A second Australian university is offering cash incentives to Chinese students to keep up their studies despite the coronavirus travel ban.
The University of Adelaide is not encouraging its students to dodge the entry ban on Chinese citizens as Western Sydney University has done.
Instead, it is offering a care package worth about $5000 to about 3000 Chinese students.
The University of Adelaide is offering a care package and remote study to keep Chinese students enrolled as students become increasingly desperate to start term
Travellers at Brisbane International Airport on January 29. Western Sydney University said it will subsidise its international students to get around the coronavirus travel ban
The package includes a 20 per cent discount on semester one tuition fees and up to $2000 towards airfares which they can access only once the travel ban is lifted.
It also offered online study help including videos of lectures, peer networking support and library resources so Chinese students who cannot be on campus by the March 26 start date, so can keep up with their courses remotely.
By contrast, Western Sydney University encouraged its students to dodge the travel ban by paying Chinese students up to $1500 to subside the cost of airfares and accommodation to reach Australia 'through a third country'.
About 100,000 Chinese students are enrolled in Australia's universities providing a large source of profits each year for the $36 billion education-selling industry.
The Australian Government banned direct travel from the Chinese mainland where the majority of COVID-19 cases are in an attempt to keep the highly infectious new virus out of Australia.
Of those who develop COVID-19, 14 per cent suffer a serious illness while 5 per cent become critical, needing intensive care in hospital.
The SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus which causes COVID-19. Because nobody is immune the highly infectious virus spreads quickly through the population. Latest studies show 14 per cent of those infected become seriously ill while 5 per cent go into critical condition
COVID-19 has an overall fatality rate of 2.3 per cent, according to official figures from the Chinese Centres of Disease Control, with people over 60 most likely to die.
The Australian Government has said it plans to relax the coronavirus travel ban on February 29 to allow 1000 Chinese research students to come directly to Australia with more to follow later, The Australian newspaper reported.
Most of the Chinese students affected by the ban are enrolled at top Group of Eight universities. Group of Eight Australia has denied it is lobbying the government to drop the medical ban.
Chinese students are increasingly desperate to start term before the semester one cut-off as an interruption in their studies can affect their visa requirements.
The Australian newspaper quoted a student enrolled at RMIT named Ben, who did not want to give his full name, but said he was going to risk flying to Australia on February 23 even though he might not get in.
Western Sydney University (pictured) told its international students it would subside the cost of airfares and accommodation to allow them to reach Australia 'through a third country'
Rising numbers of Chinese students have been able to beat the travel ban by detouring via third countries where they spend 14 days before they can enter Australia.
The ban can be dodged though by going through a country which does not have a travel ban on those coming from China.
Those countries include Thailand, Cambodia, the United Arab Emirates and Japan.
Melbourne education consultant Gary Li is based in Bangkok where he is helping Chinese students to transit to Australia via Thailand, told The Australian his students did not regret going via a third country as they did not know how long the travel ban would be in force.
Western Sydney University told its international students on Wednesday it would subside the cost of airfares and accommodation to allow them to reach Australia 'through a third country'.
In the email being circulated online this week, the university said the $1500 payment would be made after arrival in Australia.
'We consider the Australian Government's endorsement of entering Australia through a third country an important development, opening up the opportunity to arrive in time to commence study in Australia,' the e-mail said.
A Western Sydney University spokesman confirmed the payment and told Daily Mail Australia it had encouraged its students to take this option after advice from the federal Department of Health.
'Our students are keen to travel to Australia and start the new academic year as soon as possible,' the spokesperson said.
Travel agents are taking advantage of the loophole in the travel ban by selling 14-day travel packages to go-between countries such as Dubai.
One package included a stay in a four-star hotel, a personal guide and face masks.
Foreign nationals - excluding permanent Australian residents - who have been in mainland China will not be allowed to enter Australia for 14 days from the time they left China.
Universities Australia, which represents tertiary institutions, told Daily Mail Australia universities were not encouraging students to 'flout' the rules as the rules allow students who have not been in China for two weeks to come to Australia.
As of Saturday, there were 77,275 confirmed cases worldwide of COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus.
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