Number of Indian students to Australia may fall by 50%: IDP

"In our India offices we're expecting our 2010 February intake to be down by about 50 per cent," IDP Education chief executive Tony Pollock said, according to an ABC report.
IDP which works with 400 institutions across Australia and takes in 35,000 students released a survey today conducted on over 6,000 students from eight countries including 1,100 students from India.
Pollock felt that the fall in numbers might be entirely due to safety and security issues, global slowdown could also play a part in it.
"We have the GFC [global financial crisis], which has obviously impacted upon families in India and that's evident by the fact that the applications for other countries are way down, particularly the United States."
The survey was to find out what foreign students thought about Australia in comparison to other English speaking destination, he said.
"The somewhat surprising result and indeed promising result is that they believe Australia to be the safest destination of all the English speaking destinations - and by quite a margin.
While, Sydney and Melbourne have been voted as the "most unfriendly and unsafe" places to live in by over 6,000 overseas students, according to the survey.

The cities which recently witnessed a spate of racial attacks on Indians were dubbed by overseas students as unsafe and inhospitable, the AAP report said.
The Sydney and Melbourne were ranked the "most dangerous" and "unfriendly" places to live in, ahead of Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide, it said.
"I must say I'm a little surprise that that's (racial attacks) still holding so strongly in India, given all the publicity that we've had over the last three or four months about safety and security in Australia," Pollock said.
The recent changes leading to tougher visa process is also likely to impact on future recruitment numbers.
"It is making visa process longer and more cumbersome for students, so we suspect that that's going to have some negative impact over the next few months," he said.
The survey also revealed that students ranked the United States and Britain far above Australia in terms of educational prestige.

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