Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Traps at MBA Entrance Tests: Learn How to Dodge Them

November 11, 2010

The last time, I focused on few of the commonly faced dilemmas at the various B-School entrance tests. A management entrance test is designed so as to bring out the ability of an aspirant to perform under immense pressure. To subject the students to a bit of stress so as to observe how good they are at handling it, is one of the main objectives of any entrance test. In order to ensure this, the test designers set a few traps in the papers which, an under-prepared aspirant (or sometimes even a well prepared aspirant) can fall into. I will elaborate on a few of those traps here:

Traps at MBA entrance tests: Learn how to dodge them

Well begun is half done

Visualise this. You have started your test. The first question is a scorcher. You cannot do anything but just scribble the same bit of information which is given. After fighting it out for 2-3 minutes you finally give up. Question two, the same thing again. About 10 minutes into the test and you aren’t going anywhere.

You might have been through this a number of times. One of the commonest traps set in any paper. The first DI set, the first RC passage, the first few Quant questions are sometimes, the most difficult compared to the rest of the paper. Reasons are two:

  1. It makes you panic as it eats into your time and,
  2. It somehow makes you believe that the paper is indeed difficult thus making you score a bit less than what you would.

The best thing would be to get rid of such questions as soon as possible and go to the next one. It is always a great feeling to nail that first question which helps soothing your nerves to a large extent.

The converse of this is also true many a time. The final few questions will be the easiest ones. It is just to make sure that a ‘prepared’ aspirant goes through all of them and scores to his best ability without getting stuck anywhere.

Too many cooks spoil the broth

Plenty of information. Pretty much useless. You read and read and read some more. End of the day, a simple question awaits. You rue wasting so much of your precious time. The motive is the same old time wasting tactic.

People who took the FMS test last year might recollect the huge RC that was offered. People who have the habit of reading the entire thing first and then answering the questions would have ended up wasting a lot of time. Few questions in DI, have much more info than what is required to solve the questions. An RC might seem to be highly philosophical but could have some sitters for questions. Just looking at the main question and leaving the sub-questions after being disappointed, is one of the frequently used traps.

To get through, one can take a look at the questions first so as to know which part of the information to focus on and then go about reading/skimming through the data and go slow at the relevant portions.

Not to call a spade a spade

Now this has a few variations. They will say that there is a rectangle or a rhombus or a parallelogram. Then there will be a generalised question with some options in variables. One can always assume it to be a square and do it quickly. Similarly with triangles. One can assume it to be an equilateral triangle and get over with it. Similarly with the questions where a series is given, if one cannot solve it completely, one can always put in a few values which satisfy the conditions and check with the options if there is some pattern.

‘Its’ a bad thing to ‘loose’

Notice the errors? These are few of the most common errors in English. In fact there are few questions designed so as to make people pay for the wrong habits. In this case a simple spelling mistake you have not bothered to correct for so long that you can almost challenge anyone that whatever you are saying is right.

Right ya wrong

Under pressure in a moment of madness, one tends to overlook what is asked. The instructions for a question are designed so as to confuse even the most vigilant of the aspirants. You can see an instruction which reads as “Following is a group of sentences amongst which some are not grammatically correct. Identify the sentence(s) which are incorrect in terms of English, usage and grammar. Then choose the most appropriate option.” Now, the trouble starts when you get confused between ‘incorrect’ and ‘appropriate.’ You must have faced this a lot of times, when instead of picking the incorrect sentences, you end up selecting the correct sentences and because you get an option (obviously a trap), you mark it and forget about it.

The other variations of this trap are found in RC passages and sometimes in DI caselets when a test-taker gets confused between, say the number of wins and the number of matches not lost (which effectively means the number of matches won plus the number of matches drawn).

Shock value

This involves catching a test-taker unaware. There might be some new type of question, a simple logic which is twisted in a such a way so as to give it the ‘look’ of an entirely new type of question. Or say, maybe a new type of question altogether. Or maybe the pattern won’t be revealed till the time you get the booklet. Maybe there will be progressive negative marking. If you notice in last year’s XAT, the negative marking was -0.2 for the first five incorrect answers and -0.25 thenceforth. What seems to be a ‘harsh’ negative marking scheme is actually better than other entrance exams wherein you get a straight -0.25 for every incorrect answer.

