The COVID-19 crisis in Australian higher education

Streaming Media


Co-organised by Lingnan University School of Graduate Studies, Institute of Policy Studies, and Asia Pacific Higher Education Research Partnership

Event Title

Global Higher Education Webinar Series : COVID-19 and Global Higher Education

Document Type

Public Seminar




13:00 - 14:30


Worldwide, COVID 19 has cut a swathe through higher education, most particularly the international dimension. While domestic students may be inconvenienced by not being able to attend face-to-face classes, international students (as well as domestic research candidates undertaking fieldwork overseas) are often prevented from travelling. But the effects are differential. Systems that are particularly dependent on international students (UK, Australia, and New Zealand for example). are most vulnerable. For Australia, with on average, 25% of higher education enrolments international, the effects are dramatic. Tens of thousands of international students are trapped overseas, unable to return to Australia, to resume their studies (at least on campus). An urgent and unprecedented push to migrate programmes to online format, and enhance access, via VPNs etc., helped mitigate the worst effects, but each university is forecasting major financial losses. If the current restrictions do not ease in 2021, the situation will become much worse, exacerbated by the government’s steadfast refusal to lend assistance to the sector. The presentation will chart the effects and assess future prospects for the sector.





Additional Information

Anthony Welch is Professor of Education, University of Sydney. Numerous publications address education reforms, principally within Australia and the Asia-Pacific. A consultant to state, national and international agencies, governments, institutions and foundations, particularly in higher education, his project experience largely includes East and SE Asia. His work has been translated into a dozen languages, and he has been Visiting Professor in the USA, UK, Germany, France, Japan, Malaysia, Turkey, China, and Hong Kong, China. A Fulbright (New Century), Tübitak, INRP and DAAD Scholar, books include The Professoriate: Profile of a Profession (Springer 2005), Education, Change and Society (Oxford 4th. Edition, 2018), ASEAN Industries and the Challenge from China (Palgrave 2011), and Higher Education in South East Asia (Routledge 2011). He was a consultant to the ADB project Higher Education in Dynamic Asia, and directed the ARC project, The Chinese Knowledge Diaspora (with Yang, Rui). In 2015 he was granted a Haiwai Mingshi award at Tianjin University, and in 2018 Visiting Foreign Expert at Zhejiang University.

Prof. Anthony Welch (12 Oct.).pdf (351 kB)

Recommended Citation

Welch, A. (2020, October). The COVID-19 crisis in Australian higher education [Video podcast]. Presented at Global Higher Education Webinar Series: COVID-19 and Global Higher Education. Retrieved from https://commons.ln.edu.hk/videos/847/