Higher education has come to rely on foreign students as a source of revenue. Losing it is major.

Bloomberg News reports:

Universities Forced to Face Addiction to Foreign Students’ Money

When the coronavirus outbreak triggered travel bans during the Lunar New Year holidays, about 100,000 Chinese students were stranded at home and unable to return to Australia. Siqi Li, a 23-year-old Master of Science student from Guangdong province, was one of them.

“The first thing I felt was really panicked,” said Li, who had to spend two weeks in Malaysia before authorities would let her into Australia. She’s now living in lockdown and trying to study online after the University of Melbourne switched to a virtual campus.

The outbreak has jolted universities worldwide, upending a multi-billion dollar international student market that underpins the finances of many leading institutions. With about one in six international students hailing from China, the upheaval has highlighted the risks of over-relying on the world’s second-largest economy — an issue the education industry will have to confront once it emerges from the crisis.

Few establishments understand this better than the University of Sydney, Australia’s oldest, where Chinese made up 24% of the total student population last year…

New York University, which has 3,000 undergraduate students from China, is concerned that international students who are unable to enter the U.S. may have their visas revoked.

“NYU is home to the largest number of international students, so this outbreak does put us in an interesting position,” said Josh Taylor, associate vice chancellor of global programs and mobility services.


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