Canberra, Jan 18 (ANI): Australia is likely to suffer a setback in its attempt to retain its international students as countries like US, Britain and Canada are reportedly becoming more competitive by absorbing more students from abroad, particularly India.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Canada is all set to invest on Indian students abandoning Australia, by relaxing requirements for its community colleges.
Australian has reportedly predicted a drop in international enrolments this year and is reviewing student visa rules to retain its 18 billion dollar international-student industry competitive.
According to the John Curtin Institute of Public Policy's Executive Director, John Phillimore, the implementation of the visa rules would harm the business of the sector.
"Australia, having built up this industry, risks losing a big chunk of it because of unnecessarily cumbersome, complex and expensive provisions in its visa requirements," the paper quoted him, as saying.
A study of Phillimore has revealed that Australia has charged at least 200 pounds more for student visas than Britain, the US, Canada or New Zealand.
Moreover, the rise in the value of the Australian currency has made it cheaper for international students to study in countries like US and Britain than in Australia.
"Overall the indicators point to a serious decline, perhaps of the order of 30,000 students less in 2014 compared to 2010. International students are looking to faster processing, better work-experience options and less draconian financial-deposit requirements," the Universities Australia Chief Executive Glenn Withers said.
A series of attacks on Indian students since 2009 escalated into a diplomatic issue between Australia and India after some Indian students and Indian media labelled the attacks as racist.
The attacks prompted protests and calls for better protection of international students by local authorities, with some saying they no longer felt safe in Australia. (ANI)