The number of Hong Kong students applying to study at Australian universities has multiplied three times midway through 2020, according to government data. This sudden rise comes amid rising fears amid Hong Kongers following the imposition of draconian National Security law.
Australia is the third biggest education hub after the US and UK with an education sector worth A$37 Billion. However, the authorities expect major losses owing to declining enrolment from mainland Chinese students, which has fallen to lowest recorded since 2012-2013 amid the coronavirus pandemic. On the contrast, the reports released on July 30 showed that there was more than 16 per cent rise from Hong Kong citizens to study in Australia in the first six months as compared to the corresponding period last year.
The Australian authorities are now expecting increased influx from Hong Kong Residents following an announcement from the government. As per the new regulations, Hong Kong graduates and workers on temporary visas are now allowed five more years to stay, work and apply for permanent residency after that time. In view of coronavirus, the country has closed its international borders. However, universities and colleges are seeking schemes to allow inflow of students from other countries via a travel bubble.
On the other hand, violence against students has surged in Hong Kong. Earlier this week, Hong Kong police arrested four residents, all believed to be students, in a move that signals their intention to implement the draconian national security law. The four detained, include three men and one woman, all accused of inciting secession in the youth through social media posts. Arrests have been frequent in the city since the implementation of Chinese law, despite condemnation by other nations.