Australian Universities Ban Student Recruitment from Certain Indian States Amidst Fake Visa Concerns
Canberra: Two Australian universities, Federation University and Western Sydney University, have banned the recruitment of students from certain Indian states due to concerns over fraudulent visa applications.
The states affected include Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
This decision comes as a response to a noticeable increase in visa application refusals from these regions by the Department of Home Affairs. The universities had initially hoped this would be a temporary issue, but it has become evident that a concerning trend is emerging.
In addition to Federation University and Western Sydney University, several other Australian universities, such as Victoria University, Edith Cowan University, Torrens University, and Southern Cross University, have also implemented bans or restrictions on students from select Indian states due to a surge in fraudulent applications seeking employment rather than education in the country.
Despite these challenges, Australia is expected to surpass its previous record of enrolling 75,000 Indian students in 2019, enrolling an even greater number in the near future.
The Department of Home Affairs has labelled one in four Indian visa applications as “fraudulent” or “non-genuine,” representing the highest rejection rate since 2012. This highlights the severity of the issue and the need for universities to take proactive measures to protect the integrity of their student admissions processes.
It is important to note that these measures do not reflect a broader restriction on Indian students studying in Australia. Recruitment from other Indian regions will continue as usual, and the universities are working on additional measures, such as stricter admissions conditions, changes to application screening, and increased commencement fees, to address the issue of non-genuine students enrolling from high-risk regions.
Despite the challenges posed by fraudulent applications, the Australian government remains committed to fostering educational exchange between Australia and India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently spoke of the importance of Australian and Indian students living and studying in each other’s countries, highlighting the mutual benefits of such experiences.
Overall, while the bans on student recruitment from specific Indian states are a response to fraudulent visa applications, they do not undermine the broader relationship between Australia and India in terms of educational exchange and cooperation.