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Wuhan City, China

7 March 2020

The Deakin community is united in support of our Chinese international students

The ever-changing coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to cause great uncertainty and concern across the world. 

Please remain assured that the health and safety of the Deakin community is top priority. The University has a dedicated team coordinating our response to this global event, and is acting in accordance with the latest advice from government and health authorities. You can view the latest information via our official coronavirus FAQs page.

Chinese international students: you have our full support

Here at Deakin, we are particularly mindful of the ongoing impact of this unprecedented situation on our Chinese international students – all important members of the Deakin community – who have been unable to travel to Australia to commence their T1 studies. The University is now coordinating alternative T1 study arrangements for these students, and will continue to do everything possible to support our international students whose plans are on hold through no fault of their own.

We stand together

This week, Vice-Chancellor Iain Martin joined students and staff on campus to participate in OWeek activities and to say: Stay Strong China! 

Vice-Chancellor Iain Martin, alongside students and staff, say Stay Strong China

‘It was very encouraging to see the iconic “Stay Strong China” sign on display at our many OWeek stalls. This sends a very clear message to our impacted students that we stand with them during this difficult time and look forward to welcoming them to Deakin as soon as possible,’ said Professor Martin.

Deakin is extremely proud of our multicultural and vibrant student community – diversity is one of our core values and biggest strengths. While we have witnessed an overwhelming show of support towards our students impacted by the coronavirus situation, we are aware of some reports in the media concerning xenophobic sentiments aimed at the Chinese community in Australia. 

Deakin takes a strong stand on providing a fair and inclusive environment for all and does not tolerate unlawful discrimination or victimisation of anyone in our University community. If you witness discriminatory treatment of any of your peers, we want to know and will respond accordingly. Contact our Diversity and Inclusion team if you have any questions or concerns. 

What can you do to help?

The beginning of Trimester 1 is an exciting time, whether you are new to Deakin or returning to resume study. The bustle and fun of orientation events adds a joyful atmosphere to our campuses and the first few weeks of T1 classes offer promise and a fresh beginning for all students.

Remember that everyone has the right to feel safe, respected, valued and supported at Deakin. During this time of ongoing uncertainty, we are calling on you to join us in supporting your fellow students. In years to come, you will look back at your university studies as a very special and formative time – please do everything you can to make all your peers feel welcome so that every student can enjoy the very best university experience at Deakin. 

Stay up to date

Professor Martin reiterated the importance of referring to the University-endorsed coronavirus FAQs for the most up-to-date, evidence-based information.  

‘As I have previously stated, it is important that as a University community we guide our actions, both collectively and individually, using the best available expert advice,’ he said.

Stay well

While the current number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Australia is low, it is vital that you keep taking basic preventative measures to protect your health and that of others. This includes:

The World Health Organisation website has more information about how to protect yourself from illness.


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