UC asks hundreds of Chinese students to defer

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THE University of Canberra is asking students remaining in China to defer their studies for Semester 1, following the extension of the Australian government’s travel restrictions to and from mainland China to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. 

The university has about 380 students still in China, caught by the February 1 travel restrictions. Students will have until Monday, March 2, to defer, or arrive for classes, and will be automatically deferred beyond that date.

“Our top priority is to ensure that our students have the best possible learning experience and academic outcomes,” says Prof Geoff Crisp, deputy vice-chancellor.

“Due to complications from the Chinese firewall, access to study materials and the multiple variations of individual student’s study plans, we would rather ensure our students continue to receive the high-quality, face-to-face experience offered here at UC, instead of an online version of our career-focused degrees with practical work-integrated-learning units.

“UC is unique in that our semester starts far earlier than most universities so we have had to act quickly to alleviate our students’ anxieties around commencement of studies this week.”

He says UC has a cohort of about 800 students from mainland China, with more than 400 of those already in the country before the travel restriction was imposed.

“Of those who arrived early, we have a total of 17 students in self-isolation, eight of which are in a dedicated isolated on-campus residence with separate air conditioning units,” says Prof Crisp.

“Those students are being taken care of with medical and counselling support from our experienced team via phone, being delivered food and groceries, and have been provided with care packages.”


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