Australian government does not discriminate against students of any region, says High Commission

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The Australian government does not discriminate against students of any region willing to pursue courses in academic institutions in the country, the High Commission of Australia said on Thursday. The response came in the backdrop of reports that several Australian universities have banned students from Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan after a spate of fraudulent applications from these States. 

“Australian universities have the authority to make their own decisions on recruitment or admission, which may affect their intake from certain regions. The Australian High Commission is not aware of any institutions that currently restrict access for students from these regions,” said a spokesperson from the Australian High Commission. Education is an important component of India-Australia relations and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese had announced a new deal on education with India during his visit in March which included Gujarat and Delhi.

Student mobility

Under the Mechanism for Mutual Recognition of Qualifications signed on March 2 by Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and his Australian counterpart Jason Clare, the two countries aimed at ensuring “greater two-way student mobility and different ways of learning, including online study”. The latest reports about denial of admission in fact goes against the Australian policy that has advertised the Australian education sector as a major asset of the country. 

Meanwhile, the University of Wollongong on Thursday dismissed reports that it was one of the five Australian universities that had banned entry of students from States like Gujarat, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan. A news report from The Sydney Morning Herald had included the university in the list of institutions that had restricted entry of students from certain Indian States. The university, however, claimed that it tracks attempts at fraudulent admission and works with the Australian authorities to ensure that the admissions remain genuine.

“The Australian government does not place bans on applicants from specific regions to apply to study in Australia — nor does the Australian government have the authority to advise or instruct institutions such as universities to ban applications from certain regions.” the spokesperson from the Australian High Commission said. 

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