More Australian universities ban students from India, IIOJK

Melbourne, May 25 (KMS): Two more Australian universities have banned the recruitment of students from some Indian states and Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir after fresh concerns over a surge in fraudulent visa applications, a media report said.

Australian daily The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the Federation University in Victoria and Western Sydney University in New South Wales have written to the education agents instructing them not to recruit students from the Indian state of Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, as well as IIOJK.

The development comes even as the visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke of more “Australian and Indian students living and studying in each other’s countries, and bringing those experiences home”. Also, the two countries signed the migration and mobility partnership arrangement to promote exchange of students, graduates, researchers and business people.

“The university has observed a significant increase in the proportion of visa applications being refused from some Indian regions by the Department of Home Affairs,” the Federation University’s letter to agents said. “We hoped this would prove to be a short-term issue (but) it is now clear there is a trend emerging,” the letter, published in The Herald, read.

Earlier this month, Australian universities, including Victoria University, Edith Cowan University, Torrens University, and Southern Cross University had imposed a ban or restriction on students from some Indian states following a surge in fraudulent applications seeking to work, and not study, in the country.

The Western Sydney University told agents in a message sent on May 8 that a large number of Indian students who commenced study in 2022 intakes have not remained enrolled, resulting in a significantly high attrition rate. The university identified Punjab, Gujarat and Haryana as regions presenting the highest attrition risk. “Due to the urgency of this matter, the university has decided to pause recruitment from these regions in India, effective immediately,” the university message said.

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