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Premier of Victoria allays fears of Indian students

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Premier of Australia’s Victoria state, John Brumby, plays cricket at St. Stephen’s College in New Delhi on Thursday.
Premier of Australia’s Victoria state, John Brumby, plays cricket at St. Stephen’s College in New Delhi on Thursday.

Staff Reporter

“India is our biggest market for education exports”

NEW DELHI: The Premier of Victoria, John Brumby, on Thursday assured Indian students that they are welcome in Victoria and outlined his government’s actions to improve the experience of international students living in Victoria.

Addressing students at Delhi University’s St. Stephen’s College, Mr. Brumby said: “Victorians come from more than 200 countries of origin, speak more than 230 languages and dialects..…And one of those countries is India. Victoria’s 50,000-strong Indian community is a vital part of modern-day multicultural Victoria.”

He indicated that the Victorian community and the Victorian Government had taken several “practical actions” to reaffirm the State’s commitment to multiculturalism and to improve the experience for international students. “Education is a major focus area of my trip here. That’s because the majority of Victorian exports to India are services or skill-based, and education is our biggest export earner and India our biggest market for education exports,” he said.

“We want to build on these successes, which is why I will, tomorrow, be unveiling a package to strengthen Victoria’s international education sector, and boost services for overseas students,” he announced. Mr. Brumby highlighted some of the measures adopted for the benefit of students: “We are trialling a new international students’ care service which will enable international students to get support and assistance 24 hours a day when they need it. We have also introduced in the Victorian Parliament the Sentencing Amendment Bill, 2009, to explicitly list hatred and prejudice of people who share common characteristics as a factor that must be taken into account by judges when sentencing.”

Mr. Brumby said the police were equipped with additional powers to search for weapons, move people on from trouble spots, and to fine people on the spot for disorderly conduct. Additional transit police will also be deployed on the public transport network. “The violence we have seen in Melbourne over the past few months is of great concern to us, and we are doing everything in our power to ensure that the actions of an ignorant few do not undermine our relationship and the reputation Melbourne has as a peaceful and friendly city,” he said. Later he had a chat with some students in the Principal’s room.

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