Sydney University is targeting India as it tries to diversify its international student market and take advantage of the subcontinent's unease about Donald Trump's America and Brexit.
With Australia on the verge of overtaking Britain as the second-most popular destination for international students after the US, the university is positioning itself as a politically stable option.
Sydney University Vice Chancellor Michael Spence said overseas students were worried about uncertainty in the US and Britain, as well as "cultural backlash of a kind that hasn't been as strong here in Australia".
"It no longer being immediately obvious that you might want to go to the United States or the United Kingdom, Indian students are looking a bit more imaginatively at other English language speaking jurisdictions," Dr Spence said.
Group of Eight universities, such as Sydney, have traditionally attracted Chinese students, who prefer highly ranked universities and living in cities. The Indian market is more price sensitive; its students tend to choose cheaper, regional universities.
Fewer than 3 per cent of Sydney University's 27,600 international students come from India, while 65 per cent come from China. Sydney University is aiming to double its Indian cohort in the next three years.
Sydney Uni wants to attract the kind of high-achieving Indian students that would normally opt for universities in the US for medicine and the sciences, and universities in Britain for law and the humanities.
"For high-quality students from India, Australia is a newer market," Dr Spence said.
International students are important to Australia's economy but there have been concerns, most recently from the NSW auditor-general, that relying too heavily on certain regions would leave universities exposed to economic or political change in those countries.
Andrew Norton, higher education program director at the Grattan Institute, said enrolling more non-Chinese students was a sensible goal for Sydney, but India was not likely to become a major alternative to China in the near future.
"Sydney's fees are high and I expect that many Indian students will be unable or unwilling to pay," he said.
Within the next 18 months, the university will increase its India-based staff from one to six and will look beyond Mumbai and New Delhi. ''The university will aim to recruit the best students from all regions of India," said the vice-principal of external relations, Tania Rhodes-Taylor.
"There are emerging opportunities in India's tier-two and tier-three cities that we will be targeting through direct interaction and also through our expanded agent networks."
A recent paper from London's Centre for Global Higher Education showed that Britain's international student numbers were slowing while Australia's were growing rapidly. It said Australia was likely to move into second place soon, if it hasn't already.
Britain has limited its student numbers and post-study work visas. Concerns from Europeans about their ability to study there after Brexit are also putting pressure on the British market. Meanwhile, Australia's numbers have grown rapidly in the past few years and the country is seen to have more attractive post-study work options.
Students also regard Sydney and Melbourne as welcoming, an important factor in university choice. "The feedback from our international students is incredibly positive about their experience in the city," Dr Spence said. "Sydney is a very diverse place."
Jordan Baker is Education Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald