28 January 2022 7:24

Indian students interest in Australian universities ‘worsened,’ says report

India that makes up 21 per cent of international student entries into Australia has emerged as a potentially important source of students in the future.

The Australian Strategy for Higher Education 2021–30 has recommended diversification of international student intake.

Many academics have also been calling for a diversification of migration away from China towards other countries.

India that makes up 21 per cent of international student entries into Australia has emerged as a potentially important source of students in the future.

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However, Lowy Institutes’ recent study of Indian sentiment towards education showcases a decline in Australia.

The institute conducted a study that used AI-powered strategic market research techniques to measure public sentiment towards societal trends. They used a large English language data pool of all open-access Internet sources from India.

The aim was to find out what the Indians think about education in Australia and other key competitor countries to whom take up education services – the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.

According to the survey,  “Indian interest in Australia as an education destination has worsened significantly since November 2020.”

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Image source: Emotional response by Indian English speakers to education in Australia in August 2021 – Lowy Institute.

The Indian students sentiment shifted significantly towards dominant and strong negative, including emotions of strong dislike and anger and a reduction in expectation towards Australia as a destination for education.

“This signals that demand for Australia has undeniably waned, presenting a clear and present risk to the recovery of the Indian international student market in the coming year.”

The survey attribute this downturn in sentiment to:

  1. the ban on Indian Australian arrivals in late April 2021;
  2. a deep concern about Australians declining educational performance generally;
  3. concern about Australian education system including educational inequality between public and private, regional, remote and urban and policy and funding issues; and
  4. concern about wage theft that students believe has worsened since Covid-19.
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As per the survey and reasons given for decline, it clearly shows that Indian international students are aware consumers of information about Australia.

It is a well-known fact that Indian students choose to study in Australia as they are highly interested in the nation as a migration destination

So, these findings should be of concern to government officials, policy-makers, and senior management of universities who wish to retain the source of highly diversified and skilled migrants flow to Australia.

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