London, Mar. 14 (ANI): The Federation of Indian Students of Australia has disputed the findings of a new research saying that Indian students prefer Australian Universities to Oxford and Cambridge, despite a spate of racial attacks against them in recent past.
"Are they considering coming to Australia or are they actually coming?. There's a big distinction - the numbers have definitely decreased," The Daily Telegraph quoted Federation of Indian Students of Australia adviser Ajay Unni, as saying.
Unni also slammed Australia's response to the violent assaults and said it had affected the country's reputation all over the world.
He said more support needed to be given to international students and that security concerns had to be addressed.
"The way that Australia has dealt with this issue has been appalling. They've created more doubt in the minds of people," he said.
According to a survey by global research agency TNS, three in four Indians prefer Australian universities to prestigious institutions such as Oxford, Cambridge and New York University.
"There are so many factors that enter into the consideration set, including reputation, cost, safety and proximity (and) Australia continues to have the right mix for India," Cheryl Reed, TNS social research director, said.
"Safety issues or racism were mentioned as a concern, but recent events have not tarnished the overall perception of Australia," she added.
The Australian National University emerged as the top choice for Indian students, followed by the University of Sydney and the University of Melbourne.
Six Australian universities were ranked in the top 10. (ANI)