Melbourne, July 5: After two years of tumbling fortunes, the tide seems to be turning in favour of Australian universities, as more and more Indian students are opting to study Down Under.
The Australian Immigration Department has recorded a 21 percent rise in student visa applications from India in the first six months this year.
Over 3,700 Indian students have applied for Australian visa in 2011, The Age reported.
Education providers down under experienced troubled times after Indian students dumped Australia following a spate of assaults on South Asian students in Melbourne and Sydney.
Aggressive coverage by Indian media pushed even bilateral relations, besides student enrolments, into a downward spiral.
Matters turned worse for Australian universities and vocational colleges, as plummeting numbers coincided with the Australian government making immigration laws more stringent.
With Australia once again relaxing the visa regulations from April 1 this year and a significant drop in assaults on international students, more and more Indian students are anticipated to opt for Australia.
‘The number of student visa applications is rebounding, that category is up significantly,’ the newspaper quoted Peter Speldewinde, assistant secretary in the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, as saying.
‘People are generally positive about Australia,’ said Speldewinde, adding: ‘The student issue has come up from time to time, but no one’s really pushed it very hard.’
The Australian government is reportedly advertising in Indian media to attract Indian professionals to settle in Australia.
India is the third-largest provider of permanent skilled migrants to Australia. Over 15,000 Indians decided to make Australia their home last fiscal. Only China and Britain provide more skilled migrants to the Australian economy.
(Paritosh Parasher can be contacted at email@example.com)