The point here is to throw an aspirant off his premeditated strategy and make him panic. At the end of the day, the basics remain the same – “attempt what you know correctly, leave what you don’t and start preparing for the next stage.”

The art of misdirection

Sometimes, there is information which seems unnecessary, which often ‘seems’ to contradict the first few statements. This is mainly to misdirect you. More or less similar to a magic show where the magician makes you believe that the trick is what you are looking at but actually it is something else. This is because you are made to think that a particular piece of information is important when in reality isn’t. There was a question in one of the mocks in which one of the statements said that ‘X was satisfied with the money he had won.’ This is designed to make you believe that actually X is the winner though it was nowhere mentioned. This can be one of the seemingly ‘wrong’ questions. The above statement was just put there to introduce the character X i.e. just to say that the one person about whom nothing has been said is X.

Another variant is commonly seen in the RC passages where, the question asked about what the author does not state in this passage and all the option sentences are present in the passage. The right answer in this case will most often than not have someone else’s quote and so not necessarily what the author says. A simpler variant of the same will be when one of the statements is slightly altered (not entirely wrong but not entirely right either).

These are just few of the traps which test-designers commonly set in the entrance tests. If you know of any more of them, do tell us in the comments section.

Source: – India’s biggest and most trusted portal and community for cracking MBA entrance exams.


IIM Shillong: We Want to Carve Our Own Identity

November 11, 2010

By Lajwanti Dsouza

iim-shillong campusIIM Shillong campus

Having begun operations only in July 2008, the institute has come a long way. Read how IIM Shillong attracted the best of the talent to its campus.

If you want to take a picture postcard of Shillong, all you have to do is click a photograph of the IIM Shillong campus with its palatial building and regal drive-in. If you have a wide lens, you can get the bounteous flowery gardens on either side of the sloping drive-in and the pine trees lining the campus. Try squeezing in the quaint and archaic guest house at the extreme right into the photo frame to make the picture complete.

And if you really want a great shot, stay up till 4 am, when most IIM Shillong students go to sleep, and click the glorious sun rising beyond miles of wooden rooftops and mist-clad hills.

For students of IIM Shillong, the picturesque environment plays a big role in their academic journey to becoming qualified managers.

Teething problems

Having begun operations only in July 2008, the institute has come a long way. According to Prof Ashoke Dutta, director of IIM Shillong (which is actually named Rajiv Gandhi Indian Institute of Management), when the first group of 63 students were recruited in July, there was practically nothing on the campus. “There was not even a chair or table, forget other furniture. There were no stairs to places, no pathways. The students helped me put up their entire institute. We worked from scratch. From every nail on the wall to every flower in the garden. It was all set up by the first batch who worked with me.”

Dutta adds that the first batch of students worked in groups to set up the place. One group worked as the director’s ‘secretary’, another group looked after maintenance, still other looked after IT solutions, one worked on the library and one looked at admin issues.

“We did not look at any other IIM or want to be like any other. We wanted to carve our own identity, so decided to do things our way and the first batch of students really did a good job due to which things are how they are today,” adds Prof Dutta.

The director’s words make sense given the fact that not only were the entire first batch of 63 placed but last year IIM Shillong won practically every tournament they took part in. Be it IIM Indore’s two flagship events Ashwamedha and Kalpavriksha, IIM Ahmedabad’s Masterplan or WagonR Think Big Challenge, organised by Maruti Suzuki.

It was not the easiest getting students for IIM Shillong since admissions began after they had closed at other B-schools. The first batch did not come through the centralised CAT process either. Advertisements for admission were put out way after the CAT announcement.

“We conducted interviews in March. J Shah from IIM Ahmedabad and Samir Barua were the two people who helped me look at admissions, faculty, infrastructure. The three of us looked at everything from point zero and started our way up,” says Prof Dutta.

51 Canadian Fellowships For Graduates Students

November 10, 2010

51 Canadian fellowships for graduates studentsNew Delhi: Canada will give over 50 fellowships and funds worth more than $4 million to Indian graduate students and institutional partners as part of its steps to boost educational ties between the two countries.

Meeting their their Indian counterparts in New Delhi at a roundtable, 15 presidents of various Canadian universities, who are currently in India on a seven-day mission, announced up to 51 graduate fellowships worth $3.5 million for Indian students to pursue studies in Canada.

Announced under the new Globalink Canada-India Graduate Fellowship Programme, the fellowships will benefit undergraduate Indian students who went to Canada on summer internship this year under the MITACS Globalink programme.

