The coronavirus outbreak could wipe 10 per cent off the Australian National University’s total revenue, Chancellor Julie Bishop has warned.
Ms Bishop said about 5,000 Chinese students are enrolled for this year, but only 1,000 were already in Australia when the travel ban was put in place.
‘So there are about 4,000 students that we will be supporting to continue to deliver courses to them while they’re overseas, but hopefully they’ll be there in time to start either the first or second semester,’ she told ABC Radio on Friday.
‘We certainly don’t want to penalise them for matters that are outside their control.’
The university has the capacity to quarantine students on campus but it has not yet had to do so.
The university is investigating a number of options for affected students, including online courses, summer and winter intensive courses and deferrals without penalty.
Ms Bishop said the virus could impact up to 10 per cent of total revenue in the worst-case scenario.
‘That would depend very much on whether we can continue to deliver the courses that the students have enrolled in,’ she said.
She denied the university was too reliant on the Chinese market, saying it worked to attract students from all over the world.
There are roughly 164,000 Chinese students who attend university in Australia, pumping billions of dollars into the national economy.