Universities brace for Chinese student hit after COVID

Australia’s universities face the prospect of a prolonged Chinese student drought as reports sweep through the multi-billion-dollar industry that Chinese agencies are being encouraged by local authorities not to send students to Australia, write Lisa Visentin and Eryk Bagshaw for The Sydney Morning Herald.

The universities first began receiving these reports towards the end of February, at which point the advice not to recommend or advertise Australian universities appeared to be circulating only to agents in smaller regional cities. By 25 February, university sources confirmed some reports had expanded to include Beijing and Shanghai, China’s two largest cities.

Group of Eight Chief Executive Vicki Thomson said her member universities – which include the University of Sydney and the University of Melbourne – had heard the reports but their veracity remained unclear as there had been no official notification from Chinese authorities. “There is definitely something afoot. Either agents are being told not to direct students here or they are being told not to mention Australia as an option for study. But we’ve had no official notification from anybody,” Thomson said. “It is not a positive development and it is one we are certainly very concerned about.”
Full report on The Sydney Morning Herald site