Professor Nick Klomp, Vice-Chancellor, Central Queensland University. Supplied
Professor Nick Klomp, Vice-Chancellor, Central Queensland University. Supplied

CQUni not affected by the Coronavirus

CQUniversity claims only a "handful of students" have been impacted by the travel restrictions related to the Coronavirus outbreak.

This comes as a reported 100,000 Chinese students who planned to be studying at Australian universities this year have been stranded by the travel ban with concerns they may take their studies to other countries.

University of Queensland has 6,3000 students affected, causing 40 casual teaching staff to be out of work for at least 17 weeks.

CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor Professor Nick Klomp said they haven't been greatly affected and a majority of their students are from other countries.

"CQUniversity's cohort of Chinese students is relatively small and only a handful of students have therefore been impacted by the travel restrictions," he said.

The Australian Government imposed the travel ban on February 1 and is in place until at least February 29.

The ban denies entry to anyone who has left or transited mainland China within the previous 14 days with the exception of Australian citizens, permanent residents, immediate family members of Australian citizens and diplomats.

Australia is among more than 60 countries with the travel ban in place.

When asked if any CQUni students were affected by the ban, Prof Klomp said all Rockhampton-based students were in Australia before the virus outbreak.

"Some students will select online study until the restriction is lifted while others will defer their studies," he said.

He noted the Rockhampton residence is "well attended with only a few vacancies" and the Mackay residence is full.

Australian universities have reported $1.2 billion in possible lost fees from 65,800 international students potentially cancelling their enrolments.

Prof Klomp said the virus has not resulted in "any major impacts" on their student enrolments.

"There is only a very small group of Chinese students who have been unable to return to Australia due to travel restrictions," he said.

"CQUniversity is doing everything we can to support them and provide them with options during this time, in order to minimise impacts on their studies."

The death toll for the virus as of 11.30am yesterday was 2,699 across the world, with 27 of those death outside mainland China.

Of these, 22 cases were in Australia, including seven evacuees from a cruise ship.

In a bid to escape the fatal virus, CQU has enhanced their hygiene practices "including regular disinfecting of surfaces and providing access to antibacterial wipes and hand sanitiser in heavy traffic areas such as reception areas and computer labs."

"CQUniversity continues to monitor the situation closely and will ensure that we take the most appropriate action based on advice from relevant government departments and health authorities," Prof Klomp said.

All CQUniversity-related staff and student travel to China has been cancelled until further notice.



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