According to various media reports, around five Australian universities have imposed bans or limitations on students from certain Indian states due to a surge in fraudulent applications from South Asia.
While Australia is on track to receive its largest-ever annual intake of Indian students, concerns have been raised about the integrity of the immigration system and the impact on the country’s lucrative international education market. Australia is set to receive its largest annual influx of Indian students, surpassing the previous high of 75,000 in 2019.
Global education firm Navitas’ Jon Chew stated that the volume of students arriving has exceeded expectations, with a surge in non-genuine students. To preempt the downgrade of their “risk rating” by universities not meeting Australian visa requirements, universities are imposing restrictions.
He stated, “The volume of students arriving has come back a lot stronger than anyone was expecting. We knew there would be a lot of pent-up demand, but there has also been a surge in non-genuine students.”
Several Australian universities have been accused of a crackdown on Indian students’ applications, according to an investigation by The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald newspapers.
The investigation has obtained emails from Victoria University, Edith Cowan University, the University of Wollongong, Torrens University, and agents working for Southern Cross University, which reportedly reveal the alleged discrimination against Indian students.
The emails suggest that the universities are taking measures to limit the number of Indian students admitted, including delaying or rejecting their applications. The investigation further claims that these discriminatory practices are motivated by concerns over Indian students’ academic ability, which the universities have denied.
Indian students comprise one of the largest groups of international students in Australia, contributing significantly to the country’s economy. The allegations of discriminatory practices by Australian universities have raised concerns about the impact on Australia’s reputation as a welcoming and inclusive destination for international students.
Victoria University, Edith Cowan University, the University of Wollongong, Torrens University, and Southern Cross University agents have all been reported as implementing a crackdown on applications from Indian students. These universities have restricted access to certain Indian states out of fear that Home Affairs may limit their ability to fast-track student visas due to the high number of applicants seeking to work rather than study in Australia.
Several Australian universities have imposed restrictions on student applications from certain Indian states. Edith Cowan University in Perth placed a complete ban on applicants from Punjab and Haryana, while Victoria University limited applications from eight Indian states, including Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Gujarat.
The restrictions came just after Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese visited India to celebrate education links between the two countries and announced a new agreement that allows mutual recognition of qualifications between Australia and India.
The University of Wollongong has increased the scrutiny of its “genuine temporary entrant” test for students from India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Lebanon, Mongolia, Nigeria, and other countries deemed to be at risk by the Department of Home Affairs. This move follows concerns about visa fraud and students not returning to their home countries after completing their studies.
Meanwhile, Adelaide’s Torrens University is also taking a closer look at applications from certain areas. The university is reportedly considering only “very strong” applications from Gujarat, Haryana, and Punjab, according to a spokeswoman. The move comes amid increased scrutiny of student visa applications and concerns about the quality of some applications from certain countries.
The universities’ actions have raised concerns about discrimination against certain nationalities and the impact on international student enrolments. However, the universities maintain that they are simply taking steps to ensure the integrity of their admissions process and compliance with visa requirements.