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Australia beckons Indian youth
The USA has been the dream destination for Indians for decades. But with the falling US dollar, Indians have been exploring other countries to study and settle in the long run, and Australia is one country, which is enticing Indians in recent years.
IF TEN years back, Goan student, Aston Pereira was given the option of migrating between the US and Australia, he says he would have gone the US way. But in the current scenario of the falling dollar, the south Goa resident has preferred Australia over the US to complete his further studies and with further plans to settle Down Under.
 
Pereira comes under an increasing number of Indian students, who are enrolling themselves for studies in Australian universities with an eye to further their career prospects and with long-term goals of settling Down Under.
 
He is studying at the La Trobe University in Australia since February last year to complete his masters in accounts, a two-year degree course. He is not the lone Indian student, who has taken the Australia route; more students are on their way to Australia. And La Trobe University is not the only university in which the Indian students are enrolling themselves.
 
The students have a choice in studying in any of the Australia’s 38 universities, which are regulated by the vice chancellor’s committee. The Indian students are studying Down Under, which is turning out to be a multi-million-dollar business.
 
The Indian students, who are arming themselves with Australian university education in a wide spectrum of courses, though hospitality industry related courses are much in demand among many Goan students, are also completing their masters education or Bachelor degree courses in Australia universities.
 
Those who seek to make a career in the hospitality industry are currently studying at Holmes Institute for Diploma of Hospitality in Melbourne, Gold Coast and Sydney campus.
 
The other course, which Indians have opted for, is automobile engineering at the Kangan Batman Institute of TAFE in Melbourne. At the same university, a few Indians are studying for an advance diploma in business management and hospitality.
 
The Indian students opting for Australian university education are not just confined to boys. Girls too are pursuing their education in Australia. Some 30-40 per cent students of Indian origin studying in Australia are girl students, informs Dave K Furtado. Furtado was earlier teaching at the Padre Conceicao College of Engineering at Verna in south Goa, and now is pursuing his masters degree in his field of specialty – tele communications – at the University of Western Sydney at Parramatta campus.
 
The other courses, which Indian students have opted to study in Australia, are aerospace engineering, bachelor of business, professional accounting, bachelor of nursing, bachelor of hospitality, diploma in air conditioning and refrigeration, and diploma in hair cutting and salon management certificate - informs Ivory Joao, area manager of Margao-based educational consultant company, VIEC. VIEC is an institute, which has been training and guiding students in their further studies, and placing them at the Australian University for the last two years.
 
So far, around thirty students have gone to Australia through this institute and with a success rate of 100 per cent visa.
 
VIEC was established in India by Vivienne Porter twelve years back, and so far, it has placed 20,000 plus Indian students around the globe, and most of them in Australia. VIEC also provides career guidance, counselling and professional services to help Indian students pursue their studies abroad.
 
VIEC brochure states that the services provided by VIEC enable the students to reach Australia to fulfill their career objectives with ease and safety.
 
The director of the company, Porter, brings her vast educational experience and her team in effectively guiding the students.
 
The Goa manager, Ivory Joao, too draws his vast experience as a former teacher in effectively guiding the students throughout Goa. The recent visit to Australia by Joao, gave him first hand information about the universities and colleges and their facilities provided to the students at Australian campus.
 
 Joao says, “VIEC conducts seminars in the Panjim city two times in a year to create awareness about Australian university education. Last year, we had awareness sessions in few higher secondary schools and colleges in the state. This academic year, we plan to hold more such awareness sessions in bid to reach a larger chunk of students throughout the state.”
 
“Plans are in the pipeline that Australian cricketer Brad Hogg, who is a student at Curtin University of Technology, will come down to Goa and address a few of the awareness programmes,” added Joan.
 
The average tuition fee per annum is A$8500 to 11,000 for a diploma course, A$ 12,000 to 19,000 for a bachelor’s degree course and A$ 12,000 to 28,000 for a master’s degree course.
 
The national figures of Indian students migrating to Australia indicate that the number has been increasing since the year 2002-03; while in 2002-03, 5901 students were granted student visa, 9611 opted for further studies in Australia in the subsequent year. In 2004-05, 10,000 students started their studies Down Under and there was a further jump of another 5396 students in 2005-06.
 
More than 26,000 Indian students were granted student visas for Australia last year and currently more than 40,000 Indian students are studying in Australia.
 
And Indians have not just being flocking to Australia for education, there has been a quantum leap of Indians migrating to Australia to work and settle down under the skilled streams.
 
The department of immigration and multicultural affairs of Australia lists which of the migration occupations are on the demand list. A demand list changes over a period of time. The migration occupation in demand list registers those occupations and specialisations, which are identified by the department of employment and workplace relations as being ongoing national shortage.
 
The demand list has professionals, associate professionals and trade persons under its category. Figures indicate that doctors followed by accountants, nurses, hospitality and trade workers have lapped up the opportunity and settled in Australia.
 
Visa consultants say that weather conditions and increasing work opportunities have made Indians make a beeline for the country. Further, students studying in Australian institutions are offered work permits, visas and eventually, permanent residency.
 
Some facts and figures:
 
  • Australia has 38 universities, which are regulated by the vice chancellor’s committee
 
  • More than 40,000 Indian students are studying in Australia
 
  • More than 26,000 Indian students were granted student visas for Australia last year
 
  • Indian students studying in Australia is a multi-million-dollar business
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