Staring at a huge dent in the AUS$12.16 billion market for overseas students in Australia, its third biggest export earner, universities there are now badgering immigration agencies in Punjab and Chandigarh, which reportedly send 50,000 students to Oz for studies, to impress upon prospective students that not only will their fees be reduced , but that there's stepped up security for their protection in place now. Immigration consultancy firms, which act as a vital link between foreign universities and students, and get a fat 25% commission for every student they send off, say they have been flooded with requests via e-mails, faxes and bulletins from a string of Australian educational institutes to 'get down to saving business.'
Amar Manchanda, director, AIMS Global Education, which represents 15 universities and institutes based in Melbourne, said, 'Fearing fewer students will opt for Australia after the recent string of attacks on Indians, a host of private universities and institutes authorities in Melbourne have rolled out a few lucrative schemes for prospective students. These include reduction in course fee as well as hostel fee. Also, the scholarships , which were earlier just limited to students getting higher percentages, will now be offered to students getting slightly lesser grades.'