The Australian 29 August 2012
A dramatic rise in offshore visa grants points to the possible re-emergence of India as a key higher education market but onshore demand for vocational education and training, dominated in recent times by Indians, is weakening.
“We’re at the beginning of a shift (in the Indian market) from VET to higher education,” says Kent Anderson, pro vice-chancellor international at the University of Adelaide.
However, he and other commentators said long-term success demanded deeper research collaboration and academic exchange with India to reinforce Australia’s reputation for quality.
In 2011-12, offshore grants of higher education visas from India rose 71% to 3994 (although the June quarter saw a 12% decline). China remains by far the bigger market but Indian offshore grants as a percentage of Chinese offshore grants increased from 12% to 23% in the last financial year. Indian visa grants for university study are still well below their 2007-08 peak of 29,108 but a host of factors point to the potential for significant growth. Amitabh Mattoo, director of the Australia India Institute points out:
In the next 10 years, there will be 500 million Indians under the age of 25, but there are still less than 500 universities.