China's education authority issued an alert on Tuesday to Chinese students who are about to study, or prepare to return to Australia for their studies, after the country has seen a spike in racial discrimination against Chinese people amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Graduates are seen at the campus of University of Sydney, Australia, June 5, 2019. Introduced in 2010, Australia's move to a demand-driven higher education system has seen a sharp rise in university enrollments. But on Monday a new report from the federal government's Productivity Commission has highlighted that uncapping the total number of placements has also led to an increase in failure rates and a higher number of dropouts. (Photo: Xinhua)
A number of incidents of discrimination against Asian people in Australia have occurred during the coronavirus outbreak, said the Ministry of Education (MOE), which released the warning on its official website. The ministry stated that Chinese students should assess the risks and be cautious when choosing to study or return to Australia.
The ministry said that major universities in Australia are scheduled to open around July. It warned Chinese students as the spread of COVID-19 has not been effectively contained globally, international travel and the reopening of schools "pose a risk" to their safety.
China remained the largest source of international students in Australia, accounting for more than 38 percent of all international students in 2018. In Australia, overseas students bring in about $20 billion in revenue for Australia each year.
The warning from the MOE came after China's Foreign Ministry on Monday issued an alert against travel to the Oceanian continent following the emergence of discrimination against Chinese and other Asians in Australia, such as racist graffiti targeting China in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and other Australian cities.
The Ministry of Culture and Tourism also issued a travel alert on Friday, warning Chinese people not to travel to Australia.