This has sent shock waves in the $17 billion international education industry of Australia.
The figures show roughly 46 percent decline in the overseas student visa applications for the period of four months from July to October 31, 2009 as compared with nearly the same period in the year 2008. This decline has been in the students applying for student visa from India.
This fact was revealed as India was still to overcome with the shocking news of the incident of death of an Indian student, Nitin Garg, who was stabbed to death last Saturday as he was returning to his home in Melbourne.
No wonder, all Indian students residing in Australia for studying have been advised by the Indian government to observe certain basic precautions regarding their personal security while going around. Also, there has been an advice from the Foreign Ministry for all Indian citizens in Australia to report any untoward incident to the Indian diplomatic missions in Australia.
Apart from the assurances by a leader of Indian community in Melbourne, who has been in Indian capital New Delhi, kept alive the hopes about the safety of Indians in Melbourne, Julia Gillard, the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, and Rob Hulls, the acting Premier, also reiterated the fact that Victoria is a safe place for all international students. However, both admitted that the travel advisory was an issue of concern for the government of India.
Commenting on the recent stabbing incident of Indian student Nitin Garg in Melbourne, president of the Federation of Indian Associations of Victoria, Vasan Srinivasan, said he looks forward to holding a press conference in India to assure the fact that the brutal murder of Nitin was not a racial attack.
It may be worth mentioning that the racial attacks have left a big disgrace on Australia and have caused a decline in the students seeking visa from India. And, it is, undoubtedly, a big loss for the Australian economy as the nation’s $4 billion education industry annually happens to be the most valuable export for the country after metals.