Australian University Denies Claims of Indian Student Applications Ban

Australia India Oceania International Studies Higher Education News by Erudera News Apr 25, 2023

Australia’s University of Wollongong (UOW)

Australia’s University of Wollongong (UOW) has denied allegations that it has banned applications of students from certain Indian states or regions, stating it only has a strict entry criterion, like all universities in Australia, that applies equally to all international students.

In a media release, the school said that except for the standard entry criteria and the requirements of the Department of Home Affairs, it does not have any other policies in place, reports.

“UOW does not have any restrictions on student applications from India other than the standard entry criteria we apply to all international students and the requirements of the Australian Department of Home Affairs,” the press release reads.

The institution further explained that instead of reintroducing restrictions, it has made its application process more efficient for all international students, including those from India, which is expected to accelerate the turnaround times on students’ applications.

According to the statement, UOW reviews processes regularly and collaborates closely with the Australian Department of Home Affairs to ensure that applications from international students are honest.

“Our overall visa refusal rate over the past 12 months is low, with only a tiny amount relating to refusal based on fraud (the lowest of the possible Department of Home Affairs reporting bands),” the statement pointed out.

A recent investigation by “The Age and Sydney Morning Herald” found that besides the University of Wollongong (UOW), four other Australian universities have placed a ban on students from some Indian states amid a surge in fraudulent applications from individuals whose intention was only to work in Australia.

According to the newspapers, applicants have used the student visa system as an easier path to access work rights.

Such restrictions came a few days after Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese visited India to announce a new deal between Australian and Indian higher education institutions.

Other universities that have reportedly taken action against fake visa applications are Edith Cowan University, Torrens University, Victoria University, and agents working for Southern Cross University.

Earlier this year, Home Affairs Department refused 94 percent of applications submitted by Indian students intending to pursue vocational studies in Australia.

The international education system in Australia has most recently been criticized for operating as a “Ponzi scheme,” with universities paying agents to lure international students into the country. Critics said that international students are being exploited for profit.

The University of Wollongong has 176,379 alumni from 199 different countries. The total enrollment at the institution is 33,044 students, of whom 25,813 are onshore students and 7,231 offshore. Nearly 24,000 students are in undergraduate studies.

>> Number of International Students in Australia Increased in 2022

Image source: the Twitter account of the University of Wollongong

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