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"The education system of Australia and India, how Indian students (international)face difficulties in Australian universities, what sort of improvement is necessary for Indian education system and what Australian universities are doing and what else should be done to help Indian students."
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An education system plays a very important role in the development of a country and its citizens. At the same time every country has a different education system and its contribution is also different in the lives of citizens. There are many students who prefer to go to abroad for higher studies because of several reasons. This trend has been observed among Indian students who are going to Australia for higher studies (Batalova, 2007).The number of Indian students in universities in Australia is gradually increasing and with this increasing numbers the problems and issues faced by Indian students in Australia are also increasing. There are a number of contributing factors that are increasing problems of Indian students. These problems would be discussed in detail in the report.
This report aims at contrasting Indian education system with Australian education system. For this, major aspects of Indian education system and Australian education system are outlined first. The report will be then directed towards major problems that Indian students face while studying in Australian universities. To deal with these problems Australian universities are taking numbers of initiatives so as to protect the interest of Indian students. The objective of these initiatives is to solve the problems faced by Indian students in Australia. The reason why so many students from India are taking admission in Australian universities is that there are some flaws in the education system of India and students are not satisfied with the level of education. Thus, the report would also focus on improving the education system of India. Finally there shall be a number of recommendations for Australian universities to help the Indian students studying in therein this way the complete analysis has a single agenda that is the problems of Indian students in Australian universities.
Methodology deals with the mode with which data is collected to prepare this report. Ideally there are two methods that can be used in collecting the data for the report. These methods are primary data collection and secondary data collection. Methodology also includes interpretation part. Interpretation helps in analyzing facts and figures that are being collected using one the above two methods. For the purpose of this report secondary data collection method is used. In this method the relevant information such as education system of India, education system of Australia, problems faced by Indian students in Australia, comparison between both the systems, initiatives taken by Australian universities for Indian students, etc. are collected with the help of literature, previous researches, newspapers, articles, journals , etc. Thus the secondary tool for methodology comprises of data that is already available and it is second-hand data. This methodology is the most suitable with respect to this particular situation because it would enable in knowing about the past incidents.
To analyze all the facts and figures efficiently it is very necessary to first prepare the strong background. For making a background methodology plays a significant role. This background information and data that is being collected will help in next sections to elaborate on the topics and prove their rationality. Hence, methodology is the most important part of this report. This section will help in taking the report to the right direction.
Indian education systems owe its existence to ancient “Gurukul “system. In the past centuries there was a system that students will have to stay with their mentors (Guru) and there they used to learn literature, war techniques, eating habits, etc. In short they were skilled in every aspect of life. Gradually this system is being taken over by three tier system and there have been many changes in the system. At present the education system of Indian is divided into three parts that are primary education system, secondary education system and tertiary education system. The schools, academies and institutes in India are owned by public as well as private sector. There is huge intervention of the constitution of India on the education systems .The constitution of India has laid down that education is compulsory for children in the age group 6-14 years under the right to education act (Varghese, 2008). This right to education act also laid down that the education is free and compulsory for these students who are falling under the age group of 6-14 years. This initiative has been taken to improve the level of education in India. The constitution of India also have several provision related to the reservation of some castes in the educational institutes. All the public owned institutes have to reserve 50 % seats for the students belonging to reserved categories. Except for this there are provisions of giving scholarships to the students belonging to reserved categories.
The education system in India starts from kindergarten and goes till Bachelor’s degree. It generally takes 15 years for a student to complete his/her education till graduation degree or bachelor’s degree. Of these 15 years 12 years are generally taken by students to complete school education. The school education gets finished when a student gets passed in 12th standard. Generally the structure of education system in India is “10+2+3”. The 10 years mentioned here are for primary education and secondary education and the 3 years are for tertiary education (Mukherjee & Chanda, 2012). The education system of India had become adamant gradually and the reason is that after passing class 10th students are required to take specializations. There are majorly three specializations that are offered by maximum institutes that are science, commerce and humanities. For this reason students are inclined towards these specialization and they could not think outside the box. The Indian education systems focuses more on grades and ranks rather than practical knowledge.
