The posters, found at the University of Melbourne and Monash University and purportedly endorsed by the Australian National Union of Students and other campus-based student groups, were written in crude Chinese, claiming Chinese students were not allowed within certain university buildings and would be deported otherwise.
The appearance of the signs coincided with the first day of the semester.
Both Monash and the University of Melbourne, as well as the student groups implicated on the posters, said they did not produce the material and have condemned the posters’ content.
“All students should be reassured that the University of Melbourne is committed to ensuring the safety of this community. We have various measures in place that support our commitment to a diverse and vibrant student body,” a University of Melbourne spokesperson said.
“All students should be reassured that the University of Melbourne is committed to ensuring the safety of this community”
The spokesperson said that the posters had also been quickly condemned by the wider student body and faculty over social media.
“Australia and Australians generally are very friendly but there are few instances once in a while such as this,” Council of International Students Australia public relations officer Arjun Mathilakath Madathil told The PIE News.
Madathil added that students had contacted CISA to air concerns, and that a member of one of the study groups included on the posters had contacted the student advocacy group assuring legal action would be taken against those responsible.
Study Melbourne, which manages the destination marketing of the whole of Victoria updated its marketing campaign themed on inclusivity, said it wanted to ensure all students continue to feel welcome within the city.
“Study Melbourne has always been proud to promote Victoria as a destination that people from any background, race, faith or gender can come and be welcomed with open arms,” a Study Melbourne spokesperson said.
“There are currently around 175,000 students from more than 160 countries studying in Victoria. Each of these students makes important contributions to our society, our cultural diversity and the unique way of living we are globally renowned for.”
A white supremacist group has taken responsibility for the posters.