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Australian universities refute claims of banning Indian students

Several Australian universities have refuted recent media reports claiming they have implemented bans or restrictions on students from certain Indian states.

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Several Australian universities have refuted recent media reports claiming they have implemented bans or restrictions on students from certain Indian states.

In a statement sent via email to Indian Link, a spokesperson from the University of Wollongong stated, “Contrary to reports in the Australian media, the University of Wollongong (UOW) has not placed any bans or restrictions on applications from Indian students, nor on students from any specific Indian states or regions.” Similarly, Victoria University denied any such ban and instead said that it was imposing additional requirements for applicants from particular states in India. A spokesperson for Southern Cross University also stated that all applicants, regardless of origin, must meet the university’s entry requirements.

However, Edith Cowan University did admit to temporarily pausing undergraduate student recruitment from Punjab and Haryana. In a statement, the university said, “In January 2023, ECU temporarily paused undergraduate student recruitment from Punjab and Haryana to review its admissions processes and settings for the region. This prudent step by ECU is allowing us to undertake a review and refinement of our undergraduate admissions settings for 2024 to ensure we maintain the highest standards.”

The media reports had suggested that several Australian universities had imposed bans or restrictions on students from certain Indian states due to a surge of applications from South Asia and a corresponding increase in fraudulent applications, according to the Home Affairs Department.

However, the University of Wollongong clarified that it had streamlined its application process for all international students, including Indian students, which would speed up turnaround times on their applications. The university also stated that it worked hard to ensure its admissions process was fair, just, and accessible to all students while monitoring trends in enrolment fraud and regularly reviewing procedures.

Indian students make up one of the largest international cohorts in Australian universities. From July to December 2022, India had 43,925 visa applications, while China had 38,700. Nepal (18,405), Colombia (13,321), and The Philippines (11,879) complete the top five nations.

After the United States, Australia is the second most favoured destination for international education among Indian students. According to a report by the Indian External Affairs Ministry for 2022, there are currently 100,009 Indian students studying at various Australian universities. This number has tripled since 2017, when 28,584 students from India were enrolled in Australian universities.

In 2023, the University of Wollongong has the largest international student group from India, with over 2,500 Indian students enrolled in Australia who are mainly pursuing degrees in business, engineering, and information sciences.

Additionally, several Australian universities are opening campuses or collaborating with Indian universities for joint courses. For example, the University of Wollongong is set to become one of the first Australian universities with a teaching base in India after signing a Letter of Intent with Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) in July 2022.

Read More: Indian student applications ‘restricted’ at Australian universities

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