Many Indians Refused Study Visa

19 Dec 2012


Immigration News

ONE in every two offshore Indians wanting to join their compatriots on an Australian university campus is rebuffed.

Just over 50 per cent of higher education visa applications out of India were successful in 2011-12, according to a new breakdown of official data.

This breakdown appears in the latest briefing note from the Australian Council for Educational Research.

The main theme of that note is the role of Indian students in the downturn affecting Australia's education export industry after 2007-08.

However, offshore grants of higher education visas ex-India grew 71 per cent to 3994 in 2011-12 although the absolute number remains well below the 2007-08 peak.

ACER says there were 7,716 offshore higher education applications from India in the last financial year, "suggesting a renewed demand".

The offer of two years' work rights after graduation with an Australian bachelor's degree is reported to be especially attractive in the Indian market.

Phil Honeywood, executive director of the International Education Association of Australia, said it had taken agents and would-be students in India some time to get to grips with the post-Knight changes to visa regulations.

But there were "positive signs" that Australian higher education was once again becoming attractive in the Indian market.

"However, the VET market is virtually non-existent as Indian students want the option of post-study work rights that only currently come with higher education enrolment," he said.

"As DIAC (the immigration department) have indicated a clear preference in recent years for students originating from southern India specifically, it would be interesting to drill down into this data and see what regions in India are now scoring the highest student visa grant rates."

The effect on the Indian higher education market of the new genuine temporary entrant test, applied since November last year, is not clear. The decline in grant rates, charted by ACER, began well before this test.

(Grant rates for the offshore Chinese market are much higher. In 2010-11, 97 per cent of offshore applications for higher education visas ex-China were successful.)

The ACER note shows a dramatic rise in the number of Indian students opting for higher education in Canada, where the migration incentives are stronger.

Whether or not the return of Indian students to Australia's universities is sustainable will be clearer when the immigration department releases visa statistics for the December quarter this year.

Source: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/indians-keen-to-study-but-many-rebuffed/story-e6frgcjx-1226538226015


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