People studying in Australia on a student visa are often referred to as ‘international students’ within the Higher Education sector. The terminology of ‘overseas students’ is more commonly used in the Australian Government’s Education and Home Affairs portfolios, which have responsibility for policy and programs related to overseas students.
Legislative protections for overseas students in Australia
Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards)
Under the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011, all higher education providers must meet the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015 as a minimum condition of registration. Under the Threshold Standards, all institutions that offer higher education to students in Australia on a student visa are required to provide support services, including initial orientation and academic support.
The Education Services for Overseas Students legislative framework
In addition to the requirements of the Threshold Standards, the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 and related legislation, including the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 (National Code), make specific provision for the protection of overseas students studying with Australian providers in any education sector.
The Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000, or ESOS Act, establishes legislative requirements and standards for the quality assurance of education and training institutions offering courses to international students who are in Australia on a student visa. ESOS also provides tuition fee protection for international students.
The Australian Government’s legal framework requires Sydney College of Divinity to deliver quality education and a high level of care to our international students on an Australia Student Visa. The framework consists of:
- Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (the Act)
- National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 (the National Code)
The below resources will help you understand your rights and responsibilities and the obligations of the Sydney College of Divinity under the ESOS framework.
- Student rights and responsibilities under the ESOS framework (pdf, 411KB)
- Overview of the National Code 2018
- Tuition Protection Service (TPS) information
In the higher education sector, these arrangements are primarily enforced by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA), which also enforces the Threshold Standards.
Reporting to the agencies
As part of legislation, the Sydney College of Divinity could provide
- personal information to Commonwealth and State agencies
- personal information for overseas students to the Tuition Protection Service (TPS);
- information advising changes to overseas student enrolment and any breach of visa conditions to the Department of Home Affairs (DHA)
For further assistance email us at [email protected]