The Australian Government said tonight it had accepted the advice of health officials to extend the travel restrictions for a further week, when the situation will be reviewed again.
Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said universities had been ready for all possible decisions and planned accordingly.
“Our universities have strong risk management and mitigation strategies, and we have been planning for all eventualities,” she said.
“Universities will be in swift contact with our Chinese students to ensure they understand how the extension of travel restrictions affect them, and to provide support.”
“Universities are working hard to offer students who remain in China a range of options.
“These include being able to access course content online, postponing course start dates, delaying assessments or offering fee-free deferrals.”
Ms Jackson said there was close cooperation between the higher education sector, Education Minister Dan Tehan and a range of government agencies.
“We will continue to work collaboratively with the Minister to ensure maximum flexibility for students, and meticulously follow the medical advice provided by the Government.
“The safety of students, at home and abroad, is our top priority.”
“We know the decision to extend these restrictions will be difficult for many students during what is already a very stressful time.”
“To all those whose plans have been affected, I assure you we are doing everything possible to minimise disruption to your studies, and to protect the health and welfare of every student.”
“If students are unclear about any aspect of the decision to extend the travel restrictions, or need more advice or support, the first point of contact should be their universities.”