Australia Working to Ensure Safety of Indian Students: Gillard

Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard has said that her country has firm commitment to the education revolution involving overseas students.

Gillard said in New Delhi that Australia has responded by increasing police control for the welfare of Indian students in Sydney and Melbourne and that the government is working with the Indian community and students particularly to ensure their safety.

The Deputy Prime Minister, who also has charge of education ministry and ministry for social inclusion, is on a five-day visit to India on a mission to reinforce Australia’s reputation as a culturally diverse and safe destination for international students.

Following a spate of racist attacks on Indian students in Sydney and Melbourne earlier this year, India insisted on protection of its 95, 000 strong students in that country.

International education is the third largest source of overseas earnings for Australia, generating around $12 billion in 2008 and supporting more than 125,000 jobs.

“Indian students are welcome in our country and this was also a part of the discussion I had with Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal,” assured Gillard while addressing a conference at the Indira Gandhi National Open University.

In an attempt to ensure that only premier education providers remain in the country, as some Australian private colleges were offering sub-standard education, Gillard said her government was conducting an audit to regulate such institutions.

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