India has large number of primary and secondary schools but when it comes to higher education students have very less choices of institutes to choose from. The language of instruction in Indian universities and institutes are basically English but there are some institutes where Hindi and other regional languages are used. The funding for public institutes in India comes from local level administration, state level administration and central level administration. In the Indian education system the apex body for designing curriculum and other school related matters is NCERT (National council of educational research and training). There are many schools in India that are affiliated to foreign programs. The technical courses of the universities are controlled and governed by AICTE. Thus, there are many apex bodies and institutes in India that are controlling the education system and making efforts to develop it. The irony of Indian education system is that parents are not willing to send their children for schooling in government owned public schools but students are dying to get admission into government owned higher education institutes such as IIM and IIT.
In this way the education system of India is preparing its students to get better jobs because they think that managing good grades will grab good job. But this is a flaw in the education system of India. The lack of practicality in Indian education system is causing brain drain and many students are finding their way to abroad to get good education. Due to less number of seats in good institute students are trying their luck in foreign universities. Indian education system, at present is not efficient enough to handle a number of students and provide them better quality of education (Ahmed, 2006).This is due to the lack of infrastructure and basic facilities for providing education. In this way Indian education system needs a better system and approach.
Figure 1: Indian Education System
The education system of Australia is based on primary, secondary and tertiary education. The school education is termed as Primary and secondary education in Australia. The Australian education system is uniform across all the Australian states and territories except for a few changes in some territories. In Australia the school education is compulsory. Every student is required to get enrolled in the school to get elementary education. The age of getting compulsory education is 6-16 years. The span of receiving school education Australia is generally 13 years. The primary school starts at kindergarten and runs for around seven to eight years (Castels, 2010).The secondary school runs for around three to four years and the senior secondary school runs for around 2 years and it comprises of class 11th and 12th. The tertiary education system consists of higher education that includes university education and other vocational training courses. The universities in Australia are focusing on Vocational courses so as to develop the skills of students to make them efficient enough to get a job easily. The three tier model of education is the pillar of education system in Australia.
The responsibility of managing education systems in Australia is of territories as well as states. Each territory as well as state provides for funding to public as well as private schools and at the same time they also have powers to regulate it. This is something that enables the government of Australia to keep a check on education practices and make them efficient. The role of federal government is to provide funding but it shall be noted that it is not involved in developing the curriculum of the university. There is a body called Australian National curriculum that is under development but some schools have adopted it and other will adopt it soon when it would become compulsory to adopt it (ABC, 2009).This is the body that sets curriculum and is basically helping in maintaining uniformity among schools and the level of education. The school education system of Australia is very efficient and is focused towards developing practicality among students so as to develop their intellectual. There are wide varieties of courses being offered by Australian universities. These courses are prepared according to the demand of the market.
The language of instruction used in Australian universities and schools is English. English is also used as an official language of Australia. Along with English other foreign languages are also being taught in the universities. To ensure the quality of education system and cater to the needs of the students keeping in mind the changing environment, Australian Qualifications framework (AQF) is established. This body was established in the year 1995 and it acts as a national policy. It works to cover the qualifications for tertiary education and due to this the tertiary education system is running very smoothly. The AQF (Australian Qualifications framework) has 10 links and levels that connect schools and universities into a national system and it enables students to move from one level to another very easily (Collins, 2006). If a student is studying in the institute that is affiliated to AQF then it is a surety that it is genuine. The education system of Australia is accredited and trustworthy and this is the reason why many international students are taking admission in Australian universities. The program for International Student Assessment, 2006 has ranked Australian education system in terms of science and mathematics. The education system of Australia for science has been ranked eight and for mathematics it is thirteenth. This is the worldwide ranking. Not only has this but the education system of Australia won many awards and recognitions. In the year 2102, Pearson ranked Australian education system as the thirteenth best education system of the world (Withers, 2006). Due to these awards and recognitions international students get attracted towards Australian universities. Due to increase in the number of foreign students in Australian Universities a number of colleges and institutes are getting established in Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra, Perth and Sydney .In this way the education system of Australia is self-sufficient and is helping in developing the skills of the students.
