India has always made a trademark in respect of education. Now its high grade in education is appreciated and is going to be recognised in Australia. Australia has invited "elite Indian institutions" to set up campuses in its land and thus help Adelaide become a "University City".
Minister for Employment, Training and Further Education in the provincial government of South Australia Michael O'Brien said, "We are now inviting elite Indian universities and institutions to set up campuses in our province." He further added, "We are slowly positioning Adelaide as a university city. And Indian institutions are welcome to set up campuses there. We will be happy."
He said the University College, London, one of the premier institutions of Britain, has already opened a campus there. Kaplan University of the US too will open its campus.
He revealed that "South Australia will be happy to host Indian varsities. If this proposition works out then there will be more young and bright Indian students in our country. We are already in talks with a few Indian institution."
Regarding whether Australian varsity will have any campus in India, O'Brien said: "Our universities are now looking more for collaborative things. Joint courses, collaborative programmes and things like that. It is a logical step. Then they may think of campuses in India."
The minister, however, denied bringing out names and details of the educational institutions that are likely to come to Australia.
O'Brien defended his country against the past charges of racial attack in the country as "There is no substantial decrease in student flow. South Australia is very safe. We are a multi-cultural and tolerant community."
"The Australian government is taking steps and we will look after the Indian students well," he added. Like any other top administrator of his country, O'Brien too denied terming the attack as racist and said "We don't see them as racist attacks. They are criminal acts, acts of theft."
There are over 500,000 international students in Australia pursuing university education and vocational studies, of which 94,000 are Indians -- the second highest group after the Chinese. Thousands of Indians are enrolled in vocational courses in government and private Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutes.
In recent years Australia's education industry has boomed to become the country's third-largest foreign currency earner after coal and iron ore, generating about $12 billion in revenue in 2008. Indian students in Australia alone contribute $3.5 billion a year to the economy.