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The number of new Indian students fell by 25 per cent last year, Australian Education International figures show.

The latest quarterly report from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) found there was a 43% drop in visa applications for the second half of 2012.

Onshore applications are down 52 per cent, while the DIAC data point out that the granting of visas has dropped 55 per cent.

However, India is still counted as one of the top five countries that use Australia for education – the other four are China, South Korea, Brazil and Vietnam.

With figures showing that in pure numbers, India is still one of the top countries for education in Australia, the contradictory fact that the percentages are dropping indicates there is a high rejection rate of Indian applicants and the sub continental nation has a long processing time.

It comes as News Limited reports that while higher education enrolment from foreign students has risen, visa applications for Vocational Education and Training (VET) have fallen 22 per cent.

Chief executive of private college body ACPET Claire Field told the newspaper that she is calling on the government to extend visa concessions to her educational sector.

She explained: “Good providers are going to the wall and Australia is losing substantial export income.”

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