New Delhi, Jan 12: Australia seems to be back in the reckoning for Indian students pursuing higher education, with the state of Victoria alone registering a 20 per cent increase in student enrolment in 2014 compared to the previous year.
The outbound student traffic to Australia, which dipped in 2009 after the closure of bogus colleges and racial attacks, has seen a steady increase since then with the enrolment touching over 50,000 in September 2014.
"In September, 2014 over 50,000 Indian students enrolled across Australia, out of which half of them (25,000) are enrolled in Victoria," said Director of the Victorian Government Business Office in Bangalore Annie Santhana. [Website for Indian, Australian students launched]
Referring to forecasts conducted by international agencies looking at global student mobility, she said the number of students from India to Australia is projected to increase considerably every year, with some of them predicting 25-30 per cent year-on-year growth.
Currently the maximum number of students from India have been mainly from metros.
However, we are seeing a change in that trend with students from tier 2 and tier 3 cities such as Chandigarh, Rajkot, Coimbatore, Nagpur, Madurai, and Trichy, etc are applying for higher education courses in Australia," she said.
Mainstream courses such as business, engineering and IT as well as the sciences remain the sought after programmes, but there has been a significant rise in several emerging vocational study courses too. [India popular among Australian students under New Colombo Plan]
"Many students are coming for hairdressing courses, hospitality and commercial cookery courses. Vocational training courses have become extremely popular. Considering what India is trying to do now, it is extremely encouraging," she told PTI.
Post 2009 scenario, Santhana said, the government has strengthened the police force and "we have worked on clearing the misinformation that the students have gotten from the education agencies".
She said the government has been extremely stringent with the education agency and has made sure that students are provided vital information by giving complete visibility on social media and websites.
"Some of our key measures include engaging students to be a part of various activities. We have also given open access to services like the 24x7 study in Melbourne student care center that helps international students with financial aid, domestic issues, medical information, education support, etc.," she said. [More English test options for applicants for Australian visas]
La Trobe and Deakin universities are popular amongst Indian students. However, students, who are aware of global ranking scenarios, are choosing high-ranking universities like the University of Melbourne and Monash University which have a very high standing in the world, she said.