Release type: Media Release

Date:

Working with universities to protect Australians and the sector

The Australian Government met today with the Universities Australia (UA) Board to explore options to minimise the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak on tertiary education in Australia.

Minister for Education Dan Tehan also met with the Council for International Education’s Global Reputation Taskforce.

"Our Government is working with the sector to ensure the safety of all students and the Australian public," Mr Tehan said.

"The Government has offered maximum flexibility from the sector regulators, the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency and the Australian Skills Quality Authority, to ensure providers can best respond given their circumstances.

"We have also provided the UA Board with the latest data on the number of international Chinese students.

"Our Government will work to provide surety to students and academics whose visas are impacted by the Australian Government’s response to the coronavirus.

"Just as importantly, I heard from the universities about the specific impacts this situation is having on their students.

"We agreed to explore all avenues to minimise the impact of the coronavirus and we have agreed to meet again next week.

"I welcome the proactive and supportive response from universities to ensure their students’ safety and support their education.

"The safety and wellbeing of all of our students, both in Australia and aboard, is foremost in our minds. The Australian community has welcomed international students to our country and they have become important members of our higher education sector and the local communities in which they live."