According to a media report, two additional Australian universities have banned the recruitment of students from certain Indian states in response to new concerns over a surge in fraudulent visa applications.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Federation University in Victoria and Western Sydney University in New South Wales instructed education agents last week not to recruit students from Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh, as well as Jammu and Kashmir.
Even as visiting Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke of more “Australian and Indian students living and studying in each other’s countries, and bringing those experiences home”, this development has occurred.
Additionally, the two countries signed the migration and mobility partnership agreement today to facilitate the exchange of students, graduates, researchers, and business professionals.
The Federation University’s letter to agents stated, “The university has observed a significant increase in the proportion of visa applications from certain Indian regions that have been denied by the Department of Home Affairs.”
The letter published in The Herald stated, “We had hoped that this would be a temporary problem, but it is now evident that a trend is emerging.”
Australian universities, including Victoria University, Edith Cowan University, Torrens University, and Southern Cross University, imposed a ban or restriction on students from certain Indian states last month in response to an increase in fraudulent applications seeking employment, rather than study, in the country.
In a message sent to agents on May 8, the Western Sydney University stated, “A large number of Indian students who began their studies in 2022 intakes have dropped out, resulting in a significantly high attrition rate.”
Punjab, Gujarat, and Haryana were designated by the university as the regions with the highest attrition risk.
“Due to the urgency of this matter, the university has decided to pause recruitment from these regions in India, effective immediately,” the university message stated, adding that recruitment from all other regions in India will continue as usual.
The Western Sydney University stated that the prohibition would last at least two months, between May and June of 2023.
In addition, it was stated that additional steps would be taken “to address the issue of non-genuine students enrolling at the university from these regions, including changes to application screening, stricter admissions requirements, and increases in commencement fees.”
According to the report, the Department of Home Affairs now deems one in four applications from India to be “fraudulent” or “inauthentic.”
Australia is expected to enrol a record number of Indian pupils in 2019, surpassing the previous record of 75,000.
The Department of Home Affairs informed a federal parliamentary inquiry last week that the rejection rate for Indian visa applications has reached its greatest level since 2012, at 24.3%.