//Australia earned about $500 million from India

Australia earned about $500 million from India

UNI, Saturday February 18 2006 00:00 IST

KOCHI: Australia earned about 500 million Australian dollars from the export of educational services to India, Australia’s Senior Trade Commissioner Mike Moignard said on Friday.

In an interaction with mediapersons on the eve of an Australian education fair here on Saturday, Mr Moignard said educational services constituted the major chunk of the 850 million dollar services exports from Australia to India, as per the latest figures.

India’s services exports amounted to about 300 million Australian dollars, he said.

Stating that about 27,000 Indian students were enrolled in Australian universities last year, education councillor at the Australian high commission in New Delhi, Ms Priya, said about 30 per cent of them were from the southern Indian states. However, Kerala constituted a minuscule portion of these students.

We are conducting the education fair here tomorrow to tap Kerala’s potential, she added.

While the preferred courses of study were Business Administration, Information Technology (IT) and Engineering, several Indian students were also enrolled in accounting, Applied Science and Hospitality courses.

New fields of study such as biotechnology, communication studies and art and design dressing were also emerging as favourites.

The fair has been organised by the Association of Australian Education Representatives in India (AAERI). Thirteen AAERI agents, representing more than 40 Australian institutions, would be participating in the fair, Mr Moignard said.

Similar fairs in Jalandhar, Punjab, and Vadodra, Gujarat, had drawn a good response, and the organisers were hoping for a fairly good turnout of parents, students and academicians tomorrow. Another education fair would be held at Vishakhapatnam also, Ms Priya said.

Denying that Indian students in Australia faced problems due to the high cost of living there, Mr Moignard said that the students were allowed to work upto 20 hours a week, both on campus and off campus.

“Compared to countries such as the US and the UK, the cost of living is much lower in Australia,” he added.

To a question, Ms Priya admitted that overseas students had to pay nearly double the fee paid by the local students.