The latest Australian data indicates that while many Chinese students have been willing to study remotely, Indian student numbers have continuously dropped.
Chinese students have continued to enrol at Victorian universities in 2021 with student numbers declining by only 5.74% in the 12 months to March 2021.
On the other hand, Indian students numbers fell 33%, while commencements fell 56% between March 2020 and March 2021.
A key reason for the decline in Indian student numbers can be the value put on student visa rather than studies itself.
Indian students prefer onshore education as it is traditionally considered a good pathway to live, work and get a permanent residency of Australia.
“[Indian students] are actively looking at countries where borders are open, so we are right now losing huge amounts of students to the UK and Canada. That’s pure and simply because borders are open, and they want to get out and they want face-to-face learning.”
With reference to this issue, Indian Students’ Association of Victoria general secretary Amo Chakravarthy adds:
“There is a big difference between studying online and having a few years here to set themselves up before they enter the workforce, as opposed to having absolutely no idea what the country is like but then be expected to get a job.”
As per the Age, Victoria’s Andrews government has submitted a draft student arrivals plan to the Morrison government but it had not yet been approved at the federal level.
Meanwhile, as of July 5, international students who meet the requirements for fully vaccinated travellers to Canada and have a valid study permit to attend an approved DLI, have been exempted from quarantine requirements.