The Globalink programme instituted by the Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems (MITACS) – a Canadian research network – links industry and international students with Canadian universities.

51 Canadian fellowships for graduates students

One and hundred and five undergraduate students from India attended three-month research projects in computer sciences, engineering, mathematics and business at 14 Canadian universities this summer. “We all recognize the importance of a deeper engagement with India, for the individual Canadian universities that form this delegation, and also more broadly for the entire Canadian higher education sector,” said Stephen J. Toope, president of Vancouver-based University of British Columbia, in making the announcement on behalf of the delegation.

“The mission has been an effective catalyst, inspiring universities across Canada to create new awards for Indian students and form new partnerships with Indian universities and institutes.”

Canada’s top eight universities – McMaster University, Simon Fraser University, The University of British Columbia, University of Ottawa, University of Toronto, University of Victoria, University of Waterloo and The University of Western Ontario – will provide funding for these fellowships.

51 Canadian fellowships for graduates students

Canadian science and technology minister Gary Goodyear, who attended the roundtable along with his Indian counterpart Kapil Sibal, said,”Canada is becoming a destination of choice for international research talent. We will continue to vigorously pursue the tremendous opportunities for scientists and businesses to conduct research and invest in innovation in Canada.”

Paul Davidson, president of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) which has organized the mission to India, said, “These new investments are a concrete demonstration of Canadian universities’ commitment to partnering with Indian universities and supporting Indian students in the spirit of international education.”

Since Canada gets only about 3,000 Indian students among 90,000 foreign students who join Canadian institutions each year, it is trying to ramp up enrollment from India.

Source: IANS

Kendriya Vidyalaya’s New Course

November 7, 2010

Kendriya Vidyalayas to offer skill developmentKendriya Vidyalayas to offer skill development

New Delhi: Kendriya Vidyalaya campuses will now be available for skill development courses after school hours, the human resource development ministry said Wednesday.

The decision was taken by the board of governors of Kendriya Vidyalayas Sangathan, chaired by Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal, following the recommendations of the Academic Advisory Committee of the HRD ministry.

“The minister directed the Kendriya Vidyalayas to prepare a detailed policy, especially with regard to preference to be given to school children for the courses and the skills that may be permitted,” a ministry official said.

“The policy would also incorporate the provision of an exit clause in case evening shifts are required,” he said.

The guidelines for transfer of Kendriya Vidyalaya staff was also revised.

Kendriya Vidyalayas to offer skill development

According to the ministry officials, the new system will “provide a fair chance to every employee of getting a choice posting and will be done in a transparent manner.

“Posting to hard stations will be done only after 40 years of age, both for ladies and others, and minimum three years of tenure will be given at the place of first posting,” the official said.

“This will provide a uniform ground for all employees and stop favouritism,” he said.

Other decisions taken by the board include in-service training course for teachers, regional incentive awards and commencing foreign language classes.

Source: IANS

ICFAI Students Boycott Classes

October 26, 2010

ICFaiShillong, Oct 26 : Students of the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India University (ICFAI), Meghalaya on Monday decided to boycott classes and examinations after coming to know that the institution is an autonomous body and “not a Central university as announced earlier”.

“During our admissions we were told that ICFAI is a Central university which is affiliated to ICFAI, Hyderabad but recently we came to know that ICFAI here is just an autonomous university,” a student of the university, Donphang Gallong said.

The university has been witnessing a row of issues for a couple of weeks.

Vice Chancellor of ICFAI Meghalaya Professor YK Bhushan on Monday held a meeting with the agitating students who sought an explanation from him on ICFAI’s status, “non-fulfilment” of assurances on quality and service made by the university, qualification and behaviour of faculties, finalization of new education system, infrastructures and time schedules.

Prof Bhushan admitted that ICFAI Meghalaya is an independent body and that ICFAI, Hyderabad is only promoting and supporting the university here.

“We will take all corrective steps and even identify qualified teachers from outside as demanded by the students,” he said.

Source: The Shillong Times

Only 11 Pass English NET Paper

October 20, 2010

Only 11 pass English NET paperOnly 11 candidates passed the June 2010 National Eligibility Test for English, whose results were announced on October 9. Of these, there are only two recipients of the Junior Research Fellowship (JRF).

