Top Australian universities warned Friday Chinese students may walk away from courses Down Under after Canberra extended a coronavirus travel ban, in a major blow to the multi-billion-dollar sector.
Nearly 70,000 Chinese visa holders are due to start their semesters soon at eight top-ranked universities, but have been stuck since the bans started on February 1, said Vicki Thomson, chief executive of Group of Eight, which represents the universities.
“We can’t give our students any certainty as to when they can actually come here. So there is a risk of students choosing not to come here,” Thomson said.
“We are in quite unprecedented times and uncertain times.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Thursday the ban would be extended for at least another week, drawing the ire of China, which branded the move an “overreaction”.
Thompson warned that countries with competing universities, such as Britain and Canada, remain open to Chinese students and many people could look elsewhere.
Read more : The Jakarta Post