Attack on Indian in Australia comes at a time when more students seek it as foreign education destination – The Hindu

Dr. Monica Kennedy (centre), Senior Trade & Investment Commissioner, Australian Trade and Investment Commission, Australian Government Mr. Amit Malhotra (right), Regional Director, and Mr. Abizer Merchant (left). File | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement
A recent stabbing attack on an Indian student in Sydney comes at a time when new student arrivals in Australia are expected to make Indians its largest group of foreign students.
Australia has witnessed a decline in intake from China, its biggest source of foreign students until recently, due to deteriorating ties between the two countries.
As of July 2022, 96,000 Indian students were studying in Australia forming the second largest group of foreign students.
“But the number of commencing students from India is growing very quickly, and we expect this to be the largest group from anywhere in the world,” says Monica Kennedy, Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner, Austrade in an interview to The Hindu.
Though the number of new student arrivals from India between July 2022 and June 2023, the Australian financial year, is marginally less than the 45,000 seen in 2019, their size relative to new arrivals from China has shown a growth.
Shubham Garg, 28, suffered multiple stab wounds to his face, chest and abdomen in an attack on October 6 on Pacific Highway that connects Sydney with Brisbane. The assailant had demanded cash from the victim and threatened him. Police have arrested 27-year-old Daniel Norwood and charged him with attempted murder. The Ministry of External Affairs said that the High Commission in Canberra was in touch with the local authorities over the incident.
China is the top source for international students, and Indians the second biggest for key destinations for higher education globally such as the U.S., the U.K. and Australia. But India’s share is only half of China’s or less.
Between January 2021 and December 2021, Australia saw a total of 5,70,626 foreign students. Though across nationalities there was a decline in the number of students as compared to 2020 post COVID-19, China contributed 1.70 lakh or 30% of all foreign students in Australia and India contributed 97,000 or 17%, according to data compiled by the Australian government’s Department of Education.
In the U.S. too, 3,17,299 Chinese students comprised 34.6% of total foreign students in academic year 2020-2021, while Indians were the second largest group at 1.67 lakh or 18.3%, according to the Open Door report funded by the U.S. government.
Chinese students were 32% of the total overseas students in the U.K. at 1,43,820 in 2021. India was the second non-EU country to send the most students to the U.K. at 84,555 or nearly 9.2% of the total foreign students in the U.K., according to the website Study in the U.K.
However, not just Australia but the U.S. is also seeing a dampening of enthusiasm from Chinese students. A new report last month by the Centre for China and Globalisation, a leading Chinese non-governmental think tank based in Beijing, said that the number of Chinese students in both U.S. and Australia has decreased due to the worsening China-US relations as well as trade and geopolitical disputes between China and Australia and that more Chinese students may switch to countries in Europe and Asia because of friendlier study environments and visa policies.
According to the report, the number of Chinese students in the U.S. in the 2020-2021 academic year saw the first decline in 10 years, falling 14.6% from 2019-2020. The number of Chinese students in Australia decreased for two years, with a drop of 11.9% in 2021 and 9.9% in 2020.
India has also overtaken China as the largest nationality being issued sponsored study visas in the U.K. with nearly 1,18,000 Indian students receiving a student visa in the year ending June 2022 – an 89% increase from the previous year. Only 1.15 lakh Chinese students were issued sponsored study visa in 2022, which is a 4% decline as compared to 2019.
“Of late Chinese students have not been leaving home [to study abroad], so the number of Indians is going up. This is also supported by rising aspirations as well as paying capacity of Indian students. At Deakin University our focus has always been on India followed by China and then the rest of the world. While most other universities in Australia have so far focused on Chinese students, that will now change,” says Ravneet Pawha, Vice-President (Global Alliances) & CEO (South Asia), Deakin University and National Vice-Chair, Australia India Business Council.

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Printable version | Oct 15, 2022 11:45:45 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/attack-on-indian-in-australia-comes-at-a-time-when-more-students-seek-it-as-foreign-education-destination/article66011260.ece
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