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Brett Lee assures Indians' safety in Aus

IANS
Jun 03, 2009 at 05:03pm IST

New Delhi: Amid concerns over safety of Indian students in Australia after a series of racist attacks on some of them, an Australian university has fielded cricketer Brett Lee to assure the Indian student community of a safe and secure environment to study in his country.

Faced with the outcry in India over attacks on Indian students in Australia, Australian universities are working overtime to give assurances students and their parents.

Deakin University, which has around 1,500 Indian students, has asked Brett Lee, the "face" of the institute in India, to convey its message.

GENERATING TRUST: Deakin University asked Brett Lee to become the face of the institute in India.

"The university is taking a number of steps to help our Indian students not just feel safe, but be safe," Lee said in a press release by Deakin.

Deakin University has 35,000 students, with four campuses in Victoria state. The largest campus is based in Melbourne, where most of the attacks have been recorded.

"The university is doing everything it can to ensure the safety of students. Deakin will be providing advice on how to keep out of harms ways, and also counseling for anyone who feels unsure at this time," noted Lee.

"I would say to anyone who is concerned to contact the university or (its) office in India."

Deakin says it was the first foreign university to open an office in India over 10 years ago.

"Our relationship with India is an enduring one," said Deakin University vice chancellor Sally Walker.

"We are as devastated by recent events as anyone but we feel that working together with current and future students, we can resolve all the issues," she added.

Deakin India chief executive officer Ravneet Pahwa said the university had been getting a lot of calls from worried parents after the reports in Indian media.

"The issue has been blown out of proportion," Pahwa told IANS. "I have spoken to the Indian students and they were totally relaxed, have no problems."

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