Anybody aspiring to teach in colleges and Universities are required to pass the NET, conducted by the University Grants Commission biannually.

The UGC has been trying to make the NET all-pervasive, making it mandatory even for ad-hoc teachers. Junior Research Fellowships are given to NET toppers.

The UGC is yet to release a centre and subject-wise break-up of the data. The Indian Express has used data compiled by NET aspirants, who were students of Delhi University.

Only 11 pass English NET paper

Despite repeated attempts, officials at the UGC were not available for comment. Surender Singh, Deputy Secretary and head of the NET Bureau at the UGC, refused to con firm the numbers.

The total number of candidates who took the test is not available. However, comparisons with other subjects confirm the worst fears.

A total of 309 candidates have cleared the Economics NET, and 113 of them got JRFs.
In Political Science, 516 cleared with 248 JRFs. History has 33 JRFs and 64 non-JRF NET qualifications.

Only 11 pass English NET paper

English comes behind even subjects like Defence and Strategic Studies, Music, and Museology and Conservation.

Delhi, a centre for which numbers are available, is a case in point. More than 1100 candidates took the English NET in Delhi, of whom only two cleared it. One of them has been awarded the JRF.

That it has a clutch of prestigious institutions reflect in the performance of Delhi as a NET examination centre: 606 of the total 3,242 JRFs have gone to candidates who took the test in Delhi. Jaipur comes a surprising second, far behind with 275 JRFs.

Delhi leads in non-JRF NET too, contributing 486 of a total of 3991 passed. Jaipur is again second, with 278 non-JRF NETs.

Only 11 pass English NET paper

Even with such impressive figures, Delhi too fares badly when it comes to English.

“The number of candidates who clear the English NET has been low for some time now, but this is by far the lowest. I think it is time that the UGC accepts that something is wrong with the system — it never manages to get good teachers as evaluators,” said Head of the Department of English at the Delhi University, Sumanyu Satpathy.

Only 11 pass English NET paper

Delhi University, facing an acute shortage of NET-qualified individuals, had decided to advertise on a national level for subjects like English, Economics and Computer Science recently. With about 75,100 vacancies in English alone, the crisis is set to worsen.

Candidates who took the English NET in June said it was not a difficult paper. “It was my third attempt and I was confident I would qualify. There were no issues with the paper this time — they had simplified it considerably and there were no grammatical and spelling errors unlike previous years,” said a candidate who gave the test in Delhi.

Source: Indian Express

Online CAT: Do’s And Don’ts

October 18, 2010

By Sai KumarOnline CAT: Do's and Don'ts

The most pressing question on the minds of students appearing for the examination is ‘How do I tackle the Online CAT?’

The most obvious aspect of the ‘Online CAT’ that concerns students is the emphasis on the word ‘Online’ rather than the the word CAT.

Well, the answer is to keep things simple and not to worry about the ‘Online’ format, instead concentrate on the ‘content’ of the paper.

CAT is more a test of elimination than a test of selection. The successful candidates often attribute their success to their approach — a poised and calm mind, avoid errors and do not fall into the traps that the exam often surprises you with. This article will address the common errors that students make in the run-up to CAT.

Some of the common errors are as follows:

Online CAT: Do's and Don'ts

Error#1: Preparing only for select topics

One of the serious flaws in the approach over the years has been to narrow down the syllabus and prepare only for select topics based on questions that have appeared in the past few years of CAT. CAT has been an extremely unpredictable examination and is known to spring a surprise every year. There is a high probability that topics or areas that have not had much of a weightage in recent years might make a comeback. Therefore it is in the best interest of students to prepare for all topics.

Error#2: Speculating on the composition of the paper

CAT is known to ask questions from a wide assortment of test areas and therefore there is no point speculating as to what might happen this year. The IIMs have hinted that there will be ‘around’ 60 Qs across three sections: Verbal, Quantitative and Logic & Data Interpretation in CAT2010.

Error#3: Overdose of mocks

Most students believe that the best way to prepare is to take as many mocks as possible. Repeated mock tests only highlight the same weaknesses and if students are not analysing their mistakes and rectifying them, then there will not be any major improvement in their performance. Therefore, a thorough analysis of every mock test will yield far better results than taking a large number of such tests.

