Indian students could move to New Zealand if racial attacks continue in Australia

June 3rd, 2009 - 2:26 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh Wellington, June 3 (ANI): Indian students based in Australia may opt to go to neighbouring New Zealand if the racially motivated attacks Down Under don’t stop.

Education New Zealand chief executive Robert Stevens said he had been in touch with the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise office in India yesterday, urging the office to market New Zealand and Australia as “totally different societies”.

There have been about 70 attacks on Indian students in Australia in the past 12 months, which left one student fighting for his life and prompted headlines such as “Australia, land of racists” in India.

“With reports on the attacks making headlines in India, it is not a good look for Australia. What we want to do is to remind education agents in India that New Zealand is a different country to Australia, in the nicest possible way,” the New Zealand Herald quoted Stevens, as saying.

Indian students said the attacks in Melbourne were racially motivated. Last Friday Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed concern during a call to Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

According to Australian government figures, Indian students make up 18 per cent of all foreign students, second only to the Chinese.

Education New Zealand said there are 6040 Indian students making up seven per cent of foreign students in New Zealand. In the year to April, the largest group by nationality of international student arrivals came from India - 4108 - up from 2919 last year, Immigration New Zealand figures show. (ANI)

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