AUSTRALIAN UNIVERSITIES and Schools Subject to Pandemic Travel Ban with MK Students stranded

TOWARDS the end of February 2020 …

‘Australian universities are bracing for a significant financial hit if the coronavirus travel ban continues, with more than 80 per cent of Chinese students enrolled at some institutions still stuck overseas as lectures are set to resume.’


IS this an admission that tertiary education in Australia is not about learning but about revenue streams?

WHO got it wrong? … No, they didn’t

WHO got it right? It’s a huge issue but it is clear the universities don’t have a Plan B …

WHY didn’t they have a Plan B when they are supposed to be ‘the best and brightest’ amongst us?

WHY did they put all their eggs in one basket?

WHY were they so disconnected from accounting for risk in their business model?

IF they were so sold on selling…

WHY didn’t they look to other markets and diversify their sources of revenues?

COULD it be the Middle Kingdom made it clear they wouldn’t compete for places, they had a ‘right’ as the major player and would respond in an adverse way if the desired outcome wasn’t achieved in their favour?

WHAT is not liked in one part of the exchange between our economies can easily be addressed in a totalitarian setting, not in our world, it’s not controlled that way!

AND we ought not forget the influence peddling, it matters because it works!

Welcome to your pain Australian Universities, are you going to learn from this experience, or is it a case of business as usual when this current emergency ends, and await the next crisis unchanged?

Key points:

  • An estimated 100,000 university students have been held up by the ban
  • China’s restricted internet is making sending course material challenging
  • The financial hit to the sector could be high if universities have to refund fees

‘The universities, as well as some secondary schools, are using special online learning platforms, third-party companies with contracts into China, live streaming of classes and even the tech savvy of their students to upload course material, despite the Chinese digital firewall making this challenging. …

Facing a major cost burden

At the University of Sydney, international students from China make up 24 per cent, or about 17,000, of the 71,000-strong student population.

The university said it understood about 14,000 of those remained overseas, based on information from the Federal Government

If the university has to start reimbursing fees or cancelling enrolments, the cost could be very high.

According to a Centre for Independent Studies report published in August, the University of Sydney received more in fees from Chinese students in 2017 than any other university with total of $500 million, equivalent to one fifth of its total annual revenue. …

At the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, 5,000 students from China are enrolled, but some 80 per cent of those have been affected by the travel ban. …

Frustrated students fear ‘huge’ impact

At Curtin University, the travel ban has stopped 62 per cent of its Chinese students — a total of about 850 — from returning to Perth.


Coronavirus travel ban hits Australian universities, schools as Chinese students stranded overseas

Woman wearing mask wheeling suitcase on tarmac at night.
PHOTO: The travel ban prevents people coming from mainland China to Australia unless they are Australian citizens or permanent residents. (ABC News: Bill Birtles)