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Attacks on International Students in Australia

Posted on January 13th, 2010 by InternationalStudentGuru

As we reported in our January issue of the International Student News, there has been a recent spate of attacks against international students in Australia, and most notably on students who are studying there from India. The problems have been grumbling for a while and came to a head earlier this month when accounting graduate Nitin Garg, 21, originally from the state of Punjab in northern India, was stabbed to death on January 2nd when on his way to a job at a fast food outlet in Melbourne.

There has been a lot of outcry from both academics in Australia and India, claiming that the Australia government has been doing too little with regards to the matter. Melbourne University professor Simon Marginson, delivering a keynote address to the World Universities Forum in Davos, said “The Australian government is in denial. Racist targeting is involved (in the attacks). Indian students do have a special problem. And there isn’t enough official and civil concern about international student security in Australia.”

The international student industry in Australia is one of the largest in the world with revenues expected to be in excess of $15 billion a year. The government has been heavily criticized for sticking their heads in the sand, denying there is a problem and only providing only modest security enhancements for know trouble spots.

Are you an international student in Australia – or planning to attend school in Australia? Post your comments and thoughts below:

31 Responses to “Attacks on International Students in Australia”

  1. Tim White Says:

    No. I’m not an international student but many of my friends are. I’m an Australian citizen. The comments above are basically true but understate the severity of the issue. Many cases go unreported and many students don’t take their problems to the police here because they know nothing will be done. The Indian community here in Melbourne has been complaining about attacks on Indian residents for almost two years.
    The government have done nothing except try to cover up these attacks. There have been no positive moves such as community policing or programs to raise support. Much of the blame should rest with the education industry, the government and the media.
    No doubt about it. The attacks are racist and must be stopped.

  2. InternationalStudentGuru Says:

    Tim – thanks for such frank and honest comments! We all hope the situation improves down there. Keep us all updated!

  3. Jossy Says:

    If I had the chance I would gladly study in Australia. Australians are nice people not racist as the media are trying to make it seem.

  4. Valery Cam Says:

    Hi!. I have been already acepted in UTS so, i’ll arrive to Australia on March. Is this true? i didn’t know about this risk to be an international student. I though that the rate of racism in australia was less than in US. In that case, how i have to be carfull?

  5. Ershad Says:

    Im planning to pursuing my post graduates in unisa , late news gave nightmare to further study. will govt of Australia take response for inrenational students (especially for indian students) for there property and soul.

  6. Ekta Poudel Says:

    I am an international student but I don’t study in Australia. I think this is really serious case for all the international students who study different parts of the world. It is really shameful to have such weak response from government of Australia. If the students are paying heavy amounts of money just to study Australia, there should be special security for international students from Australian government. If the people and government just don’t react peacefully to stop this chaos. Nobody will ever try to think of studying Australia.

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  8. WaltzingMatilda Says:

    Aussies are racists, period! They are genetically ex-convicts, murderers from Britain, that’s why its called “Down Under”, aka THE DUMPS!

    you cannot change genetics, even the government is genetically racist; hence the COVER UPS and DENIALS.

    NOTE to Indians, forget about Australia! manyy European countries like France, Italy, Norway, Sweden have a more open society.

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  10. Shayla Vanzanten Says:

    Ohh nice post though really??

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  14. InternationalAussie Says:

    I don’t think international student security is only an issue in Australia. The US and UK suffer a lot more racism. Marginson points to the fact that this is a global issue. Austrlian is one of the safest countries we must not forget that, however racism exists all around the world as it does in AU. It is a matter of recognising racism when it happens and taking appropriate action, and that should be the only focus. Students who travel for study will need to demand that universities are set up to provide extra security off campus and raise the issue in their country before travelling to pave the way for more changes.

  15. Indian Students Struggling to get Tuition Back « The International Student Blog Says:

    [...] down of the Australian immigration system. As we reported earlier this year, there were a number of high profile attacks on Indian students in Australia which had led to a number of college closures and a clampdown of the visa process for students [...]

  16. Indian Students Struggling to get Tuition Back | StudyAbroadPro Says:

    [...] down of the Australian immigration system. As we reported earlier this year, there were a number of high profile attacks on Indian students in Australia which had led to a number of college closures and a clampdown of the visa process for students [...]

  17. Bosco Says:

    InternationalAussie, you might be right be even if what you are saying is true, the fact is that such news will push overseas students to apply elsewhere. I was in continental europe, studying, and yes racism exist but unlike here, there are no tuition fees to be paid there unless u go for private institutes…So u do your undergrad and graduate studies for free!!!! on the other hand, australia seems to offer very less and less prospects after graduation..ain`t I wrong? Personaly, I have advised my relatives (3) to apply to uni in europe for their undergrad as down here seems a bit complicated…well, racism exists everywhere as u stated but at least up there, they won`t waste $25,000 of tuition per year!! not including the fact that they cannot get concessions (in europe, u can apply as a foreigner) and have to endure 3 years in unsafe suburbs!! I actually keep advising some newly HSC graduate not to come here for those samereasons…

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  21. Emily Says:

    Hi, I am currently studying at UTS.

    And TBH, I think that international students ask to be attacked, ask to be singled out, etc, etc, etc.

    They don’t speak English. They don’t make an effort to talk to any one who is not from their race. They do not try and settle into Australian Culture. They’re doing their degree because they want to get Australian citizenship – and yes they actually say that. This is not ‘just a few of them because I am trying to give them a bad name.’ It’s, ‘these are all the international students in my degree.’

    I think the problem is on both ends. Every story has two sides. I think this needs to be considered.

  22. dloo Says:

    I don’t think international students are intentionally asking to be singled out, yet alone being attacked! what most people fail to understand is the difference in culture between asians and non-asians. first of all, us asians come from a collective society, which means we want to belong to a group. i’ve noticed many times, and have experienced, how hard it is to break into a new group. i was attending newcastle uni and boy, it was DIFFICULT for me to make friends with locals, including those from my class whom i spent the whole semester with, as well as so-called support groups who offer to help international students ‘feel at home.’

    i agree that there are those who are abroad so they could eventually become naturalized and hold a pr or change citizenship. then again, have you ever actually gone through the requirements to become a PR? you’ll be surprised at how complicated and difficult the process is. on the flip side, why is the country still offering PRs to international students? I’m guessing the country’s work force is in the decline. I mean, there wouldn’t be anyone applying to be a resident of a country if there wasn’t a need.

    i remember how bad the situation was at my uni, to the point where the uni had to provide transportation for international students who finished class after 6 pm. this came about after an international student was mugged outside the UNI library, within the UNI compound.

    what was the local authorities’ explanation? they repeatedly mentioned that us international students were ‘soft targets’ and we wouldn’t retaliate. well how is an international student and i’m talking about ONE, supposed to retaliate when you have a whole gang up against you?

  23. Australia Lowers Visa Assessment Levels « The International Student Blog Says:

    [...] the well documented problems Australia has had over the last few years with international students and violence towards them, it [...]

  24. Nikey Says:

    Thumbs up Dloo! I absolutely agree…

    Have you noticed the humility and the way an Indian would receive a foreigner in their country? They give them the best of the best from their land, and treat them with great respect and honour.

    Why can’t the Europeans also do the same to their foreigners?

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  28. freindlyindian Says:

    hi i am planning to apply to australia for my masters in international buisness because what better place to study buisness apart from australia its not clamped down by recession unlike europe especially uk another buisness favorite but most important i like the easy going aussie culture but safety concerns are heavy on my mind i am a girl and indian are still racist attacks prevalent in australia

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