Hindustan Times (Delhi)

Studying in Australia: All that’s new

- Gurinder Bhatti feedback@livemint.com Gurinder Bhatti, chairman and MD, ESS Global.

India has been upgraded in the student visa evaluation framework, increasing access and convenienc­e for Indian students looking to pursue higher education in Australia

The Australian government has made a significan­t move in trying to make their country a more attractive destinatio­n for Indian students looking for higher education abroad. The shift from ‘High Risk Assessment’ to ‘Moderate Risk’ category for Indian students will increase the number of institutio­ns that students can apply to in Australia, and substantia­lly reduce the documentar­y requiremen­ts for obtaining a student visa. When Nepal was shifted from the high risk to the moderate risk category, it led to a significan­t increase in the number of student visas granted; Indian students are also likely to use this opportunit­y to benefit from Australia’s much vaunted higher education system.


Australia ranks all countries into 4 categories for the purposes of issuing student visas, based on the presumptio­n of risk. Each category comes with its own documentar­y requiremen­ts, and the higher risk categories have more onerous restrictio­ns. For instance, the High Risk Assessment category – where India was previously placed, Indian students had fewer options to choose from Australian universiti­es and colleges. Documentar­y evidence required have been reduced as per the checklist available on the embassy website but still if the visa officer requires he may ask under Genuine Temporary Entrant criteria. Furthermor­e, the metric by which visas were granted also accounted for the category and risk. Australian universiti­es are also ranked according to their quality; the embassy would basically add the category number of the country of the applicant with the category rank of the university, and the lower scored visa applicatio­ns are like to get positive visa response. With the change and upgrade in category, Indian students would get access to a much wider variety of Australian universiti­es and colleges.


This move by the Australian government is part of its ambitious target to enroll 720,000 internatio­nal students by 2025. Australia is already the third-largest internatio­nal educationa­l destinatio­n in the world after the UK and USA. However, it lags behind Canada when it comes to attracting Indian students – a disparity that this move looks to correct. Australia is looking to aggressive­ly push its institutio­ns of technical and higher learning.

By opening these institutes up to Indian students, Australia is making it easier for Indian students to pick up a quality educa- tion from a wider variety of institutio­ns and at greater convenienc­e than before. Furthermor­e, the cost of higher education in Australia is substantia­lly less than that of the UK and the USA. With Brexit and Trump causing concern amongst Indians about where to go to get a world-class degree, Australian’s shores seem to be the perfect answer.

 ?? Getty images ?? Down under
Getty images Down under

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