Coronavirus could cost Australian universities ‘billions’
THE CORONAVIRUS outbreak could deliver a painful multi-billion-dollar hit to Australian universities, as high-paying Chinese students are forced to defer their studies, economists warned Thursday.
Top universities stand to lose around US$2 billion (Aus$3 billion) in fees alone, according to preliminary estimates from analysts at Standard & Poor’s.
Under open-ended travel restrictions imposed by the government in a bid to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, non-Australian citizens or permanent residents who have been in China since February 1 are not allowed into Australia.
The virus’s outbreak came in between Australia’s academic years -- which begin in February -- and as many of the country’s roughly 165,000 Chinese university students had returned home for the Lunar New Year.