They might be looking up to study in Australian universities, but ‘racism’ is one of the words Indian students most associate with the country. The finding was thrown up by survey that sought to understand Indian students’ attitudes about post-secondary education and potential destinations. Australia, where Indians are one of the highest foreign student groups, was at the centre of a row with India over the last two years as it witnessed a series of racial attacks against Indians.
The survey conducted by Canadian company Higher Education Strategy Association earlier this year showed the UK and US considered to have higher quality institutions and a better quality of life. Over 3,000 senior Indian high school students took part in this survey, according to ‘The Australian’ report today. The study found that while 56 per cent of respondents considered Australian universities to be of high or very high quality, 10 per cent rated them of poor or very poor quality, and 27 per cent of moderate quality.
However, when the respondents were asked what word came to mind when thinking of Australia, “kangaroo” rated the highest with “racism” the third most cited word. The second most common word was “good”. When asked about quality of life, Australia ranked considerably lower than either the US or the UK and also came in behind Singapore, United Emirates and Canada. Only 49 per cents of student ranked Australia’s quality of life as very high or high, compared to 85 per cent for the US and 81 per cent for the UK.
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