Western Sydney University follows Deakin, Wollongong in setting up India uni campauses

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WSU vice-chancellor Barney Glover said a key motivation for setting up a campus in India was the desire to strengthen the university’s brand in the country and entice more students to study onshore in Australia.

“That’s really what we hope to achieve: more Indian students literally studying in Australia and at the same time having a very significant presence in India. It also gives us a foundation for our joint research and outreach in India,” Glover said.


He said WSU’s Indian campus, if approved by the country’s regulators, would focus on teaching STEM degrees, employ a mix of local and Australian academics and aim to increase enrollment within the to grow to more than 1,000 students in the first five years.

Deakin University Vice-Chancellor Iain Martin, who will accompany Clare on a tour of the university’s soon-to-be completed campus in Gujarat, said India is now “at least as important to the university sector as the relationship with China”.

“They are undergoing a huge transformation as a nation and how they think about the future of India. As a result, the place of education and skill development has grown tremendously in the minds of the Indian government and people,” he said.

In addition, the Innovative Research Universities group, whose members include WSU, La Trobe and Flinders, has announced plans to use the delegation to communicate their interest in collaborating on ways to deliver education in India.

“What we’re interested in is what it would look like if a group of universities worked together, not to recruit more students to come to Australia, but to actually operate in India and deliver education in India together as a group,” says the director. said director Paul Harris.

But even with this boost, overseas campuses represent a small part of Australia’s wider international education system, which costs more than $40 billion. China currently remains the largest source country for international students in Australia, but demand from Indian students now exceeds demand from Chinese students. More than 102,000 student visas were granted to Indian students in the 2022-2023 financial year, compared to 98,000 visas for Chinese students, with a spike in VET enrollments driving much of the increase.

But this post-pandemic boom is also marred by significant fraud issues. Earlier this year, a number of universities banned applications from certain Indian states due to high attrition rates, while the federal government cracked down on visa loopholes that allowed foreign students to forgo university courses for low-cost private colleges so they could work instead of to study.

Dr. Abul Rizvi, former deputy secretary of the Immigration Ministry, said the increase in the number of foreign students contributed to record levels of net migration, but there were not enough places in the migration program for those seeking permanent employment. residence permit.

“By early 2024, we will have more than a million people in Australia on student visas, temporary graduate visas or former students on COVID visas. By far the largest nationality group is from India,” Rizvi said.

“A large proportion of those students will be disappointed and remain in the dark for a very long time.”

The Grattan Institute raised similar concerns in a report released last month, noting that Australia is now on track to double the number of people on temporary graduate visas to 370,000 by 2030, which the report says will ease population pressure in areas such as housing would increase.

On the issue, Clare said he would not pre-empt reforms to the country’s migration system soon to be announced by Home Secretary Clare O’Neil, but stressed that education in the country is a “great example of how international education can be work in the future and that is educating Indian students in India”.

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