Melbourne: Victorian Premier, Ted Baillieu, expressed concern over the sharp drop in enrolment of Indian students in Australia.
“We are certainly concerned because the industry is significant for the Victorian economy and we have been concerned on variety of fronts. Some time ago there was issue of violence against International students and we sought to have greater security around international students,” Ted Baillieu said.
“We were concerned when Commonwealth intervened and changed visa arrangements. And those changes did aggravate the problem and obviously Australian dollar also impacted,” the Premier told an Indian media channel.
The state’s International education industry relies on high enrolments figures from India, which have dropped considerably. The main reasons for this drop could be the student violence issues, high Australian dollar value and stricter visa rules.
The Premier said he is keen to rebuild strong educational ties with India by assuring safer environment for them.
In 2008-09, 65,503 Indian passport holders were granted Australian student visas across all education sectors. But in 2009-10, the number fell to just 29,721. Overall, 50,540 fewer international students were granted visas to study in Australia in 2009-10 compared with 2008-09.
“We have more than 200,000 Indian background people in Victoria and it makes sense to grow this relationship,” the Premier said adding that the educational ties were vital component of the two sides ties.