Indian students' enrolment likely to decline by 80 pct in Oz

Stuents

Indian students' enrolment in the Australian universities is likely to decline by 80 per cent in the 2011, a leading Australian academic has warned, against the backdrop of a slew of attacks on the youths from the community.

Melbourne University Vice-Chancellor Glyn Davis has said that the higher education across the country, including Victoria where it is the state's biggest export earner, was all set to be dented post attacks on Indian students.

"According to our best sources... the fall in applications from India into Australian tertiary education... are predicting at around 80 per cent, some institutions are reporting up to 90," Davis was quoted as saying by the APP.

"We did have a system where everything was growing. It's no longer true, so we are going to have to go back and look again," he said.

Over 100 incidents of attacks on Indians, including racial, have come to light since May last year in Australia. 21-year-old student Nitin Garg, who was stabbed to death here, was the first victim of such assaults this year.

According to media report, the Monash University was planning to cut staff numbers by over 300 next year as of drastically reduced education international student revenues, said National Tertiary Education Union.

Melbourne University spokesperson said that with a more diverse mix of foreign students, it was "better prepared" to weather the storm.

Davis said Australia was the only country in the world where international student numbers were dropping.

"Every other country is seeing an increase in international students," he said.

"We are the only country in the world that is having this sharp fall, which tells you that whatever the factors are that are driving it, they're about what we do in Australia."

If the international student market continues to soften, universities will need to increase pressure of the federal government for more investment, Davis said.

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