Around The World: Indians in Australia - Understanding the Changing Face of a Community
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In this talk Dr. Michiel Baas will investigate the changing face of the Indian community in Australia with a particular focus on the city of Melbourne. He will do so by examining this with reference to the spectacular growth of Indian students’ enrolments in Australian colleges and universities over the period of 2002-2009 and its subsequent decline afterwards. Two interlinked developments contributed to this decline. First of all the closing down of a significant number of colleges specifically catering to the migration desires of international students but offering substandard education seriously damaged Australia’s reputation as a provider of quality education. However, a spate of violent, racist attacks on Indian students increasingly making headlines around this period also raised serious questions about how safe Australia was for international students. This presentation will show how the composition of the Indian community in Australia has changed because of the arrival of an increasing number of Indian student till 2009. It will also engage with the question of how the established community has dealt with the growth in numbers as well as the racist and violent attacks on Indian students. Finally this seminar will ask what can be learned from these developments and how matter for the Indian community in Singapore as well.
About the Speaker:
Dr Michiel Baas is currently a Research Fellow at the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore. Dr Baas has previously been a coordinator with the International Institute for Asian Studies (Leiden, the Netherlands), as well as lecturer with the anthropology-sociology department of the University of Amsterdam, coordinator with the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research and coordinator with the Eutopia Institute (Amsterdam). He received both his PhD and MA in Anthropology/Sociology from the University of Amsterdam and BA in International Management from the Higher School of Economic Studies.
Dr Baas's PhD research looked at Indian student-migrant flows to Australia, resulting in a book titled "Imagined Mobility. Migration and Transnationalism among Indian Students in Australia", published by Anthem Press (London, 2010).