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Students robbed around Melbourne University

Police blame vicious Melbourne street brawl on Sudanese Apex gang Source: AAP

Several arrests have been made, but Victoria Police say they are unable to confirm reports as some of those accused are linked to an Apex gang involved in a post-Moomba rampage.

By day, the droves of students arrive at the University of Melbourne seemingly without any concerns.

But of late, heading home after dark has presented a worrisome challenge for some.

One student recounts the recent experience of a friend - "One of my friends has also been robbed around the uni. He was walking down the street, and somebody just come here and get the cell phone out of his hand."

It is part of a spate of crimes, predominantly phone theft, that have been committed around the university precinct.

Several arrests have been made, but Victoria Police say they are unable to confirm reports as some of those accused are linked to an Apex gang involved in a post-Moomba rampage.

The Council of International Students' Dorothy Ching says Chinese students have been targeted - "Branded stuff, like an iPad or an iPhone, obviously would give a perception to the others that they are really wealthy to study here."

The university says staff and student safety is paramount and a number of actions have been taken.

University authorities say that includes increased security patrols and providing a dedicated security-escort service for students.

Some students, like Clair Duan, have taken matters into their own hands, arranging a so-called "Go Home Team" through social media - "We organise a group, a chat group, so people -- students -- who live in the same district, they can go home together. That will be safer."

Victoria Police have confirmed they recently met with the Chinese consulate.

The police say they reconfirmed their ongoing commitment to the protection of Chinese nationals in and around Melbourne's central business district.

The state government recently doubled police funding for the taskforce tackling gang-related crime.

And Victorian premier Daniel Andrews says uniformed patrols have been increased in and around the university precinct - "Every family in China, or in any other part of the world, who's thinking about sending their son or daughter to The World's Most Livable City, they can be confident that we're a safe city, a safe state."

Arshiya, who recently completed her degree from the University of Melbourne, gives the same advice to other students as she got when she first arrived from New Delhi a few years ago – stay away from places that are notorious and always travel in group!