The post-Covid pent up demand for overseas education still seems to hold good for Australia. The number of Indian students visiting Australia for higher education have exceeded the pre-Covid levels in the current year.

“The Department of Home Affairs (Australia) granted 382,000 student visas between July 2022 and February 2023. This is a 41.3 percent increase compared to the same period of 2019-2020,” said Monica Kennedy, Senior Trade & Investment Commissioner, Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), Australian Government.

She was addressing a press conference on Wednesday to announce ‘Study Australia Roadshow’ to be held in the city on September 12. 

She said the number of Indian students outstanding in Australia has risen to 95,791 in the January-April period of 2023 as against 75,109 students in the same period of 2022. ‘In January-May 2023 alone, Australia welcomed 47,759 Indian students.” 

Kennedy said the spike in student inflows is due to the growing aspiration of Indian students looking for international degrees, students and migrant friendly policies of Australia, world-class universities, and post study work opportunities.. 

She added the Australian government in July released a list of courses focussed on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and health, areas where Australia has a skill gap. She said students opting for these courses are allowed to stay two additional years for post-study work. Under the program, an undergraduate can stay up to 4 years (including two years post study), 5 years for Masters and 6 years for doctoral program. 

Kennedy said the government is also taking a number of other measures including review of Australia’s migration Act and changes on post-study work policies. 

India-Australia ties

Kennedy said the signing of a mechanism for the Mutual Recognition of Qualifications between Australia and India in March and approval for an Australian University to set up foreign campus in India are a testimony to strong India-Australia relationship. 

Earlier this year, the Indian government allowed Australia’s Deakin University and University of Wollongong to set up campuses in GIFT City, Gujarat. “It’s a really big deal. It’s a recognition that Australia and India have respect for each other’s systems and want to improve mobility of students across borders,” she added.