The Australian Government wants overseas students in Australia to have a safe, enjoyable and rewarding place to study. Australia’s laws promote quality education and consumer protection for overseas students. These laws are known as the ESOS framework and they include the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000 and the National Code 2007.
The ESOS framework - Providing Quality Education and Protecting Your Rights
As an overseas student on a student visa, you must study with an education provider and in a course that can be found on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) at http://cricos.education.gov.au. CRICOS registration guarantees that the course and the education provider at which you study meet the high standards necessary for overseas students. Please check carefully that the details of your course – including its location – match the information on CRICOS.
The ESOS framework protects your rights, including:
- your right to receive, before enrolling, current and accurate information about the courses, fees, modes of study and other information from your provider and your provider’s agent. If you are under 18, to ensure your safety, you will be granted a visa only if there are arrangements in place for your accommodation, support and welfare.
- your right to sign a written agreement with your provider before or as you pay fees, setting out the services to be provided, fees payable and information about refunds of course money. You should keep a copy of your written agreement.
The Tuition Protection Service (TPS) is a placement and refund service for international students, which is activated in the event that your provider is unable to teach your course. Visit the TPS website for more information, at www.tps.gov.au. The ESOS framework sets out the standards Australian providers offering education and training services to overseas students must meet. These standards cover a range of information you have a right to know and services that must be offered to you, including:
- orientation and access to support services to help you study and adjust to life in Australia
- who the contact officer or officers are for overseas students?
- if you can apply for course credit
- when your enrolment can be deferred, suspended or cancelled
- what your provider’s requirements are for satisfactory progress in the courses you study and what support is available if you are not progressing well
- if attendance will be monitored for your course
- a complaints and appeals process.
One of the standards does not allow another provider to enroll a student who wants to transfer to another course but who has not completed six months of the final course of study in Australia. If you want to transfer before you have completed six months of your final course, you need your provider’s permission.
As an overseas student on a student visa, you have responsibilities to:
- satisfy your student visa conditions
- maintain your Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the period of your stay
- meet the terms of the written agreement with your education provider
- inform your provider if you change your address
- maintain satisfactory course progress
- if attendance is recorded for your course, follow your provider’s attendance policy, and
- if you are under 18, maintain your approved accommodation, support and general welfare arrangements.
Your provider For policies and procedures that affect you
- Speak with your provider
- Go to your provider’s website