The Chinese student arrival challenge: it’s looking do-able


There is emerging confidence that those who want to be here for first semester can be

On the weekend China announced nationals enrolled with overseas universities must be on campus for the start of the imminent semester (CMM yesterday).

With a bare month to go this looked like an impossible ask for Chinese students enrolled, but not yet in, Australia.

However an industry meeting yesterday  hosted by officials from agencies including Home Affairs and Education, heard China’s government is signalling flexibility. Phil Honeywood, CEO of the International Education Association of Australia, says, “ it is a good indication that a transition period may be on the horizon. While certainty is not guaranteed, it is hoped students will be able to commence first semester on-line and potentially complete the semester in face-to-face mode, on-campus in Australia.”

A second statement from China’s  Overseas Study Service Centre also advises students who cannot get to their overseas universities for the start of semester that they should submit their academic records on course completion for consideration.

There is also good news on arrivals. Mr Honeywood says there are 42 000 Chinese students out of Australia who have valid visas,  and while there are 5500 new student visa applications in the system average processing time is 14 days. “These new applicants should be processed in time for the start of first semester, Mr Honeywood says.

And getting here is now much easier – CMM understands direct flights from China have increased from nine per week late last year to 45 now.

Dirk Mulder advises education and business clients on trends in international education. He writes regularly for CMM