, the Australian High Commissioner for India. Last year’s new visa regulations started allowing students to stay back for 2 to 4 years even after getting their degrees, thereby providing them with the opportunity to work in the country. It is an advantage to the students who pursue their education in Australia since no other study destination allows its students to stay back. Australia still remains a favourite destination for most of the Indian students and industry experts claim it is safe to travel there to study.
Image Credit: Michelle Meiklejohn
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