Number of Indian Ph.D Students in Australia Rises

From 2012 to 2016, the number of Ph.D students from India going to Australia increased by 30.60 per cent.


The number of Ph.D students going to Australia from India has increased by 30.6 per cent from 2012-16, according to the India PhD Advisory Taskforce report released by the Group of Eight (Go8) universities on Jan. 22.

A total of 1,093 Indian Ph.D students enrolled in Australia in 2016, which marks a 60.70 per cent increase since 2006, making Australia the third preferred country for research by Indian students. For postgraduate studies, Australia ranks number two while the United States is the most preferred destination for Indian students.

In a report put together by academics of both the countries that was launched in New Delhi on Jan. 22, the body identified lack of finance and awareness and other logistical barriers as a few of the obstacles hampering the vice versa flow of Ph.D students.

“The number of Ph.D students coming to Australia has been on a high, specially in the last three-four years. One of the reasons behind this is, more Australian companies engaging with Indian corporates and education institutions here,” DNAIndia quoted a source a saying. “Since Indian students are more research oriented, the number of patents filed in Australian universities goes up. This is an advantage to both university and the student, since more number of patents filed would mean better ranking for the university.”

At the event, Devang Khakhar, the Director of Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, spoke of the need for Ph.D holders in India to fulfill the burgeoning requirement of faculties in education institutions.

“There is a great need of Ph.Ds as the number of institutes of learning have increased in India and these would be needing faculty members,” Khakhar, one of the members of the team which wrote the report, said.

Khakhar later told IANS that IIT Bombay has been running a joint Ph.D program with the Monash University of Australia for 11 years and from this year on it will invite Australian students to do their Ph.Ds here. Earlier, only Indian students were benefiting from the joint Ph.D program.

In Australia, Go8 report suggests that 26.20 per cent Ph.D students from India are studying engineering and related technologies while another 26.20 per cent are studying natural and physical sciences. As many as 17.20 per cent research scholars are pursuing health-related courses and 13.4 per cent are studying society and culture.

Earlier, the Go8 group had urged the government to start a special visa for Indian Ph.D and research students. Currently, Indian Ph.D students can apply for up to four years of post-study work visa in Australia.

The Group of Eight (Go8) comprises Australia’s eight leading research Universities — The University of Melbourne, The Australian National University, The University of Sydney, The University of Queensland, The University of Western Australia, The University of Adelaide, Monash University and UNSW Sydney.

According to a different report — Open Doors report on international education released in November by the Institute of International Education (IIE), New York – as many as 1,86,267 Indian students were enrolled in U.S. campuses in 2016-17. While the total number of Indian students in the United States is higher than that in other countries, there has been a decline in the number of students heading there since Donald Trump’s hardline stance against immigrants.

Countries like Canada and Australia are set to gain from United States’ image of being less than welcoming towards immigrants. — (With IANS inputs)


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