• littleindia.com

Number of Indian Students Rises in Australian Universities

The number of Indian applicants in Australian universities rose by 32 per cent between July and December 2017.

Nearly 190,000 foreign students applied to study in Australia between July and December 2017, with the number of Indian applicants rising by 32 per cent, according to the latest statistics released by the Australian Department of Home Affairs.

The rise in Chinese applicants was recorded at 13 per cent, making the country the largest source of applicants, followed by India. Nepal became the third-largest source of applicants by overtaking Brazil, growing by 46 per cent to 12,000 prospective students, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The number of foreign students applying to pursue higher education in Australia was up by 14.1 per cent between July and December 2017 as compared to the same period in 2016.

Reports of racist attacks and job squeeze in Australia have failed to deter Indian and Chinese students from seeking opportunities to study in Australian universities in big numbers.

The number of student visa granted increased by 7 per cent, with more than 90 per cent of applicants being granted student visas. As many as 41,000 student visas were granted to Chinese nationals, which is a quarter of all student visas given in that quarter. The number of student visas granted to Indian nationals was 20,000, according to the report.

The statistics revealed by the government, however, also hint that the number of international students moving into skilled work in the country after they graduate has gone down. This is due to the changes made to the temporary 457 visa, which is set to be abolished and changed this month by the government. Only 3,000 graduates moved on to the 457 visa, a decline of 50 per cent compared to the same period in 2016.

“On April 18 2017, the Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull and Peter Dutton, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection jointly announced that the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457 visa) will be abolished and replaced with the completely new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa which will support businesses in addressing genuine skill shortages,” a statement from the Department of Home Affairs announced earlier.

According to the Department of Home Affairs, a 457 visa lets a skilled worker travel to Australia to work in their nominated occupation for their approved sponsor for up to four years.

This new visa is part of the government’s reform package to strengthen the integrity and quality of Australia’s temporary and permanent employer sponsored skilled migration programs. The implementation of these reforms began in April 2017 and it will be completed in March 2018, the statement added.

The number who transitioned to a 189 or 190 skilled visa also went down, and there was a 30 per cent increase in students transitioning to a 485 “temporary graduate” visa. A temporary graduate visa (subclass 485) is for international students who have recently graduated from an Australian educational institution. It is, however, not a guarantee of skilled labor.

Australian universities like New South Wales, Deakin, Canberra and Queensland saw an increase in the number Indian students in 2017, reported SBS.com earlier. “There is a growth of approximately 30 percent over same time last year,” said John Molony, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International), Deakin University.

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