Demand to clear dues of Indian students in Australia


Melbourne : Thousands of Indians are still waiting for a refund of their tuition fees following the closure of several colleges in Australia, said an official of an Indian students’ federation.

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Gautam Gupta, spokesperson for the Federation of Indian Students of Australia (FISA), said: “There are thousands of ordinary Indians who are still waiting for refund of their tuition fees following closure of several colleges in Australia.

“This total figure although unknown could be in millions – much more than the Commonwealth Games dues owed to Australian companies.”

He said this issue was raised by India’s then human resource development minister Kapil Sibal when he visited Australia in May 2010.

A large number of Indian students who had enrolled in some colleges in Australia were hit hard following the closure of their colleges. The Indian students have also faced a string of attacks in Australia over the past two years, causing an uproar in India. Nitin Garg, an Indian student, was fatally stabbed in an attack in January last year.

On External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna’s Jan 19-21 Australia trip, Gupta said: “Krishna’s focus on improving bilateral trade is welcome. It is also commendable that the minister raised the matter of Indian student welfare with Minister Kevin Rudd.”

“The two issues of safety and immigration visa’s which formed the central issues raised by the minister were good. However many issues were forgotten and overlooked,” a statement quoted Gupta as saying.