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Australia: the tide is rising

delhi Updated: May 26, 2008 15:30 IST
Highlight Story

Australia is a big draw among Indian students due to its competitive cost of education and the prospect of a permanent job and Permanent Residency status. Check out the options available in the country

The country’s USP

The wave of Indian students landing in Australia has been rising, from under 500 in early 1990s to nearly 30,000 in 2006-07. Overtaking Chinese students, Indians were the third largest group among around 3,83,818 international students in Australia in 2006-07.

Billed a value for money proposition, the Australian deal comes with a competitive cost of education, the prospect of a permanent job and Permanent Residency (PR), reasons that make 60 per cent of Indian graduates stay on Down Under.

More significant than these lures is that nine Australians are Nobel laureates in the sciences.

Hot for what?
Popular study options among international and particularly Indian students include postgraduate studies (Masters by coursework) in Business Administration, Management, Computer Science, Information Technology, Engineering, Surveying.

Undergraduate programmes are popular as well as are graduate diplomas. University studies in Science courses such as Biotechnology are becoming more popular.

According to the Australian High Commission, enrolments in diploma studies in Hospitality and Tourism Management remain high. There was a 148 per cent growth in enrolment for vocational courses and 67 per cent for non-award programmes in 2006. Top five universities by enrolment of Indians: Australian universities are not allowed to reveal nationality-wise enrolment figures because of the country’s privacy laws

Information highway

Session commences:

in Australia, the university year usually comprises two semesters that start in late February or early March and end in early December. For certain programmes, institutions also take in a midyear batch in July. Some universities follow a trimester system, under which courses begin in January, May and September.

When to apply: apply six to eight months before your selected course is slated to start. How to apply: 1) get in touch with Australian institution directly. Contact details of institutions can be obtained from the Australian Education Centre (AEC) or www.studyinaustralia. gov.au, the Australian Government’s official website for international students. 2) Go through an education agent. Australian education institutions have authorised agents in India.

These agents offer information about the institutions they represent and help aspirants to apply for enrolment and facilitate the application for an Australian Student Visa. Make sure that the agent is an authorised representative of the institution of your selected institution and check if any fees would be charged for using their services. The Australian High Commission has not authorised any agent but supports an agents’ body, the Association of Australian Education Representatives in India (AAERI).

Association members are required to follow a code of ethical practices. A list of AAERI members is available at www. aaeri.org. Henry A.S. Ledlie, Chief Executive Officer, IDP Education India, which promotes Australia as a study destination overseas says, "This year, students arriving at Sydney and Melbourne airports will be met by an IDP Welcome Desk, which can assist them in any problem they might encounter at the airport.

IDP has also started airport pick-up and free city orientation tours. "It now has four student offices in Australia to serve the needs of pupils studying and living there. A student services office will open in Adelaide in 2007. New offices opened in Brisbane and Perth in November 2006, joining our Melbourne unit, which opened earlier in July 2006 and the longstanding office in Sydney and Canberra.

"IDP is also on major expansion drive in India and Nepal. We have opened offices in Amritsar, Ludhiana, Gurgaon, Kochi and Baroda (Vadodara). We will shortly open our offices in Pune and Nepal by mid-June 2007. By the end of 2007, we will add seven more offices in India. This will increase our presence to a total of 20 offices in India and one in Nepal." Deadlines: though universities have their own deadlines, these usually end three months before the session begin.

Some universities accept late applications if seats are available. Application processing time: authorities take four weeks to process applications for undergraduate programmes, six weeks for postgraduate coursework, and eight weeks or more for PG research, depending on the availability of supervisors.

Application docket: your selection depends on your academic records. Check the entry requirements for courses at the websites of your chosen universities. The application docket should contain the following…. Class X and XII marksheets (for UG studies). Graduation marksheets (for PG programmes). International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score.

Statement of Purpose. Any recommendation letter from a professor or employer. Work experience certificate, if applicable Standardised test scores: applicants need not take any entrance examination. However, some institutions may require an IELTS score. For certain management programmes such as MBA, some institutions might ask for a GMAT score and work experience, although there are institutions that accept students without these.

Tuition fee: varies from one university to another and one course to another as given here. MBA — AUS$15000-40,000 Master in Engineering — AUS$15,000-20,000 Business — AUS$12,000-20,000 Hospitality — AUS$14,000-18,000 Cost of living: living expenses in Australia come to around AUS$ 12,000 a year.

Scholarships: there are institution specific scholarships, which can be found on their individual websites. Certain organisations, such as the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), also offer financial support. A scholarship database is listed on www.studyinaustralia. gov.au Details of government scholarships can be found at www.australianscholarships. gov.au

Part-time jobs: students can work up to 20 hours a week during the academic year on or off campus and full-time during vacations.

Student visa: apply for visa after receiving a confirmation of enrolment for direct entry to a course from the university and about six to eight weeks before your course is going to begin. An applicant must have an IELTS score of 6 or higher. He or she is also required to show proof of sufficient money to pay for tuition, travel, and living expenses for him or herself and his or her family during their stay in Australia.

A Statement of Purpose is also required with the visa application. For details, log on to www.immi.gov.au Job opportunities: after completing their programme, graduates are allowed to take up permanent jobs in Australia.

For details on student visa and immigration, contact the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, or visit www.immi.gov.au