Canberra, Nov. 30 (ANI): Despite a string of racial attacks on Indian students, Australia's education sector grew by 22.6 percent this year, generating earnings of 9.5 billion dollars from international students against last year's 1.3 billion dollars.
According to figures for international trade from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, only coal, iron and gold performed better nationally than education, which generated a record 16.6 billion dollars for Australia in the past financial year.
Vocational training earned 4.3 billion dollars from international students.
The figures show that the turmoil of violent attacks on Indian students, and a volatile Australian dollar, had yet to dampen demand for higher education, vocational training, schools and English-language courses, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
However, the president of the International Education Association of Australia, Stephen Connolly, warned that demand from India was likely to fall next year.
He added that the federal government targeting of shonky vocational education operators and further tightening of student visa practices would affect the number of students from the subcontinent.
The Australian Government has tried to limit damage to the sector since stories began to emerge in May of bashings, car torchings and even a stabbing by screwdriver carried out by allegedly "racist Australians" against Indian students.
The country's education sector also gained disrepute from private colleges providing dubious diplomas and visa abuses in the sector.
Consequently, the Government initiated the Baird review of the Education Services for Overseas Students Act and an international student strategy taskforce by the Council of Australian Governments to protect the industry and placate disquiet from India. (ANI)