Quick Bite | India & Canada diplomatic conflict – more Indian students to Australia?

At a time of already elevated geopolitical tension, Canada and India’s diplomatic relations are reaching all-time lows. The Indian government is angry with Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who suggested last month that Indian agents may have been involved in the murder of a Sikh separatist leader in British Columbia. India has denied the allegations.

This tension has seen the Indian government crackdown on Canadian diplomats with India halting the of visas over the safety and security concerns.

India is by far Canada’s largest source market for overseas students, accounting for approximately 40% of study permit holders. As a result, some educational agents have begun sending Indian students elsewhere.

Could this mean more international students will come to Australia? The most recent survey conducted by IDP Education Limited (IEL.ASX) reveals that Australia has now matched Canada as the top preference for study destinations. This shift is attributed to improvements in education quality and enhanced employment prospects.

Source: IDP Education


However, the latest directions of government policy in Australia appears to be pointing towards a slowing of growth in the international education sector, with most Australian universities already recording at least 20% of total enrolment being international students.

The government has placed greater emphasis on three factors in determining student eligibility and/or selecting students for study including:

  1. Student motivation (If you are coming on a student visa, you should be coming here to study).
  2. Ability to pay – highlighted by recent increases in minimum savings requirements for student visas.
  3. Academic standing – that is, prioritising high-quality students with better prospects for degree completion and career outcomes.

While Australia could be a beneficiary of deteriorating relations between India and Canada, the trend in policy suggests that it is more likely to impose restrictions or limit growth of international enrolments.



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