"In our India offices we're expecting our 2010 February intake to be down by about 50 per cent," the chief executive of IDP Education Tony Pollock said in Sydney on Tuesday.
IDP Education Pty Ltd (IDP) is a global company offering student placement and English language testing services.
Pollock said IDP, which works with 400 institutions across Australia and takes in 35,000 students, is bracing for a big drop in Indian student enrolments early next year.
"In our India offices we're expecting our 2010 February intake to be down by about 50 per cent," ABC News quoted him as saying.
"I would say this is not entirely due, in my view, to the discussion about safety and security, there are other factors at work as well.
"We have the GFC (global financial crisis), which has obviously impacted upon families in India and that's evident by the fact that the applications for other countries are way down, particularly the United States."
There had been a string of attacks on Indian students in Australia, causing an uproar in India. Canberra had assured New Delhi that the safety of the students would be taken care of.
Pollock says the company's poll surveyed students from all over the world, including 1,100 students from India.
Foreign students have rated Australia as the safest place in the world to study, despite recent international media coverage of attacks on Indian students in Australia.
The survey included 6,000 students from eight countries.
The survey's results on Australia's $12.5 billion education export industry were released at an education conference in Sydney Tuesday.
Pollock said: "The main purpose was to find out (what) they thought about Australia in comparison to other English speaking destinations."
"The somewhat surprising result and indeed promising result is that they believe Australia to be the safest destination of all the English speaking destinations - and by quite a margin.
"I must say I'm a little surprised that that's still holding so strongly in India, given all the publicity that we've had over the last three or four months about safety and security in Australia."
Pollock went on to say that with changes made to visa process, it is likely to impact future recruitment numbers.
"It is making visa process longer and more cumbersome for students, so we suspect that that's going to have some negative impact over the next few months," he said.
The survey results were released at the opening of the Australian International Education Conference where more than 1,300 people are attending.
Michelle Barker, professor of management at Griffith University, says the survey results are good news for a change.
"That's wonderful that students are recognising, and parents particularly when they're sending their children overseas to study, that they'll say, 'yes, they can get on with the study when they're there', that their personal safety is not going to be compromised," she said.