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Number of Indian students studying in Australia at a seven-year high

A group of Indian students at UNSW, Sydney. Source: Supplied

The number of Indian students studying in Australia has ascended to a seven-year high, according to data from Australian High Commission in New Delhi.

More Indians students are opting for admissions to Australian institutions. Australian universities such as New South Wales, Deakin, Canberra and Queensland had a very good 2017, as far as the increase in Indian students is concerned.

"The intake is still on; however, there is a growth of approximately 30 percent over same time last year," says Mr John Molony, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International), Deakin University adding that there is an increase in applications of approximately 20 percent from India.

According to November 2017 figures, close to 70,000 students were studying in Australian universities and colleges which is 14.65 percent higher than the previous year.

Freya Campbell, Head of Corporate Communications (External Relations), believes these are these are early years, but the trend is encouraging. "Enrolments in 2018 are still an on-going process, but the trajectory is looking positive," she says.

The number of Indian students going abroad is increasing over the years. IDP Education, a private education consultancy working in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the US saw a 39 percent increase in course enrolments by IDP's Indian customers across these five countries. But Australia is emerging as a preferred destination for Indian students as the US and the UK appear to be tightening their visa rules and making it difficult to stay on after the studies are over.

Australia, on the other hand, seems more welcoming than others. "Recent research conducted by IDP Education showed that Australia's graduate employment outcomes are drawcards for students from India. Australia is also perceived as having welcoming visa policies and attractive, practical course content - which we know are important drivers of choice for international students," says James Cauchy, Regional Director Australasia, IDP Education.

The US has seen a decline in the number of Indian students while most of the Australian universities have received more applications than previous years. At Bond University, Indian students increased by 20 percent in 2017. James Cook University's spokesperson told Indian newspaper Economic Times that it's witnessing a 10-12% increase in Indian students.

"One of the principal reasons is increased awareness of the high-quality education some Australian universities offer, especially those that are internationally ranked and have a strong reputation regarding both, teaching and research," says Freya Campbell.

India is the second largest source of International students after China. And Australian governments are leaving no stone unturned to capture this vast market. Increasing number of students was one of the leading focal points of Victoria's recently released India strategy. Premier Daniel Andrews wants to increase the number of Indian postgraduate students by a quarter by 2027.

Western Australian universities are working in collaboration with many Indian universities. Indian students are responding by increased interest and the growing anti-immigrant rhetoric in the US and the UK is paving the way for Australia.

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