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Most Indians still favour Australia as study destination: Poll

Most Indians think Australia is the best place to get an education despite a string of bad press about attacks on Indian students in 2009 and 2010.

delhi Updated: Apr 18, 2013 01:59 IST
HT Correspondent

Most Indians think Australia is the best place to get an education despite a string of bad press about attacks on Indian students in 2009 and 2010.

A poll by the Australia India Institute and the Lowy Institute reveals some surprising findings on Indian public opinion towards Australia.

Despite bad press over security of Indian students in 2009-10, Australia is well-liked in India. Indians hold relatively warm feelings towards Australia (56 degrees on a scale of 0 to 100), which ranks fourth after the US (62), Singapore (58) and Japan (57) out of 22 countries in the survey.

A 60% majority of Indians surveyed by GfK Mode think it would be better if India’s government and society worked more like Australia’s.

But there are lingering concerns about previous crimes against Indian students: 62% of Indians consider Australia a dangerous place for Indian students, although 53% consider it safer than it was a few years ago, and 49% of Indians consider Australia generally a safe country. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2013/4/18_04_pg17d.jpg

Despite these reservations, Australia ranks second after the US as a good place to be educated, according to 75% of Indians, and rates more highly than Canada, Singapore, Britain and Germany.

"Most of the results are surprisingly positive," said the author of the poll study, Rory Medcalf.

Seventy percent of Indians think selling uranium is important to Australia’s relations with India, while only 5% think it is not important.

Welcoming the poll, the director of the Australia India Institute, Professor Amitabh Mattoo, said: "The Australia-India relationship is an idea whose time has come."

And it seems cricket is mostly good for diplomacy.

Three-quarters of Indians think the game projects a positive image of Australia, a positive image of India, and helps the two countries grow closer. Still, 35% think cricket can sometimes cause frictions between the countries.

The poll reports the results of a nationally representative opinion survey of 1233 Indian adults conducted face-to-face in late 2012.