Western Sydney University offers $1500 for Chinese students to return
Australia’s Western Sydney University has announced that it will offer AUD $1500 to Chinese students in order to subsidise their return to studies at the university.
The Coronavirus travel ban currently restricts travel to Australia from mainland China, and individuals travelling from China must first spend 14 days in another country before they can return to Australia.
Western Sydney University is offering a one-off subsidy to affected Chinese students to help cover this additional travel cost, so that they can return and commence their studies.
The Australian government decided at the start of February to deny entry to anyone who has left or travelled in transit through mainland China. This ban has now been extended through to 29 February.
As the new academic year has begun, the ban’s extension has led to increasing fear amongst Australia’s higher education providers that Chinese students will be forced to withdraw and opt to pursue university studies in other parts of the world.
Western Sydney University says Chinese students keen to start studies in Australia
In a statement, Western Sydney University said “[Chinese] students are keen to travel to Australia and start the new academic year as soon as possible.”
A university spokesperson also told Deutsche Welle that “for students who choose not to take up this offer, [Western Sydney] University will continue to support them with online resources and remote learning activities.”
Western Sydney University says its offer includes enabling Chinese students to access course content online, postponing course start dates and delaying assessments.
Chinese students contribute AUD $11 billion annually to Australian economy
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, last year Chinese students contributed AUD $11 billion to the Australian economy.
This contribution is almost a third of the total financial contributions that Australia’s foreign students makes to their economy (AUD $35 billion a year).
Josephine Walbank is a reporter for Global Education Times (GET News) with a focus on education in the UK, Asia-Pacific, and Americas, and student experience and lifestyle news.
Josephine is an experienced journalist who previously served as the Editor-in-Chief of The Falmouth Anchor. She is also the former Deputy Editor of Voices, the Falmouth & Exeter Students’ Union’s publication, and has written for various food and lifestyle publications.
You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org