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On educational grounds it was found that more than half of the Chinese students, who are studying in Australian universities have found themselves to stay back in their home country in spite of a new academic year to be started very soon. The students became quite worried, when the Australian government had imposed a travel ban in response to the coronavirus outbreak in china.
The academic new term in australia begins in late February and many new students were expected to arrive in the next couple of weeks for orientation.
❒ Travel Ban in Australia
In the winter break many existing students had returned to their respective home from Australia on the occasion of the Lunar New Year in China.
Phil Honeywood, chief executive of the International Education Association of Australia and chair of the International Education Global Reputation taskforce said about 200,000 Chinese international students are studying in Australia, and 107,000 are still to come.
Australia on priority is fighting against the coronavirus outbreak because of their geographical location and there early academic year start date.
In Australia there are one third Chinese students of all international students studying there and said if they would not be able to travel to Australia to begin or continue their studies, with this Honeywood estimated that tertiary institutions could lose as much as 8 billion Australian dollars ($5.3bn).
For this it’s crucial that they would take proper steps to ensure students’ welfare, both in terms of health and education. They will be developing strategies in order to limit the students stress and provide them the support of distance learning told by Al Jazeera.
Institutions are meant for students and looking to the severe outbreak they would make things as flexible as possible for this they have moved ahead and exploring options with the Chinese government to identify online learning options for students still in China.
❒ Ban imposed this month
Many countries have imposed ban on the flights and sealed their borders for to and fro transportation. Australia is among one of several countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore and New Zealand. They had put a travel ban for non-citizens who have been to China in the past 14 days, including people who have travelled through the country. Multiple airlines have also suspended their flights to and from China.
In the beginning of the month February 2020, only their citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family members were being allowed to enter Australia from China.
If anyone is coming from mainland China after 1 February, then one will be required to isolate for a period of 14 days said by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Saturday (01.02.2020) to the media.
World Health Organization (WHO) too has declared emergency and had given the advice that travel and trade are not necessary and could in fact make things worse. The number of people known to have infected with the coronavirus exceeded 24,000 on Tuesday (04.02.2020) and nearly 500 people have died.
❒‘An overreaction’ by Chinese Government
Wang Xining, the deputy head of mission of the Chinese Embassy in Australia, said the Chinese government was disappointed with Australia’s decision. They were not happy about this situation because they had not been alerted before and also they could not find the enough time to be alerted about the restriction.
Though, Wang had revealed that they are in touch with the universities and also with the education ministry to sort out a proper solution for these students and also hoped that their rights and interests will be safeguarded by the Australian Government. Many students residing in China also showed their unhappiness with the ban and said things are unnecessary in progress.
Abbey Shi, an international student from Shanghai, and the general secretary of the University of Sydney Student Representative Council told Al Jazeera by telephone that “It’s an overreaction,”
❒ Annoyance of Students
Abbey Shi said that students are keeping themselves well-informed about the coronavirus. People are not sounding good about the travel ban, because it has lots of consequences like- tenancy agreements, university fees, and other contractual obligations etc.
Shi had also said that many international students have complaints about how they are treated by the Australian government and universities and on the top of it the travel ban has simply added to their frustrations.
Abby has also said that students are very well aware that the sector is much commercialised in Australia, and don’t get a lot of support from universities in general, they are just getting treated as a source of income.
For this the students are quite annoyed and said how bluntly this decision could be taken by the government and now universities are asking students to suspend their studies.
The Australian government has said that they will review the travel ban every 14 days and withdraw it when the outbreak is considered to have been controlled.