Chinese international student visas halted by Home Affairs

The Department of Home Affairs has dealt another hammer blow to the international student trade, halting visas to Chinese students that had been accepted to study at Australian education institutions:

A group of education agents — whose members channel Chinese students into all major universities — says it has not seen any student visas issued to mainland Chinese applicants since February 1, the day Scott Morrison imposed the coronavirus travel ban…

“After the Prime Minister’s announcement, we haven’t seen any new visas granted,” said Gary Li, president of the Education Consultants Association of Australia, which has about 35 members.

Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge confirmed on Tuesday that “due to the enhanced border measures we are not finalising applications for individuals currently in mainland China”…

The group of Chinese students who are still waiting for their visas to be issued are additional to the 100,000 who have visas but are caught in China.

This follows the Chinese Government’s cancellation of English-language exams for a second consecutive month, which will also stem the flow of new students into Australia’s universities (other things equal).

Meanwhile, Health Minister Greg Hunt yesterday gave his strongest indication yet that the travel ban on China looks set to extend beyond Saturday:

Mr Hunt used his strongest language yet to warn the travel ban, due to expire at the weekend, would likely be extended when a decision was made at the end of the week…

“We don’t want to set a false expectation that is likely to change yet at this point,” he said.

“We’re going to have a very serious consideration of that at the end of this week.”

He said the travel advice for Australians regarding China remained “do not travel”, but would not be drawn on for how long the ban for entrance to Australia from China would be extended.

“We follow the medical advice … everybody understands the huge implications of these travel bans, and if there’s any reason or basis for relaxing them, that advice will come as soon as it’s there,” Mr Hunt said.

Recall that China is by far Australia’s biggest source of international students, with 255,000 enrolled across Australia at the end of 2019:

China also accounted for $12.1 billion of Australia’s education ‘exports’ in 2019:

With more than 100,000 Chinese students unable to enter Australia to commence their studies, Australia’s economy is facing a multi-billion hit from lost tuition fees and spending.

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  1. If only there was a government scheme to give the money directly to the Unis. We could call it not QE or HELP or even HECS. Like cutting out the middleman (student) makes it more efficient. I mean they are international but the machine still needs to be fed.

    • Let’s just sell them online and be done with the charade. Degrees have value because they are scarce, yet the Australian model is to devalue them and in doing so, punish every Australian for generations to come.

      Some 78% of Oxford University students are UK residents. Only 12.2% are foreigners – the remaining 10% coming from the EU. Here is the data:

      Why is it that the UK keeps the lion’s share of places for domestic students? Simple. It is national economic suicide pact to throw open the doors of your primary research universities to foreign nationals – and then compete with them. It devalues an Oxford Degree to have them mass produced. It shows no respect for national communities of learning being assets paid for and produced by generations of UK citizens. Oxford is a UK institution and it is being defended as one for the benefit of people in the UK.

      In Australia our tertiary institutions are being devalued and flogged off as a commodity by grubby little toads like Phil Honeywood and Ms Tehan’s little boy Dan. Our Tertiary institutions have been treated like Australian gas reserves. None of our politicians get it (LNP or ALP), nor are they serious about learning and innovation. How can they be if they are doing everything in there power to make Australian degrees worthless?

      • Quite a few tutors are Ph.d students, so they may not get much help from Centrelink.
        I’d be interested in seeing David Jones sales figures-Chinese students make up a massive percentage of their foot traffic and sales on the days I’ve been there( Bourke Street, Melbourne store)

  2. Admire the answer Singapore’s health minister has for travek bans..
    ~ Asked about countries such as Israel, South Korea, Kuwait and Qatar which have issued travel advisories against Singapore, Wong said he understood that governments wanted to protect their citizens and that each country would “have to decide on the appropriate measures they want to take”. ~

    Vastly different to the hissy fit thrown by China and taking it like a personal attack and calls for racism etc etc.. pathetic. I think the world is starting to realise that China is best off to be shipped back to poverty for good. The Chinese experiment hasnt quite worked out for the rest of us, time to close the door. US (beyond just Trump I think) has realised it, now the virus is going to make it happen.

      • Well how long until all the CCP police and armed forces also contract the disease?
        “Official censors are already struggling to control the online outpouring of derision and disgust at initial attempts to cover up the disease. One early target for ridicule was the senior health official sent from Beijing to Wuhan to publicly reassure the masses the disease was “preventable and controllable”.
        He contracted the virus himself and has become a symbol of government incompetence and mendacity.”

        • This I think is a critical question. If those in the stability maintenance mechanism themselves start getting sick then it could unravel. One reason behind the PLA taking over in Wuhan? Too many cops getting sick?


      Mexico also found itself embroiled in a row with the Chinese government over its decision to quarantine more than 70 Mexican travelers in the country. Mexico’s ambassador to China, Jorge Guajardo, told reporters that even the Mexican consul in Guangzhou was held briefly after returning from a trip to Cambodia.

      Calderon described such measures as “unfair,” adding, “because we have been honest and transparent with the world some countries and places are taking repressive and discriminatory measures because of ignorance and disinformation.”

      He did not mention China by name but Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department released a statement later, saying that Mexico would send a jet to several Chinese cities “where Mexicans have expressed their intention to return to Mexico.”

      China’s Foreign Ministry denied it was discriminating against Mexicans.

  3. TailorTrashMEMBER

    We must protest these outrageous travel bans imposed by the Australian side . It is an affront to the Chinese people . We demand that the relevant government
    officials in our southern protectorate lift these bans immediately and show due respect and deference .

    Xi Fook Xu
    Commission for discipline inspection
    New Canton

  4. Yesterday we pondered whether we might reopen borders if the view was taken Covid-19 was “unstoppable, Gary”.

    I think, no.

    Then again our CMO appears to be a bit of a dill.

    Hopefully the AHPPC decides to keep the doors firmly shut.

    Then again, you never know if they’re coming in the back door, Steel Panther style.

  5. I’m seeing a lot of Chinese international students returning right now. They probably came through third countries. The change is very noticeable in Sydney CBD this week.

    I don’t think you can say numbers are down 100k because maybe 50k come anyway through third countries.

    • John Howards Bowling Coach

      It could be that this week those already here went back to study or came out of self imposed isolation (which I know a few Chinese who have voluntarily done). More on the streets this week doesn’t mean they just landed this week.

  6. The whole of Australia’s got the virus.

    It accelerated in 2008 when Rudd opened the country to foreign buying of existing real estate.

    Eventually the whole country has been infected with dumb virus where we sit back and watch LNP and Labor sell our entire country, and our kids futures.

    It’s not going to turn out well for our kids and their kids.

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