The peak body of Australia’s university sector has spoken out against the Chinese regime’s advice to Chinese students to reconsider studying in Australia.
Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson told The Epoch Times on June 11 that Australia is one of the safest places in the world where “any violent act is taken very seriously and reported to the police.”
“In 2018, a survey of more than 80,000 international tertiary students found that personal safety and security is one of the top five factors for deciding to study in Australia—surpassed only by the quality of teaching and the reputation of the qualification,” said Jackson.
According to the 2018 Department of Education and Training Study (pdf), 95 percent of the international students surveyed choose Australia because of its record on personal safety and security.
“Australian universities are committed to making it even safer,” Jackson stressed.
On June 9, China’s Ministry of Education (MOE) issued a warning to Chinese students against coming to Australian universities, accusing Australia of not effectively controlling the outbreak of COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus. The Chinese education ministry also alleged there were many racist incidents against Asians in Australia.
Education minister Dan Tehan responded to the warning in an interview on Sky News with Chris Kenny on June 9, saying: “Australia is one of the safest countries in the world for international students to return to.”
“We are an incredibly tolerant society. We’re a multicultural society. We treat everyone the same, and that will continue to be the approach that we take, as a Government, and as a people,” said Tehan.
“We want to make sure that all international students are welcome here, and that’s the approach that we will continue to take,” Tehan said.
Tehan also noted that Australia has seen international student numbers grow in the last ten years because, people know “this is a safe country to come to, where we’ve got world-class educational offerings.”
Speaking with Ben Fordham on 2GB Radio on June 11, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that he had noted the Chinese regime’s warnings.
“But equally, what I know is Australia provides the best education and tourism products in the world. And I know that that is compelling. And I also know that, you know, the ability for Chinese nationals to be able to choose to come to Australia is, substantively been their decision. And I’m very confident in the attractiveness of our product,” said the Prime Minister.
Universities Australian released figures estimating Australian universities may lose between $3.1 to $4.8 billion in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions.