Media Release

Australia India Business Council

Education and Skills Webinar

 Study in Australia – Competitive Advantage for International Students in a Global Context

25 March 2021

The Australia India Business Council (AIBC), Victoria Education and Skills Chapter, held a webinar on 25 March on the topic of Study in Australia – Competitive Advantage for International Students in a Global Context.  The AIBC was honoured to have The Hon Alan Tudge, Minister for Education and Youth, as its keynote speaker for this event. 

The aim of the event was to inform relevant AIBC members and stakeholders on government policy and strategy for continued engagement with the Indian market in the Higher Education, Vocational Education and Skills, and the Schools sectors.  Although the Education sector has been challenged in the past year with the onset of COVID-19, border closures and travel restrictions, it still remains a priority and key growth sector in the bilateral relationship between Australia and India.

Minister Tudge highlighted the importance of Australia’s links and its continued engagement with India, including the good relationship between the two Prime Ministers, Scott Morrison and Narendra Modi, respectively.  In 2019-2020 Australia welcomed over 115,000 students from India, and he acknowledged the many challenges those students faced as a result of COVID.  Presently there are 77,000 students from India in Australia.  Currently Indians are the largest cohort of international students in Australia, representing 1 in 5 from overseas. He also referred to the 1,600 Australian students that have studied in India under Australia’s New Colombo Plan, building people-to-people connections and networks both ways.

The Minister addressed questions including the future for international students in Australia and their work rights, future pathways to Australia, how the Australian education sector will bounce back and under what conditions, and what opportunities exist for institutions both in Australia and India to collaborate and build the education relationship even further via innovative delivery models. 

The session was opened by AIBC National Chair, Jim Varghese AM, who moderated the event and Q&A along with Ravneet Pawha, President of AIBC Victoria and Deputy VP and CEO South Asia at Deakin University. AIBC Victoria Patron Vasan Srinivasan introduced the Minister and Param Jaswal, Victoria Committee Member and Representative for the Education and Skills sector gave the final vote of thanks.

The event was sponsored by Discover Matrix, a registered education and migration consultancy. Established in 2001 with offices in both Australia and India, the company offers services to Indian students for their overseas studies in markets including Australia, USA, Canada, UK, and New Zealand. Discover Matrix has built a strong reputation and is known for providing quality study abroad solutions to prospective students. Daisy Chhokar, Director of Discover Matrix, said Australia has a huge competitive advantage in providing quality education over other countries and the key points she took away from the Minister’s speech were: a significant projected increase in numbers for international students in 2022; potential quarantine regimes that universities could set up with the state governments; and bubble arrangement with Singapore that could help Indian students to get to Australia sooner. Overall, the webinar was very informative and provided a ray of hope in these times, she said.

The event had over 150 registrations from both Australia and India, with more expected to view the recorded event via YouTube and Facebook.

About the Australia India Business Council: 

The AIBC was founded in 1986 and is the only national body representing bilateral trade and investment relations between Australia and India. The AIBC is a national membership organisation with active chapters in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Canberra and maintains close relationships with federal and state government agencies, the diplomatic corps and industry bodies, and showcases opportunities to the Australian business community through an active program of events throughout Australia. For further information, please visit