Chinese students stranded in China opt for online studies

Published 02 March 2020

As university classes resume across the nation, over 86 per cent of UNE’s Chinese students impacted by the COVID-19 travel ban are opting to take up their classes online and continue their studies uninterrupted from China.

This includes over 80 per cent of new commencing students stranded by the travel restrictions, the majority taking up business and law degrees.

UNE’s Vice Chancellor and CEO Professor Brigid Heywood said UNE’s online capability is well established so almost all impacted students have been seamlessly transitioned to online units until they can travel to Australia.

“The vast majority of students are satisfied to start their degrees online and have expressed a desire to be with us in Armidale on campus in time to complete their exams,” Professor Heywood said.

“It’s impossible to say how long students will be impacted by this ban, and it has put the spotlight on the importance of providing solutions to ensure our students’ studies are not interrupted.

“A small number of students are still undecided about how to proceed, but UNE International staff have been reaching out directly to students on a regular basis and are providing one on one support and advice.

“We have the technology enabled solutions in place to offer online exams to our students if the travel ban continues, but the majority have expressed a desire to be in Australia in time to take their exams on campus.

“We sincerely hope we can welcome them on campus as soon as possible.

“We understand that this is a very difficult time for all students impacted by the COVID-19 travel ban. UNE’s student support services are available to look after their mental health and wellbeing as they prepare for their studies,” she said.

In addition to the support offered to UNE students, UNE is also reaching out to the sector at large and offering support.