Figure 2: Education system of Australia
Education system of any country is designed according to the environment of that country and the requirements of the skills in that country. This is the reason why education systems of all the countries are different and so is of Australia and India. When these two education systems are compared and contrasted it is found that there are a number of differences in them, but at the same time these education systems are also similar in several aspects. This section deals with contrasting Indian education system with the education system of Australia. The education system of India is basically focused upon grading and rankings whereas the education system of Australia is basically focused upon providing practical education to the students. The education system of India focuses on theory aspect rather than focusing on practical aspects of the study whereas in Australia the education system is concerned with providing practical education to the students. Due to this reason there is less space for creativity in education (D’Costa, 2010). In Australia education is treated as a learning process but in India it is treated a formal and a routine task. In India it is compulsory for every student to get a degree whether he/she learn anything or not. Thus, learning is not an objective of Indian education system. The only objective is to get a degree. The Australian education systems have courses ranging from sports to arts. Australian education system stresses more on sports and the curriculum includes hokey, cricket and boxing. In contrast to that Indian system only focuses on the specialization taken by a student and extra-curricular activities are neglected to a very great extent. In Australia primary and secondary education is free in many institutes but in India education system is becoming a big business. In India students are not free to select the fields of their choice. This is the decision that is taken by their parents. It is a common perception among Indian people that everyone must become a doctor or an engineer. There is no space for arts and sports. These are the disciplines that are taken by the students who do not get admission in a science or commerce college. But it’s nothing like that in Australia. Parents do not intervene in the decision making of the students and they are free to opt whatever specialization they want to opt (Robertson, 2011). In Australia Universities encourage students to go for arts as well as sports. There is also a difference in the perceptions of the students in India and in Australia. In India students want to get admissions into institutes that will offer better job opportunities whereas in Australia students opt for something that they find interesting. The curriculum of Indian education system is not at all updated and the technology and course material used in universities is very old. In Australia universities constantly try to improve their course and technologies. The system of assessment in Indian universities is based on examination whereas in Australia it is based on seminars, assignments and essays. Australian education system focuses much on research activities and self study of students. Indian education systems are exactly opposite to this system.
The major aspects of difference in Indian education system and Australian education system are described below in a nutshell:
Indian students are facing a number of problems in Australian universities. The above analysis of difference between Australian education system and Indian education system shows that there are so many flaws in Indian education system. These flaws are proving to be fatal for the students who are studying in Australia. The students are coming to Australia for higher studies. This means that students have studied in India for around 12 to 14 years and then they are going to Australia. During these 12 years the perception and mindset of students have been made according to the Indian education system and then when they come to Australia it is sort of a shock for them. As discussed above Indian education system focuses on the critical aspects rather than focusing on practical aspects due to that when they are doing higher education courses in Australia they are not able to grasp easily and the method of teaching is also very different in Australia. The Indian students face so many problems initially but most of them get acquainted with it gradually.
The foremost issue that is faced by Indian students is language problem. In Indian education systems except for English universities also focus on other regional languages and due to that command of students over English is quite weak. The mode of instruction in Australian universities is majorly English and that becomes a problem for many students to understand. The students are not able to understand what is being taught to them in the class room and due to that they are not able to perform well (Ahmed, 2006). This is the problem most of the Indian students face in Australian universities and then many of them leave the course wasting money as well as the time. Then the next issue comes when they are not aware of the basic concepts. Tutors in Australian universities expect that the fundamentals are clear to every student in the class and thus they teach at advanced levels. But the problem here is that an Indian education system has not been able to provide the students with basics of any stream with a practical aspect. Due to this Australian students and other students from different countries could perform well but Indian students could not. This is a reason of depression and de-motivation among many students.
