Federation University in Victoria and Western Sydney University in New South Wales have joined the list of Australian universities banning students from some Indian states. This comes amidst government concerns about fraudulent visa applications.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the institutions had instructed education agents not to recruit students from five states: Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Australian newspaper reported the restrictions on May 22, the same day Indian PM Narendra Modi arrived in Australia for a bilateral meeting and signed a new migration deal with Australian PM Anthony Albanese to “promote the exchange of students, graduates, researchers and business people.”
Federation University’s letter to agents published in The Sydney Morning Herald read, “The university has observed a significant increase in the proportion of visa applications being refused from some Indian regions by the Department of Home Affairs. We hoped this would prove to be a short-term issue (but) it is now clear there is a trend emerging.”
Victoria University, Edith Cowan University, Torrens University, and Southern Cross University were a few universities that either banned applications from certain countries and Indian states or imposed additional requirements on them.
A spokesperson from Victoria University shared a statement with The Quint that said, “We are imposing additional requirements for applicants from certain states in India. This includes assessing gaps in applicants’ study history to determine if they are suitably qualified and prepared for international study in Australia and can support themselves adequately.”
Edith Cowan University shared a statement: "In January 2023, ECU temporarily paused undergraduate student recruitment from Punjab and Haryana to review its admissions processes and settings for the region. This prudent step by ECU is allowing us to undertake a review and refinement of our undergraduate admissions settings for 2024 to ensure we maintain the highest standards. ECU has continued to accept applications from Punjab and Haryana for Postgraduate courses.”
However, some universities were incorrectly reported to have imposed restrictions or a ban on students from certain Indian states.
A spokesperson from the University of Wollongong told The Quint, “The media articles suggesting the University of Wollongong has changed its application protocols to ban or restrict students from certain countries, or regions within countries are incorrect. UOW has no bans or restrictions on students from any Indian states.”