Melbourne, May 24: Two more Australian universities have banned the recruitment of students from some Indian states in response to fresh concerns over a surge in fraudulent visa applications, a media report said.
The Federation University in Victoria and Western Sydney University in New South Wales wrote to education agents last week instructing them to no longer recruit students from Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, as well as the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
The development comes 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”.
Also, the two nations signed the migration and mobility partnership arrangement today to promote exchange of students, graduates, researchers and business people.
“The university has observed a significant increase in the proportion of visa applications being refused from some Indian regions by the Department of Home Affairs,” the Federation University’s letter to agents said.
“We hoped this would prove to be a short-term issue (but) it is now clear there is a trend emerging,” the letter, published in The Herald, read.
Last month, Australian universities, including Victoria University, Edith Cowan University, Torrens University, and Southern Cross University had placed a ban or restriction on students from some Indian states in response to a surge in fraudulent applications seeking to work, and not study, in the country.
“A large number of Indian students who commenced study in 2022 intakes have not remained enrolled, resulting in a significantly high attrition rate,” the Western Sydney University told agents in a message sent on May 8.
The university identified Punjab, Gujarat and Haryana as regions presenting 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 said, adding that recruitment from all other regions in India will continue as usual.