5 years after attacks on Indians, Oz student visas surge by 38 pc

The number of visas given by Australia to Indian students has increased by a sharp 38 per cent over the last year. A total of 34,130 students were granted visas in 2013-14, up from 24,808 the previous year.

The number of Indians getting permanent migration visa too has increased from10,321 in 2011-12 to 14,743 in 2012-13, the Canberra-based Department of Immigration and Border Protection has reported. Bangalore is estimated to have secured 30 per cent of the total number of student and permanent migration visas granted by Australia.

A spokesperson from the Australian High Commission told Deccan Herald that most students from Bangalore picked five courses — Business, Information Technology (IT), Engineering, Biotechnology and Communications/Media.

“They are very open and usually pick a destination within Australia based on the courses they want to study rather than by destination itself. They spend a lot of time researching before picking a university that offers them the best course based on their future career plans,” the spokesperson said.

Bangalore, like other metros, has a very high density of engineering and technology graduates that makes it a “catchment of students” for Australia.

Thirty per cent of the total number of Indian students who have taken up work in Australia and go on to get a permanent migration visa are also from Bangalore.
The migration visa is issued based on conduct, skills, employment and particular needs of Australian institutions. Bangaloreans work in software, aerospace, insurance, banking, medical sector and a range of service-oriented domains. A large number of students apply initially to the US, the world’s most desired education destination, and then to the UK and Australia.

 In Australia, a good number of applicants live in Melbourne, followed by Sydney, Adelaide and Perth. Violent attacks on Indians in 2009 forced students to skip Australia for higher studies. The Australian government took the incidents seriously and launched a crackdown on the perpetrators.

Things changed for the better over one year, which resulted in a high number of visa applications for 2012-13. The trend continued and Australia issued a record number of visas in 2013-14.

Australia, in a revamped policy, is looking at South India as one whole unit led by Bangalore.

Sean Kelly, Australian Consul General in Chennai, had told Deccan Herald earlier that Australia was keen to collaborate with India in  IT, life sciences, biotech, biomedicine and aerospace, and work with Infosys, Wipro, Biocon and aerospace companies.

When asked why India—South India and Karnataka in particular—had become significant now for Australia, Kelly had told this newspaper: “India is a big market. While we have interest in space, we want to be part of India’s defence sector too. We understand India is the largest defence importing country.

It’s not that Australia will offer a fighter aircraft or a space system, but will definitely offer platforms on which defence arsenal can be built.”

Nearly 43 per cent of Australia’s projects in India are based in South India, and of them, 23 in Karnataka alone. IISc has hosted 11 projects in technology co-operation. South India is strong in science and technology.

The ongoing Mars mission too has an Australian connection in which a station-tracking India’s Mars orbiter is located in Australia. Of the 400 MoUs Australia has with Indian universities, 66 are in Karnataka alone.

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