There are some problems that are related to non-congenial behavior of other students in campus, non-reach ability to the resources, biasness, etc. in Australian Universities. In past few years there were many cases related to torture of Indian students in Australia. Due to such incidents many students are now living in threat of suffering from the same situation and this is causing much anxiety in the Indian students in Australian Universities (Enslin & Hedge, 2008).At the same time Indian students are not able to cope up with the Australian education system. The education system in Australia is very strict and there are harsh punishments in case of any discrepancies. Indian students are not able to comply with such strict norms as a result of that they face several problems. The most significant problem faced by Indian students is that there is huge gap in expectations of students and delivery standards of the faculties.
Australian Universities have now started taking initiatives to solve the problems being faced by Indian students. The issues with Indian students are increasing at an alarming rate in Australia and it was a much needed step to take by the universities. There are thousands of students studying in Australian universities and it is very necessary for universities to take several measures to satisfy Indian students. The first step taken by Australian universities is to deliver lectures in such a way that Indian students shall understand and learning process shall become smooth (Hawthorne, 2010). This is the problem that is faced by almost all the Indian students in Australian Universities and due to that satisfaction level of Indian students was decreasing gradually. The Umbrella body that is Universities Australia has taken several initiatives in tackling the problem. A meeting has been held in Canberra that is being presided over by VC’s of all the major universities of Australia. This joint meeting was called with an objective to resolve all the problems of Indian students. The meeting also aimed at probing the incidents of violence against Indian students. The major reason behind this concern is that every year thousands of Indian students come to Australia for higher education and if these instances would continue then the number of students might decrease. Australian Universities do not want a decline in Indian students in universities and due to that they have taken initiatives (OECD, 2010).After these meeting universities have made several committees and these committees have several Indian representatives. These representatives were made responsible for dealing with the matters that are being faced by Indian students and then reporting these matters to the higher authorities of the universities so that they can solve it. Australian universities have also started feedback session .These feedback sessions are aimed at knowing the perspectives of Indian students with respect to their experience in campus. The feedback was not only intended to know on campus activities’ and experiences but also about off campus issues. With this feedback they are able to make policies and work in the interest of Indian students.
To increase the level of Indian students so that they can get what is being taught to them, Australian universities have started special coaching sessions for them. These coaching sessions have been proved to be very effective for enhancing the basics and strengthening the fundamentals of the students. Australian universities are also giving scholarships to Indian students to boost up their morale and make them study hard (Koleth, 2010). Universities are also making efforts to increase the research acumen of Indian students because they are not in habit to that. As a matter of fact research is an integral part of curriculum of Australian universities and it is very important for Indian students to have these skills. Australian Universities are also promoting friendly environment so that Indian students are not left out by Australian students and there is a sense of belongingness among all of them. In this way Australian universities are making efforts to deal with the problems faced by the Indian students.
Indian education system has so many flaws and it has now become very vital to address these flaws and make the education systems effective. The foremost thing that is destroying education system of India is corruption. Education has become a business in India. To get admission in several courses a student is not required having good marks or qualification he/she just needs to have huge money to pay them and get an admission. Practices of corruption are required to be stopped immediately to improve te system of learning in institutes. Due to corruption unskilled students are getting admission and they are wasting that particular seat. It is very important for an institute to have such policies that only deserving candidates can get admission in the institutes. Due to these practices the goodwill of Indian education system is at stake and people started losing faith on this system. Indian education system is such that students are only expected to learn facts and figures and pass the examination (Mukherjee & Chanda, 2012).But this is something that is of no use in future. To improve the education system it is required to change this system. Indian universities are required to use practical examples and research in curriculum so that students are aware of the latest trends. This helps a student in dealing with practical situations of life and business .Education system in India is considered as formal process that is required to be taken up by everyone but this is a very wrong approach. Indian Universities and education systems are required to make it a learning process. If this would become a learning process then everything would become very swift in education systems. It will help the students in understanding the actual meaning of education.
