India’s High Commissioner to Australia, Mr Manpreet Vohra, says that Australia risks “eroding” its reputation as a welcoming place for international students.
“That is not good for the students, of course, directly affected; that is perhaps also not good for the overall image of Australia as a great place for Indian students.”
In a recent interview given to The Guardian Australia, He added that if Australia does not offer any hope soon to these enrolled students regarding the exact timeframe of when they can return to the country to study.
Vohra urged the Australian government to create a COVIDSafe return to on-campus studies so Indian international students had something “to look forward to.”
“But if they go on without any determination about when they are likely to end, then it leads to a lot of frustration, it leads to a lot of uncertainty, it leads to anxiety.”
He hinted that with such an attitude on the part of the Australian government, Indian students would end up turning to other countries to continue their higher studies.
“They signed up for education here in your universities, they continue to pay a substantial amount of tuition fees. They are getting online education, of course, but that really is not what they signed up for.”
About 17,008 students from Indian international student visa holders are currently outside Australia.
The Australian education minister, Alan Tudge, has said that the government was working with universities, states and territories on plans “to return international students when conditions allow.”
Mihir Sheth is CEO at Echoes Global Education specialising in the International education market.
He told The Australia Today, “Indian students have lost interest in Australian education due to restriction on entry in the country.”
“Our weekly student counselling rate has plunged 80% from what it was in January 2020.”
We had hundreds of students who were studying offshore for the last one and a half years but a large number among them is opting to go to Canada or UK for face to face education, Mr Sheth added.
He said, please understand the gravity of the situation, even international students who are here in Australia have opted for Canadian/UK Universities midway through their degrees because of the unfriendly attitude of Australian Authorities.
The reason International students stuck in India or in Australia with online studies are opting for Canada and UK is because their Universities are offering ‘Recognition of prior learning’ done at Australian education institutes.
Mr Sheth says Things can go from bad to worse if the Australian government doesn’t think pragmatically to save the education industry.