The University of the Sunshine Coast is working to assist its 400 of its Chinese international students potentially “grounded” from travelling to Australia by quarantines aimed at containing the deadly coronavirus.
The University of the Sunshine Coast is working to assist its 400 of its Chinese international students potentially “grounded” from travelling to Australia by quarantines aimed at containing the deadly coronavirus.

Uncertain future for 400 students as coronavirus spreads

THE University of the Sunshine Coast is working to assist its 400 of its Chinese international students potentially "grounded" from travelling to Australia by quarantines aimed at containing the deadly coronavirus. 

USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill said 400 of the university's 2000 international students had home addresses in China or Hong Kong.

One of those students has a home address in the city of Wuhan, where the virus first broke out.

Prof Hill said he understood the student spent Christmas in Australia but his current whereabouts was unknown.

Prof Hill also said he was not aware of any of the 400 students having come in contact with the virus.

University of the Sunshine Coast Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill said 400 international students were from China or Hong Kong.
University of the Sunshine Coast Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill said 400 international students were from China or Hong Kong.

The official death toll in China now stands at 132 with more than 6000 infected in the country, the majority in Hubei province where it was first found at a seafood market that sold exotic animals.

 

 

Prof Hill said the university would follow each and every guidelines set by the health authorities and the strict immigration laws.

With the first semester about a month away, the 400 students face an uncertain time ahead not knowing whether they will be grounded in China or be back in Australia to begin their studies.

"It's very difficult, really tricky, some of those students might not have gone home, or ever left Australia, or be working here, but we don't know," Prof Hill said.

"The main control is the VISA system being administrated by the Australian Government but it's very hard.

"Whether students can come from China to Australia is yet to be determined. So they're potentially grounded.

"We have no idea about when they can come home, it's up to the authorities."

Prof Hill said the university was in contact with sister universities in China.

He said he understood that people from non-effected Chinese cities were being allowed to travel.

He said the university went through similar pandemics almost yearly but it had never been caught up with a problem.

A full statement can be found on USC's website.


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