Indian Education systems are required to break stereotyping. The mentality in India is that people shall opt for science, commerce or mathematics. Except for these disciplines all the other disciplines are waste and are taken by someone who is not capable enough. This mentality is required to be changed and students are required to be motivated to take other streams as well. Due to this Indian students are not active in other activities like arts and sports (Nyland, Mewett, & Marginson, 2011). It will help in improving the education system to a very great extent. If Indian education system is to be improved then the examination scheme shall also be changed. Under this system students are only concerned with getting good grades and due to that actual learning does not take place. Except for these issues the curriculum is also required to be updated according to the dynamicity of the world to prepare the students. Infrastructure and technology is also required to be improved to improve Indian education system.
The most significant point to be noted here is that Indian students have different culture and mindset and when they come to Australia they get cultural shock. So, it may be good of Australian universities would do something so as to make it a bit easy for Indian students to cope up in Australian universities. Along with cultural differences there is a difference in expectations of the students. They expect that the classes would be in accordance with their level but it does not turn out to be like that. Australian universities are required to make flow of lectures in such a way that students’ expectations will get fulfilled. For this Universities will have to instruct tutors to do this in their classes. There is also a need for universities to arrange for extra classes of those Indian students who are extremely weak so that they can come in flow with other students. Next, many Australian students do not treat Indian students equally and they discriminate and universities are also not taking any action. Here university is required to intervene and make several guidelines to stop the discrimination among students (Ahmed, 2006). University can make use of ideologies, role plays and other group activities to be performed by all the students. Australian universities can also help out Indian students in other matters or off campus matters. There are number of such matters .If these matters will be resolved by universities through some measures then the condition of Indian students in Australia will improve to a very great extent. This is possible by making self help groups by the universities consisting of students .Australian universities can also help Indian students in improving their languages skills by providing them training sessions for English (Hawthorne, 2010). There are many students who have problems in English and they do not have good command over English and due to that they are not able to do well in studies. Education system is another issue that is hampering Indian students from progress. Indian education system is totally different from that of Australian and it is very important for Australian universities to make Indian students acquainted with the education system of Australia (Jakubowicz & Monani, 2010). Australian universities shall also work on the feedback being taken from the Indian students. This will help them in knowing all the other problems and the expectations of Indian students from the system. All these efforts by Australian universities will help Indian students to achieve their objectives and living peacefully in Australia.
The analysis of education system of India and education system of Australia suggests that there are major differences between these two systems and this is one of the major reasons why Indian students are facing problems in Australian universities. The approach with which Indian education system is running is very different and it needs several changes. There are so many flaws in this system. Due to this system Indian students are lacking behind in terms of quality of education from other countries and especially from Australia. This has resulted in migration of thousands of Indian Students to Australia in search of getting good education. But when they reach Australia they have to face many problems in initial phase. Later on they start settling up and thanks to the efforts done by Australian Universities. Australian universities have done huge efforts to prevent the interest of Indian students but still the condition of Indian students in Australia is miserable. There are a number of students who are victimizing violence, discrimination, and they also have problems in studies. Australian Universities are not taking these issues seriously and such instances are gradually increasing. Australian universities are required to stop such instances by taking strict actions otherwise Indian students will start losing their faith. This could also result in increasing the number of Indian students in Australian universities. The environment, safety and security measures are something that attracts a student towards a country but if all these are not ensured then students will start discouraging such countries. Due to standard of education and level of studies, more and more Indian students prefer to get admission in universities in Australia. Thus, it is totally up to Australian universities whether they would prevent such instances or just be a mock spectator. The decision of students in future will be dependent upon the steps taken by Australian Universities to protect their interest. Thus, Australian Universities will have to take some initiatives if they want to retain the faith of Indian students.
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