Online CAT: Do's and Don'ts

Error#4: Missing out on items to be carried to the examination centre

This year, students should carry their Admit Card, the CAT Voucher, a Valid Photo identity (any among Driver’s License, Passport, PAN Card, Voter ID, College ID, Employee Identification Card or a notarised affidavit with photo, signature, date of birth and residential address) and a valid document as proof in case the student belongs to the SC/ST categories.

Error#5: Blind guessing

It is has been observed in ‘experimental’ conditions that blind guessing almost always leads to a negative/low score, therefore avoid blind-guessing and marking answers indiscriminately. However, if you are able to eliminate two/three choices (out of the four or five) on proper reasoning, then, it is not advisable to leave out the question even if you do not know how to solve it.

Online CAT: Do's and Don'ts

Error#6: Unequal distribution of time across sections

The IIMs calls only those students who manage to clear the cut-offs in each section of CAT and also the overall cut-off. To meet this objective it is imperative that you spend equal amounts of time across all three sections to give yourself enough opportunity to clear the cut-off in every section.

Error#7: Not having a buffer time

This year the exam will be for 135 minutes and a good time allocation strategy would be 40 minutes across three sections with 15 minutes of buffer time. The buffer is required to cushion against bad performance in any one section or to tackle a section that is exceptionally difficult, or one where the student is not confident of clearing the cut-offs.

Online CAT: Do's and Don'ts

Error#8: Targeting a specific number of Qs to clear cut-offs

Targeting a pre-set number of questions to clear the cut-offs is not a great strategy, as the cut-offs are a function of the difficulty level of the section and the paper. Hence, one can decide to attempt a certain number of questions during the exam but not before.

(The author, Sai Kumar, is director of TIME Mumbai, a coaching centre for MBA aspirants)

Source: Business Standard

‘Cooking’ Your Child’s Future

September 28, 2010

Kids love to cook. “Chicken sabzi” with muck and flowers and “maggi noodles” with curly creepers along with soil for spices, they love rattling those toy vessels outdoors.

Then why not bring them to the real kitchen where anything you do, will teach them something priceless for life? Get to know why it is important for your child to spend time with you in the kitchen.

A class conducted at a youth recreation cente in Shenyang, China, taught kids how to make cake.

The highlight of a kid’s diet today is fast food and soft drinks. Along with this being an unhealthy trend, you cannot avoid it either when brands bring the junk to your door-step. By letting your child watch you in the kitchen, you are instilling an idea of homeliness and good health that will help his/her sound upbringing.

Kids being taught how to spread cream over the cake.

Cooking gives them a sense of contribution towards the family along with a feeling of accomplishment of a task or doing something very important, which kids long for. It also boosts their confidence.

A girl gives final touches to her cake in class.

The kids remember these times forever. They’ll have stories to tell in school, later in college and will eventually pass this sense of bonding to their families.

An instructor helps the children decorate their cakes.

Patience on your part plays a very important role. If they are taught things in a way that they’ll understand, they develop a sense of pride towards who is helping them. The respect towards the person goes up and affection sets in, to stay for life.

Parents cheer as their kids are at their best.

Kids love to eat what they make. So if you manage to help them make something healthy while having some fun, they are sure to understand the importance of health better.

A boy tries to draw a face on his freshly made cake.

It is unbelievable how much kids learn about math, chemistry, geography and creativity through cooking. A simple thing like adding mustard seeds to hot oil, and much more, registers a reaction in their heads that could make chemistry as a subject interesting to understand!

Children smear cream on their cakes at the class.

An increasing number of youngsters, today, leave home for educational purposes, or otherwise, to settle far away from home. Not knowing how to cook, even if it is the basics, can leave him/her stranded hungry due to an unforeseen shutdown of stores. The act of self-sustainance is a wise idea you can equip your child with from the beginning.

A boy decorates his cake with pink ears.

Colourful things is all they like. Small cooking exercises with the family or friends can give them some of their most memorable days of childhood. It is one of the best ways to help them express and enjoy their creations.

Source: India Syndicate

Best Indian B-School Survey 2010

September 28, 2010

The definitive benchmarking guide

Best B-School Survey 2010: The definitive benchmarking guideThe most definitive survey of Indian business schools is out.

Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad

The Business Standard Best Business Schools Survey 2010 shows that the country’s top business schools are the Indian Institutes of Management in Ahmedabad and Kolkata, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade in New Delhi, Institute of Management Technology at Ghaziabad, Management Development Institute at Gurgaon, National Institute of Industrial Engineering in Mumbai and Xavier Labour Relation Institute at Jamshedpur.

