Thiruvananthapuram: A spate of attacks, tough visa
norms and denial of permanent residency have caused around 30,000
Indian students, mostly based in Melbourne, to leave Australia in
the past year, claims the Federation of Indian Students in
The figure is quoted in the latest issue of Indian Student,
published from Melbourne, a copy of which is available with IANS.
The magazine in its editorial says it appears Australia is no more
a favourite destination for Indian students with this huge exodus
in a year's time.
The magazine quoting Gautam Gupta, spokesperson of FISA, said race
attacks is one of the major reasons behind the exodus.
"Other significant factors include that there are no jobs and
students can't survive without that. Denying permanent residency
to many Indians despite fulfilment of conditions has also been a
reason," says Gupta.
There have been a spate of attacks on Indian students in Australia
since last year.
Thiruvallam Bhasi, editor of the magazine who is currently on
vacation in Kerala, told IANS that another factor which has become
a deterrent for the students is a stronger Australia dollar.
"Even though strengthening of the Australian dollar is welcome for
Indians who live there permanently, for students coming from India
it has become very expensive," said Bhasi who launched the
magazine four years ago.
"Two years ago, one Australian dollar fetched Rs.30 and yesterday
it was around Rs.44. The average fee for a two-year study in
Australia currently stands at Aus$36,000 and just look at the
difference in the past two years that the Indian student has to
This new development comes at a time when the latest UN
Development Programme report ranks the quality of life in
Australia as the second best in the world after Norway.
"The latest figures point out that the education industry in
Australia fetches the country close to Aus$18 billion annually and
this industry is either the second or the third biggest earner.
"With the Australian dollar strengthening like never before, the
cost of education today in the US, the UK or Canada is the same as
in Australia and with the denial of permanent residency, the
education industry there could suffer heavily," added Bhasi.
K. Immanual, an engineer by profession and a Kerala native who has
settled down in Adelaide for the past 15 years, said: "The one
visible thing these days is the number of Indians arriving in
south Australia has come down significantly."
Immanual too is on vacation here.
Subhin Cherian who has been in Melbourne for the past four years
has completed an MBA and a course in graphic design and is waiting
to get permanent residency.
Cherian who is holidaying here told IANS that today the three
professions that can help get a permanent residency are engineers,
doctors and accountants.
"It is true many have left and some are getting ready to leave. In
the four years that I have been here, I have spent Rs.2 million by
way of fees and I thank my parents for that. Right now I do
part-time jobs and am eager to land a permanent job," said Cherian.
(Sanu George can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)