Coronavirus Affects Australia’s Booming Education Sector

Mar 2, 2020
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The evergreen and most profitable education industry of Australia is presently facing a severe $8 billion loss. This is because a travel ban has presently been imposed on the people travelling from China due to coronavirus.  All the relevant stakeholders have already conducted several rounds of meetings in order to tackle the situation and compensate for the loss suffered due to this disease. It added up to the loss already created due to the devastating bushfires earlier this year. 

The Australian Government has just taken this step to avoid any further spread of this disease. It is really worthwhile to notice how key players such as the Universities, health agencies and the Government have collaborated in this hour of need. After celebrations of the Chinese New Year last month, a lot of people got stuck in China.

How Online Classes can be a Viable Option ?

The education sector is one of the primary revenue-generating sectors in Australia, which is worth $39 billion a year. It is going to be a tough year ahead for the Australian economy, considering the GDP of Australia is running at low levels. The Universities have been focusing on providing video and online teaching to Chinese students. It can be a severe challenge if the Government of China is not willing to facilitate video-based teaching methods adopted by Australian Universities and schools. In that case, there needs to be some kind of negotiation required between both the countries. Another major problem faced by China is that they cannot access Google there. So, they are not able to open the foreign websites and the quality of online education is highly unstable in such cases. 

People wearing masks to protect themselves from coronavirus

Steps Taken by the Australian Universities

However, the major concern of the Australian government has been to safeguard the health and safety of all the individuals studying presently in the Universities. They have taken this stringent step in order to make sure that the coronavirus does not spread. The Group of Eight Universities have already raised a concern on the travel ban. This is affecting their student intake which is quite large every year at this point of time.

Some of the Universities such as the University of Sydney have already appointed a high-level staff to manage the crisis situation. It has permitted the students for late enrollments. Not only this, it has also allowed to refund those students who have not been able to begin with their studies. Monash University in Melbourne has also delayed the start of its academic year. It is conducting online classes till then. The Australian National University is looking for various options such as online courses, or short-term courses. They can either be weekend catch-up sessions or intensive summer and winter courses.

Meanwhile, the Government is also working presently on a strategy to boost up businesses which have been severely affected by coronavirus. The new decade has come up with new problems for Australia. It is going to be a really tough time for the Australian economy ahead.

Conclusion

Therefore, this travel ban to Australia is a major concern for students traveling from China. They are not able to continue with their studies in Australia. There are revelations of a 3 per cent mortality rate from the disease in China. UNSW Sydney influenza expert Raina MacIntyre said that this meant “sustained transmissions” in Australia could kill upwards of 500,000 people. Australia has done a remarkable job in preventing the disease from getting transmitted quickly. However, some of the Chinese students have also found ways to circumvent the ban. They are doing it by transiting via countries such as Malaysia and Thailand.