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Article
Publication date: 8 December 2020

Amit Sarwal and David Lowe

Academic scholarship on the White Australia Policy (WAP) has highlighted the history of Asian migration, early perceptions and policy-making initiatives. Prominent…

Abstract

Purpose

Academic scholarship on the White Australia Policy (WAP) has highlighted the history of Asian migration, early perceptions and policy-making initiatives. Prominent scholars have also pointed out the impact of the British Empire and WAP on Australia–India relations and early Indian migrants in Australia. Drawing on the debate concerning international students in Australia, our purpose in this article is to recover the role of Indian students in the story of Australian–Indian connections.

Design/methodology/approach

The article aims to highlight the reasons behind the involvement of the Australian government in the provision of scholarships and fellowships to Indian students and researchers at Australian universities during the period of WAP. To achieve this, it uses contemporary Australian newspaper reports to explore the popular representations of sponsored Indian students and researchers in Australia from 1901 to 1950.

Findings

The article concludes that the prevalence of this racially discriminatory immigration policy created a dissatisfaction among Indians, and some Australian sources of agitation, that helped chip away at the Australian government’s admission policies and the gradual demise of WAP.

Originality/value

This article contributes to the historiography and the effects of colonialism on Australian–Indian relations and debates on policy formation based on ideas of whiteness.

Details

History of Education Review, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0819-8691

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