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Australian universities ban Indian students from 6 states

Few Australian universities have temporarily banned applications from certain states of India over fraud Visa document issues. The Federation University and Western Sydney University have instructed education agents to stop recruiting students from Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Jammu and Kashmir.

The instructions were made on Friday, May 26. Federation University had also written in a letter to education agents on May 19 stating that there has been a significant increase in visa applications from some Indian regions being rejected by the Department of Home Affairs over non-genuine intentions. 

The move comes as the visa rejection rate for Indian applications to Australian universities reached a 10-year high, with nearly 25% categorised as non-genuine or fraudulent. The ban is effective immediately and is supposed to remain for at least two months. 

Not the only universities

  • According to reports by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, Victoria University, Edith Cowan University, the University of Wollongong, Torrens University, and Southern Cross University had restricted applications from certain Indian regions earlier this year. 
  • In February, Edith Cowan University banned applications from Punjab and Haryana. 
  • In March, Victoria University stepped up restrictions on applications from eight Indian states, including Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat.
  • The University of Wollongong added conditions on its "genuine temporary entrant" test for students from India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Lebanon, Mongolia, Nigeria, and "other countries". 

The reason

  • Universities and the Australian government believe people from certain Indian regions are using education as a backdoor towards immigration. 
  • The visa applications of students from certain Indian regions are being rejected by the Australian immigration department even after being accepted into a university because the applicants aren't able to prove they are genuinely coming to the country for studies.
  • Many of the applicants have been observed to have dropped out of universities to pursue work. 

How will it impact students?

  • It is likely that the new measures will impact even genuine applicants from the said Indian regions as well as other parts of India. However, applications to high-ranking universities in Australia are unlikely to be affected given that it is already difficult to get admitted into the said universities.
  • Restrictions on international students or more scrutiny of their applications will also impact Australian universities that are dependent on foreign student fees, which are generally higher than domestic ones. 
  • On the other hand, Australia is making various changes to its immigration system, which has both pros and cons for study-abroad aspirants and those looking to work in the country. 

Australia is looking into easing the visa process for skilled workers by doing away with the points test. They are also considering "automatic" temporary graduate visas for those who complete their studies in the country. Both of these decisions can be beneficial for those planning to work and/or study in Australia.


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