Melbourne college closure to affect Indian students the most

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Melbourne, Sep.28 (ANI): Students from India, hoping to acquire a higher education degree in Australia, are likely to be the most affected by a Victorian Government move to close down St.George Enterprises, a Melbourne college.

St. George Enterprises was stripped of its accreditation and surrendered its licence to teach international students because of "quality standards issues", said Lynn Glover, director of the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) on Monday.

The closure on Wednesday will affect its 129 international students.

Skills and Workforce Participation Minister Jacinta Allan says the VRQA will work with the students to place them in courses with other providers under the Tuition Assurance Scheme.

Allan is in India with Victorian Premier John Brumby trying to repair Melbourne's reputation as a safe place to study after a spate of attacks on Indian students.

Nearly two weeks ago, Brumby faced a lot of flak for not doing enough to prevent racially motivated attacks on the Indian community in his state.

A trip to India this week to promote Melbourne as a safe city has turned into a monumental challenge for Brumby after another racist attack attracted fresh headlines and anti-Australian fury across India.

Before leaving on the trip to India, Brumby signalled that police may get more resources to fight racially motivated violence in response to the latest incident in Epping earlier this month.

Two Indian men and another two of Indian origin say they were racially taunted and told to """go back to your country""" before being kicked and punched by attackers who were part of a large birthday celebration at Legends Entertainment Centre.

The Indian Government has increased pressure on Australia over the """recurring attacks""" on its citizens. It called on authorities to """take all necessary steps towards the safety and security of Indians""".

Indian consular officials in Melbourne were also ordered to investigate.

The moves came amid a furious outcry in India, where cable TV news channels said they were flooded with angry callers, and blog sites ran hot with anti-Australian commentary. Noted author and television personality Farukh Dhondy said Indians must retaliate.

Victoria Police have denied any attempt at a cover-up.

Acting Senior Sergeant Glenn Parker said: """Unfortunately, within the community, these types of incidents happen regularly and this is really treated no differently, so there"s been no deliberate attempt to suppress it."""

One of the victims, Sukhdip Singh, 26, had been in Australia just one month. A relative said he had suffered head and facial injuries and wanted to return to India immediately.

His uncle, Mukhtiar Singh, 45, also a victim, said Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard"s recent assurance to India"s Foreign Minister that Australia was safe for Indian students rang hollow. (ANI)

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