Melbourne, Jan 7: The number of Indians applying for visas to study in Australia has dropped by 46 per cent in 2009, immigration department here said on Thursday, Jan 7.
Speaking to reporters, Department's spokesman Sandy Logan said that racism and violence issue against foreign students were not mainly to be blamed for the slide in visa applications.
"It was also due to stricter and tougher scrutiny of applications and the immigration department has been rejecting a higher number of applications from India," he said.
"It is correct to say that there has been a decline in the number of student visa applications coming from India," he said.
The total number of student visa applications around the world also dropped by over 20 percent.
In Aug 2009, the government announced strengthened checking for high-risk segments of the student visa programme.
Logan further said, "We are aware that there has been an effect across the board as a result of the global financial crisis."