Australia is a safe destination for Indian students wishing to pursue higher education. Aspiring students and their parents need not entertain apprehensions over security in the wake of the recent attacks against some Indian students.

This was the message that was sought to be conveyed to students and parents with concerns over security Down Under at a road show of four Australian universities organised by Mentor Consultancy in Tiruchi on Wednesday. The event was intended to showcase the educational and career opportunities available in Australia.

Both the organisers and representatives of the universities conceded that there has been a fall in number of students evincing interest in pursuing higher education in Australia this year. "It is true that there is a reduction in the numbers. But we are looking to woo quality students more than the quantity," observed Alison White, Manager (Projects and Planning), The University of Adelaide, one of the four participating institutions at the show.

Representatives of the universities were keen to project Australia’s image as a safe destination. "Varsities take utmost care about the security of students. We organise one week orientation programme for international students and even the Australian police make a presentation to the students," said Nandi Lakshmanan, Promotions Officer, La Trobe University, another participating institution.

"Adelaide is a safe city and we take good care of the security of our students. We even arrange for airport pickups for them," added Ms.White. The Swinburne University and RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) University were the other two institutions which participated in the event.

Tiruchi is the third city in the State where the road show is being held by Mentor Consultancy after Chennai and Coimbatore. The fourth and final road show would be held in Madurai on Thursday. "The response has been good, though not as good as last year," said Vivek Samy, Chief Executive Officer, Mentor Consultancy (Asia Pacific). The scale of the recent attacks on Indian students was not as big as it was projected to be. It is just a question of understanding the Australian way of living and adhering to the rule of the land, he observed.

As for the demand for courses, Mr. Samy and the organisers said most enquiries were for engineering courses (including electronics and information technology, mechanical and even aero space engineering) and business management. Students are issued offer letters the same day by some of the varsities. They are also briefed about the merit scholarships available.

Mentor Consultancy has also been arranging placements for students who complete higher education in Australia, where recruiting agencies cannot collect any fee for the service from the candidates.