02 August 2009

Indian Students Studying In NSW -- Numbers Dropping

New South Wales can ill afford to be potentially losing some AUD 300 million in revenue from Indian students who choose to study in NSW's institutes of learning and education. However, this is the prospect facing the current Rees government in view of their total inability to reassure potential students coming from the sub-continent about their safety should they choose to come and study here in NSW.

Sad really.

Australia, as most countries in the world, have elements that are not welcoming of those different from themselves. And, in this regard NSW has its share of this element as well. The recent violent conflicts that have given rise to this potential loss are racial conflicts between Indian students and some Australian youths of Lebanese ancestry.

The local media portrayed the conflicts as seething tensions between Indian students and Lebanese youths. This is always the way, when the Australian multicultural community does things that are considered to promote the Australian way of life or they make a contribution that makes all Australians proud, then they are Australians. However, in contrast when they do something which causes shame or embarrassment, then the media and a great majority of the rest of us resort to referring to them based on their ancestral homes. This is irrespective of whether these youths are 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th generation Australians.

Sad really.

However, it is worth noting that racism in Australia is not only Anglo-Australians against the rest. Racism is not limited to one group or another. If it exists, then it is fair to say that it exists across the board. Growing up I always remember visiting my grandmother in Punchbowl, and even as a kid I could notice the changing demographic as one group moved out as another moved in, and this cycle repeated itself. My Nan, I think, she just like living their, and besides she had always lived there, so there it was.

Back to the main point. The bad publicity like the Harris Park stand-off and the subsequent overload of bad press in India has meant that Indians have developed the idea that Australia, and NSW in particular are racist places. This is not true. However, once a perception takes hold it is always difficult to undo. This growing negative view has resulted in new student enquiries about studying in NSW dropping some 50% in next to no time at all.

Generally, there are anywhere up to 20,000 Indian students studying in NSW alone at any one time. On average international students contribute about AUD 29,000 to the Australian economy. The basic math here would suggest that Indian students alone are making quite a significant contribution to the NSW economy.

The response of sending the Minister of Education out to reassure potential students that it is OK is probably a little on the short side. Maybe NSW needs to invest a little to protect the market and be a lot more pro-active in promoting the fact that these incidents, like the Harris Park one, are isolated. The NSW Government needs to recruit prominent members of the Indian community to be part of the campaign to highlight that NSW is not a racist place and in fact it is a welcoming place, and a great place to study and gain an excellent education.


anong said...

About the fall in enquiries, this might also be due to higher AUD/lower USD and increasing marketing in Asia by American institutions, better opportunities at home etc

anong said...

Further Im not sure Indian students studying in NSW do contribute anywhere near this figure - given that they (might) tend to study vocational courses. It has long been stated (known?) that some students can make more than they spend in any year in Oz; and in fact repartriate some of it.

Anonymous said...

Being a white Australian, I must say this article is written in poor taste. We are to be blamed totally for contributing to the crisis in our educational sector with ill-conceived policies. The double standards of our people here and the author of this article is appalling. We think it is to OK to lure naive students from third world countries with Permanent Residency as Carrot. We want the monies of poor people to support our educational institutes and in return impart education in low tech areas - hair dressing, community services, and cookery. While we very well know that these courses are not worth their money. Why should we expect overseas students to support our educational Institutes? Why our local students cannot fill the required numbers. If not for permanent residency who would want to spend $20000 to $60000 in education.

GJ said...

It's starting to sound like to old joke "What is the the capital of NSW"

A: About a buck fifty!!!!!

Governments of the one colour in power too long, can really take the eye off the ball. NSW is the perfect example. The past decade has seen massive declines in the state in what should have been the ideal time to sow seeds for the future. Bob Carr has a lot to answer for!!!!!!


Anonymous said...

Queensland Gj?

GJ said...

Yep that government too is about to implode!!! mainly from arrogance. Lucky the mining industry has kept it a float recently.

Still in better shape than NSW at this point.


Rob Baiton said...

Anong 1...


Anong 2...

Maybe not. It is an average figure and it seems that you are not the only one who takes issue with the vocational courses angle.

Yes, I have heard this too. I guess statistics can be used to make any point you want to.


I generally prefer my anonymous commenters to adopt a pen name. This is so that I can distinguish one from the other.

My article is poor taste or the news that it was sourced from. The article per se is not about the crisis in the educational sector or "our" institutes of learning.

Double standards? I am not sure that I said it was OK to lure naive students to do over-priced hair dressing courses. Not all students come here to do vocational courses. And, even if they do, why shouldn't they if this is what they want to do.

I am not sure that the arguments can be simplified to "If not for permanent residency who would want to spend $20000 to $60000 in education." However, you are entitled to your opinion and I am happy for you to voice it here.

For some, perhaps many, the education is worth it when they feel or believe that they will reap a return on their investment when they return home or when they take advantage of permanent residency and use their newly acquired skills here in Australia.

It is interesting that you identify as a "white Australian" and not just as an Australian. Does being white give you some added gravitas with respect to your comments on naive third-world lowly educated types that are being duped by your fellow white Australians?


Where are you from again?

Ah, that explains it :D

GJ said...


Born in Kampung Sydney.


Rob Baiton said...


As I said, that explains it :D

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