Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, Feb 22, 2002
Industry & Economy
Company to promote studies in Australia
CHENNAI, Feb. 21
IDP Education Australia, a company floated by 37 Australian universities to promote awareness of Australian education system and facilitate studying there, is interacting with employers and human resource groups here to enhance awareness about the Australian education system.
At a press conference here today, Ms Lindy Hyam, Chief Executive, IDP Education Australia, said that the number of Indian students in Australia during the academic year commencing February 2002 was 12,500.
A majority are in post-graduate courses, with subjects such as biotechnology, healthcare, media studies, and hospitality and tourism in demand. This is a clear shift compared to the trend in 2000 when 56 per cent were in vocational education and training, she said.
Between 1997 and 2000, the number of Indian students studying in Australia doubled to 10,500, she said. More than 190,000 foreign students were studying in Australia, among the highest per capita compared to other developed countries.
IDP has figured among the top 500 companies in Australia, with estimated revenue last year of about A$ 60 million. It is a non-profit company with 65 offices in 35 countries, and would shortly commence operations in Sweden. The money is not paid back to the shareholders but used by the company for expanding access to the Australian educational system, Ms Hyam said.
Its services include students services, development services, assessment and evaluation and client services. The company provides information, advice and support through marketing and promotional activities for students interested in studying in Australia. A majority of the income comes from students services and development services.
In April this year, IDP will also conduct the International English Language Testing System test. Till recently, the British Council was conducting it jointly. IDP will soon develop a network of testing centres throughout the country, she said. IDP, British Council and the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate own the test.
As a part of its development services, its portfolio includes over 30 projects and sector-wide reform programmes estimated at A$230 million funded by agencies such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, she said. The projects, spread across a wide range of developing countries, related to areas such as secondary health sector, education projects, design and development of universities and poultry.
On Wednesday, IDP launched the Chennai chapter of the Australian Alumni Association. IDP supports alumni from Australian educational institutions. It will also manage the 2002 Australian Universities International Alumni Convention in Melbourne in September.
Addressing the launch, Mr N. Ram, Editor, Frontline, said that students' attention has shifted from the educational system in the West to opportunities available in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly Australia.
There are some parallels in the economic development of Australia and India with developments focussed on information technology and biotechnology. Efforts are also being made to expand the trade base between the two countries, he said.
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