Best B-School Survey 2010: The definitive benchmarking guide

Indian Institute of Managament, Kolkata

There are several business school surveys done every year. But these are all perception surveys and are limited to the top schools. So they touch upon a small part of the universe. This also runs the danger of excluding the actual information about the business schools. Such perception-based surveys have another risk – they assume that respondents (aspirants, students and executives from companies) are well-informed about all the institutes. This might not always be true.

Best B-School Survey 2010: The definitive benchmarking guide

Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi

The Business Standard survey, in contrast, is not based on perceptions but on rigorous analysis of everything that goes into making a business school. All business schools are rated on five parameters: Intellectual capital, admissions & placements, infrastructure, industry interface and governance. Each of these can be measured objectively. There is hence no scope for subjectivity or any bias. Of course, each of the five parameters has a different weight which is decided by an expert committee. The survey does not rank the institutes but puts them in seven hierarchical categories: Super League, A1, A2, A3, A4, B1 and B2.

Best B-School Survey 2010: The definitive benchmarking guide

Management Development Institute, Gurgaon

The Super League:

Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad

Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata

Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi

Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad

Management Development Institute, Gurgaon

National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai

Xavier Labour Relation Institute at Jamshedpur

Best B-School Survey 2010: The definitive benchmarking guide

National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai

There are close to 2,000 business schools in India, more than anywhere else in the world. This poses serious problems for the key stakeholders – aspiring students as well as employers. Take aspiring students first. How do they choose the right business school? How are two schools different from each other? The task is not easy for companies either who hire from these business schools. It is not easy to screen each and every student thoroughly. In this scenario, the reputation of the business school becomes all important. This is a gap that the Business Standard survey plugs. The survey is open to business schools all over India. The eligibility criterion is that they should be approved by the All India Council for Technical Education or the government or a university.

Best B-School Survey 2010: The definitive benchmarking guide

Also, at least two batches of students should have passed out of the institute. This is to assess the placements that happen at the campus. Questionnaires are sent out to the business schools. The responses are tabulated and double-checked by IMRB. Inflated claims and discrepancies are thus weeded out. As many as 50 of these business schools were visited by IMRB executives to verify the information they had submitted. This includes all those institutes that showed huge variation in scores between 2009 and 2010.

For the latest survey, questionnaires were sent to more than 1,500 business schools. Out of these, 255 sent their entries within the time limit.

Source: Business Standard

Indian Student Enrolment in Oz Halves

September 2, 2010

Indian student enrolment in Oz halvesMelbourne, Sep 2 : Attacks on Indian students in Australia may have hit their enrolment into varsities here, with new figures showing a slump by almost half.

Turmoil in Australia’s international education sector, legislative changes and the global financial crisis are also among the factors for the sharp fall in the intake in the foreign student enrolment, according to a media report.

In 2008-09, 65,503 Indian passport holders were granted Australian student visas across all education sectors. But in 2009-10, the number fell to just 29,721. Overall, 50,540 fewer international students were granted visas to study in Australia in 2009-10 compared with 2008-09.

According to ‘The Age’ today, global student visa numbers dropped over 16 per cent last financial year. It was also said that the new figures were result was also due to student security issues putting pressure on student numbers.

Indian student enrolment in Oz halves

Stephen Connelly, president of International Education Association of Australia, said the drop was not surprising but very worrying.

“There is so much goodwill we generate from having international students in our country, and we are absolutely shooting ourselves in the foot at the moment,” he said, adding the government and opposition had sent negative messages to potential students during the federal election campaign and work had to begin on improving Australia’s reputation.

If the problems were not tackled quickly, Connelly said, there would be a further significant drop in student numbers. “Applications being received by agents would indicate that the numbers will go down even further. There’s a lot more pain in store, I would say,” he added.

Indian student enrolment in Oz halves

However, he played down the significance of student security issues, which flared up in Victoria last year following a series of allegedly racist attacks on Indian students. “[Student security] would be lower down on the list of reasons than the difficulties of getting a visa and the lack of differentiation among providers,” Connelly said.

National Union of Students president Carla Drakeford said the drop in numbers was very concerning.

“International student decline is dangerous for the university sector – not only because it creates a hole in university funding, but also because of the innate value international students bring to our community and higher education sector,” Drakeford said.