Australia continues to react strongly to protect the interests of Indian students

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New Delhi, July 30 (ANI): Australia is continuing to take swift and comprehensive action to address the challenges faced by international students in our cities.

An Australian High Commission release here said that the Australian Government is putting strong measures in place in the event of college closures.

Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard said on Wednesday: "We have a comprehensive safety net for international students. If they are enrolled at a college that closes, then we have a guarantee that we will find them a comparable place at another provider, or if that is not possible, then their fees will be refunded."

The Government held a meeting in Sydney for all students affected by the closure of Sterling College.

The high commission release said Australia is also cracking down on scams and fraudulent activity in the education sector.

"We take allegations of fraud in the student visa and permanent residence caseloads very seriously. A major operation is underway in relation to alleged fraudulent references. Under Australia's criminal and migration legislation there are serious penalties for the offence of forgery and false papers."

"We are continuing to reach out to students through hotlines, consultative mechanisms and direct contact, ensuring their voices are heard."

On June 12, Gillard announced a hotline for students to raise concerns, anonymously if they wish, and on July 27, she called for nominations for the International Student Roundtable which will take place on September 14 and 15. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss issues affecting their experience in Australia and to put forward ideas on how to address their concerns.

Australia's police forces have already reduced the incidence of attacks of students. Their important work continues, including enhanced outreach activities with international students.

Australia's High Commissioner to India John McCarthy said on Wednesday: "There is no doubt that further challenges remain, but I am convinced that we are on the right path. These are complex problems and will require complex solutions, but there is no doubt that the very top level of the Australian Government is focused on protecting the interests of international students."

"The Australian Government has comprehensive measures to deal with any closures of education institutions that offer services to international students. I urge all Indian students who have been affected by the closure of Sterling College to follow the advice of the Australian Government's officials," he added. (ANI)

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