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06 July 2011
More and more Indians are studying in Australia. This represents a significant resurgence in demand for student places after two years of declining student immigration levels. Declining student numbers over the past few years caused serious problems for Australian universities many of whom are very dependent on overseas student fee income.
During the first six months of 2011, the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), recorded a 21 percent rise in student visa applications from India.
"The number of student visa applications is rebounding, that category is up significantly," Peter Speldewinde, assistant secretary in the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, told Australian newspaper The Age.
"People are generally positive about Australia," Speldwinde added. "The student issue has come up from time to time, but no one's really pushed it very hard."
Speldwinde was referring to the causes of the previous decline in student immigration from India. Tougher immigration rules put off a number of Indian students. Student safety concerns were also an issue; A few years ago there were a number of reports of assaults on foreign students. Since then media reports seem to suggest that the number of assaults on overseas student has dropped significantly.
Australian immigration hopes that more Indian students and skilled migrants under an Australian immigration scheme will choose to make Australia their home. The Australian government has been actively promoting immigration to Australia for Indian professionals.
Along with China and the UK, India provides a large percentage of the skilled migrants to Australia.