After evading international student ban, unis shut down

Only six weeks ago, we witnessed the entire higher education lobby vigorously attack the federal government’s ban on Chinese arrivals to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Once their demands were rejected, we then witnessed Australia’s universities effectively transform into people smugglers, offering grants of up to $7,500 to Chinese students to help fund travel packages to third-country transit destinations.

Sydney University Associate Professor, Salvatore Babones, rightly labelled these university grants “morally indefensible” since they risked transmitting the coronavirus through poor vulnerable nations, in addition to Australia.

As it turned out, an estimated 32,000 Chinese students managed to circumvent Australia’s travel ban, at a rate of around 1,000 arrivals a day, via travelling through countries like Thailand and Dubai.

However, with the coronavirus now spreading like wildfire throughout Australia, universities are now closing their doors and turning to online teaching:

The Australian National University closed its campus on Thursday for at least three months with virtually all students and staff studying and working remotely.

All buildings will be locked and only a few people will remain present…

“ANU medical experts are clear: to control the spread of COVID-19 we must take tough action to reduce the number of interactions on our campus, and take it now,” he said…

La Trobe University has told its staff that almost all of them must work from home from Friday onwards.

An advisory committee has also recommended that universities close all student accommodation, thus potentially casting many international students onto the streets:

The Australian Health Protection Principals Committee, made up of the chief medical officers from all Australian governments, wrote in advice to tonight’s meeting of the national cabinet that “consideration should be given to closing student residential accommodation”.

Thus, after lobbying hard to open Australia’s border, and then bending the rules to bring Chinese students into the country to collect their fees, campuses are being shut and these students are effectively being abandoned.

For supposedly the smartest people in the nation, our universities have sure acted dumb. How many of these Chinese students brought over the coronavirus, we will never know.

Unconventional Economist
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  1. “these students are effectively being abandoned.“

    That’ll learn ‘em for trying to circumvent the travel ban! Cao ni ma, mofos!

  2. The census date for USYD is tomorrow. See what they do. Student accommodation potentially being shut will really hurt them if it goes ahead.

    Emailed Phil Honeywood last week and told him to eat sht. Think I’ll do it again today.

  3. I think the international student industry as we know it is finished.
    Thank god. Australia will be a better place as a result.

    • Yeh it’s done. Group of 8 will be Ok, the visa factories like James Cook, Southern Cross, CQU are going to be eviscerated and some will close permanently.

      Good, we don’t need 47 unis for a population of 25 million.

      • Jumping jack flash

        “Good, we don’t need 47 unis for a population of 25 million.”

        Perhaps unis will go back to regulating professionals and scientist graduates depending on how many are actually required by the workforce?

  4. Qantas has a few idle plans available for charter.
    10 flights a day to China for a few weeks should do the job.
    On the return flights, they can load the cargo hold with our medical supplies that were looted

    • what a wonderful dream mate…in reality we would end up subsidising these students lives here

      • Parliament has been suspended. THey can’t even choose to put it to the people. That’s how dead democracy is.

        • Democracy is alive when the electoral Commission didn’t care about qlders getting infected over the weekend, but is dead when pollies don’t want to get infected so they close down parliament.

          • Health concerns were a pretext only.

            How hard would it be to convene in some online form?

            They don’t want the oversight. They don’t want to be accountable to anyone.

            An Executive not answerable to anything is a Dictatorship.

            Which we became with that decision.

  5. Diogenes the CynicMEMBER

    Follow the money trail. With the census date passed or about to pass they got it so now they can close. VC salaries are safe (for now)….with ongoing border controls and a likely tougher visa regime after the virus this whole sham of an industry is dead.

    • I’m expecting to see a bunch of people from many different industries take early retirement/payouts/golden parachutes and “Spend more time with family.” I expect VCs to be overrepresented. I also expect most will be safe from any future pichforking because that’s how we roll in Australia.

    • Jumping jack flash

      actually making stuff skillfully and selling it for profit is so last century. These days we use debt. Its quick and easy and has a fantastic carbon footprint.

    • Arthur Schopenhauer

      Eddie Maguire talking about Aussie Rules as an industry. 🤮

      The ‘Sideshow’ Industry.

  6. Closing student accommodation … so they have to move out & support the rental price of private rentals.