ANU increases financial help for students hit by coronavirus ban


“We will assess each grant application on a case-by-case basis and will continue to show the same generosity and flexibility that we have applied to all students affected by the travel restrictions.”

The bursary is in addition to a previously announced “hardship scholarship” paying for students first semester tuition fees.

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ANU still has about 4000 Chinese students offshore. Like other major Australian universities, especially those in the elite Group of Eight, it faces significant financial losses from the travel restrictions.

Chief operating officer Paul Duldig wrote to students that the university was in a “relatively strong financial position and has good reserves” that will help it absorb the impact.

“There are no current plans to freeze spending based on what we know at the moment about likely impacts,” he said.

The University of Sydney has 15,000 students still stuck offshore and faces a $200 million budget hit. The university has announced a freeze on capital works and recruitment, with similar measures being taken across the sector.

Deakin University has banned all international business travel.

“From today, previous international travel approvals are considered void,” chief operating officer Kean Selway wrote in an email to staff.

RMIT University is “restricting” non-essential travel on a case-by-case basis.

“We are continuing to monitor the situation closely and reviewing our position regularly,” a spokeswoman said on Thursday.

Some Chinese students have been arriving in Australia after getting around the travel ban by spending the 14-day self-isolation period in third countries after leaving China.

As the travel ban drags on, it is becoming increasingly challenging for many students to arrive in time to realistically complete studies on the ground in Australia.

The University of Queensland has told students that if they are still in mainland China and “do not have plans to spend 14 days in another country before arriving in Australia, it is unlikely that you will be able to join us for Semester 1”.

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