Australia law supports and protects international students while they study here. The Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) legislation requires institutions that provide education to international students, to meet nationally consistent standards in education delivery, facilities and services. Breaches of the Act are treated seriously and the penalties can be significant. All institutions wanting to deliver courses to international students in Australia must be registered with the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) and meet special registration conditions.
The National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 provides nationally consistent standards for the conduct of registered providers and the registration of their courses.
The standards set out specifications and procedures to ensure that registered providers of education and training courses can clearly understand and comply with their obligations under the National Code.
Tuition Fee Protection
Sydney Metropolitan English Institute is required to apply the Student Tuition Protection Service (TPS) through the Commonwealth managed fund known as Overseas Student Assurance Fund (OSTF). The Fund was established to protect the interests of overseas students on student visas or intending overseas students, who are studying or about to study in Australia.
Information that explains your rights as a student studying in Australia under the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 can be found in the Study in Australia website.
The Provider Registration and International Students Management System (PRISMS) is a secure computer system that is the information source for CRICOS.
Education institutions and their courses are listed on PRISMS, as is each student studying in Australia on a student visa. That is because this system interfaces with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) data. Through PRISMS education institutions notify DIBP of each student’s enrolment in a course. This should occur before the student applies for a student visa to study in Australia. The enrolment information generates an electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE) as evidence of enrolment in a registered, full-time course. This eCoE is a key requirement for DIBP to issue a student visa.
Education providers also use PRISMS to notify DIBP of students who may have breached the terms of their student visa.
PRISMS has reduced visa fraud and ensured education institutions keep track of the students in their care
Student RightsThe ESOS framework protects student rights, including:
- The right to receive, before enrolling, current and accurate information about the courses, fees, modes of study and other information from a provider and the provider’s agent
- The right to get the education paid for. The ESOS framework includes consumer protection that will allow students to be placed in another course if the provider is unable to teach the course.
- How to use the provider’s student support services.
- Who the contact officer is for overseas students.
- How to apply for course credit.
- How to apply for enrolment deferment, enrolment suspension or cancellation.
- The provider’s requirements for satisfactory progress in the courses of study.
- How attendance will be monitored.
- How to use the provider’s complaints and appeals process.
- Satisfy the student visa condition.
- Maintain Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the period of the stay.
- Meet the terms of the written agreement with the provider.
- Inform the provider of any change of address.
- Maintain satisfactory course progress.
- Student must sign a written agreement with the provider before or as fees are paid, setting out the services to be provided, fees payable and information about refunds of course money. A copy of the written agreement will be kept by the student and the college.