CORONAVIRUS: Will it impact start of university semester?
THE start of the semester at the University of Southern Queensland will not be impacted by the threat of coronavirus, with Chinese students impacted by travel bans offered online study options.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Geraldine Mackenzie said the scheduled start date for the 2020 academic year on February 24 would not be shifted.
About 10 per cent of USQ's enrolled students of about 27,500 are international students and about 10 per cent of those are from China.
"USQ is continuing to monitor and review regular advice from health authorities in relation to the novel coronavirus," she said.
"USQ has updated arrangements for some students and staff returning to work or study in the coming weeks based on this advice.
"The university is offering online study options to its own Chinese students impacted by travel restrictions. USQ has now extended this offer to any other impacted Chinese university student, subject to approval from their own cross-institutional study.
"The safety of our staff, students and community is of paramount importance."
The university announced fee scholarships of 25 per cent will be open to Chinese students from any Australian university who are currently unable to leave their country for semester one.
Students will need approval from their own university to undertake cross-institutional study.
"This is a goodwill gesture, backed by our expertise and experience in online learning, to ensure that the Australian university sector continues to maintain its excellent reputation in China," Professor Mackenzie said.
"Offering online university courses in China is not a new thing for the University of Southern Queensland. Our courses have been studied online by Chinese students for decades.
"In the past three years alone, Chinese students have studied online at the University from China in 14 separate USQ degree courses, including Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Science and Master of Business Administration."
The "majority" of students moved into isolation at Ipswich Grammar School have now met the 14-day exclusion period and are back in classes, a spokeswoman confirmed.
Students were able to live stream their classes and teachers provided additional academic support.
All of the boys were regularly checked by health centre staff and remained in "good health" during the isolation period.
The eighteen boarding students from Ipswich Girls' Grammar School kept in isolation are also back in class.
The students were able to stay involved in lessons by streaming them and were allowed outside at certain times during the day when other students were not present.