The Australian city of Melbourne has long been known as a centre of learning for international students.

Education brings in more than $4bn a year, making it Victoria state's biggest export industry.

Many Indian students attend the city's universities and vocational colleges with an eye to gaining permanent residency. 

But continued attacks on Indian nationals is threatening the image of Melbourne as a safe place for foreign students and led to a nearly 50 per cent drop in Indian student visa applications this year. 

In this edition of 101 East, we ask if racism is behind these attacks and look at just what the Australian government is doing about it.

We are joined by Gautham Gupta from the Federation of Indian Students Association, Sam Afra, the chair of the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria, and Michael Danby, a federal MP and chair of the Committee on Migration.

This episode of 101 East airs from Thursday, February 11, 2010 at the following times GMT: Thursday: 1230; Friday: 0300; Saturday: 0530, 1730; Sunday: 0330, 1130; Monday: 1630; Tuesday: 1430; Wednesday: 0830, 1930; Thursday: 0630.

Source: Al Jazeera