September 6, 2016
One of the nightmares of Indian students abroad, especially in Australia, was the series of racist attacks they were subjected to. However, stricter laws and increased awareness among students have considerably brought down such incidents, according to overseas education consultants, here in Coimbatore city.
Statistics say that in 2009 alone, around 150 cases of assaults on Indian nationals were registered in Australia. Of these, more than 20 were racist in nature. The attacks increased considerably in 2010, provoking strong protests from the Indian community in Australia.
But, according to a member of the International Development Program (IDP), that sends Indian students to Australia for higher education, the Australian Government had implemented stringent laws to curb such instances.
“There is the National Code of Practices established under the Education Services for Overseas Students Act (2000), which gives the students the option to change the institution if they are subjected racist attacks on the campus,” the official said.
He further added that the educational institution against which the complaint is made, must also make sure that the student finds an alternative university, adding that the student is refunded the tuition fee for the remaining course.
“These laws give enough protection for the Indian students. In fact, Australia is a much safer place for Indian students now. We did have issues in 2009 and 2010, but things have changed considerably now,” the official told the Covai Post, adding that more than 20,000 students from India go to Australia each year for higher education.
While this was the case regarding the safety, those who chose to study abroad claimed that the standard of education in Australia was much better and attracted Indian students.
“The system gives importance to practical education rather than theory. Education streams including Business, IT, and Engineering, draw more students ,” said VS Manikandan, an Engineering student from Coimbatore.
However, M. Deepak, another engineering student, revealed that despite providing quality education, the fee was higher in Australia, compared to other countries.
“For instance, we can do our entire Master’s degree in Germany for Rs.20 lakhs, but we may have to pay the same money for just one semester in Australia,” he said.
The IDP had organized an Australian Education Fair in Coimbatore on Tuesday. Around 200 students visited the fair, where more than 21 universities from Australia, including the Universities of Adelaide, Melbourne, New South Wales and South Australia, counselled the students.