“Universities note the government’s decision to introduce COVID testing requirements for travellers from China, in line with expert health advice.
“COVID-19 is highly unpredictable and can have significant health, social and economic costs, as we have learned over the last two years.
“We should continue to be guided by expert health advice, as we always have, in responding to emerging situations and we support the government’s focus on keeping people safe.
“Importantly, this decision does not close the door to Chinese students returning to Australia to start or continue their university studies.
“In line with the health advice, they will be required to test negative to COVID-19 before entering Australia. This is a sensible measure in response to the evolving situation in China, and mirrors what other countries are doing.
“China is our biggest market of international students, yet around 36 per cent enrolled in our universities remain outside of the country.
“Australia’s universities are ready to welcome back international students and we will be working closely with government and students to ensure their safe return to our campuses.
“Education is Australia’s largest services export – contributing over $40 billion to the economy and supporting 250,000 jobs in 2019.
“It’s imperative we do everything we can to recover the position of strength we held prior to the pandemic.”