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Indian student death will not deter others: agents

Indian education agents have said that the despite safety concerns raised by the suspected “hate” killing of Masters student, Anuj Bidve in Salford, UK, on Boxing Day, Indian students would not be deterred from applying to UK courses.
January 6 2012
2 Min Read

Indian agents have told The PIE that the safety concerns raised by the recent “hate” killing of international student, Anuj Bidve in Salford, UK, on Boxing Day, have little grounding. They reported that Indian students would not be deterred from applying to British courses going forward.

“Some parents are panicking a bit, but after a few months I think things will be alright. These sorts of attacks have not happened much in the UK. If they begin to multiply, then it will be a problem. Otherwise I think it’s temporary,”  said Sudhakaraiah Yeddula, CEO of national education agency EduChannel.

Arun Jacob, Director of the pan-Indian agency Array Globe, said: “Bottom-line, I believe these things tend to cause a very temporary blip. The fact is most of the kids have been dreaming about studying overseas, and they won’t let a random incident put them off.”

Anuj Bidve’s family in London meet Keith Vaz, MP (right)

Anuj Bidve was shot in an unprovoked attack while walking with a group of friends in Salford, Manchester in the early hours of Boxing Day (Dec 26). Police have already arrested and charged a man for his murder. He was studying an MSc in microelectronics at Lancaster University and was visiting Manchester with fellow students. His parents are today in the UK visiting parliament.

His father commented, “I feel myself, as a father that this should not happen again because a lot of Indian students come here for their education and they go back to their own countries.” He said his son “was very happy staying here and doing his work and I feel he could have been a very great asset not only to India but to the whole globe.”

“A lot of Indian students come here for their education and they go back to their own countries”

The murder in the UK was not the only tragedy involving an Indian overseas student last month. In British Columbia, Canada, business student Alok Gupta, 27, was shot dead in a Christmas Day robbery at the grocery store where he worked. Also last month in Melbourne, Australia, a 17-year old was given 13 years in prison for killing Indian student Nitin Garg in a botched mugging in January 2011.

There have been moves in Britain to pre-empt a crisis of confidence among overseas students. Last week Keith Vaz, chairman of the UK’s Home Affairs Select Committee, said that overseas students needed to be “reassured that the UK has taken every possible step to ensure such a tragic event will not happen again”. Universities UK has also spoken to the Indian press to reassure prospective students that the UK is a “safe and tolerant” place to study.

Operators in the UK and India will be mindful of the market decline faced by Australia after a spate of racially motivated attacks on Indians in the country in 2009. The attacks caused outrage in India and led to a 46% drop in Indian student applications to Australia, but subsequent studies have suggested that the extent of the problem was exaggerated by the media.

Said Jacob: “I think these incidents are not about people hatching a plot to scare off the foreign students and immigrants… I do not think they will create a big dent in the flow of students overseas whether it is to the UK, Australia, Canada, or New Zealand. What would create more of a problem are the visa regulations.”

“It’s very, very unfortunate for the [Bidve] family. But ultimately these incidents are bound to happen from time to time.”

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