The Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act), is designed to provide rigorous protection for international students, protect and enhance Australia’s reputation for quality education, provide tuition protection and support the integrity of the student visa program. Under the ESOS Act, a National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 (the Code) has been established to provide nationally consistent Standards for the conduct of registered providers and the registration of their courses.
Charles Sturt University offers a variety of courses registered under the Australian Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) through its regional campuses as well as Study Centre locations in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.
Our mission for ESOS compliance at Charles Sturt University is to ensure compliance with all aspects of the ESOS Act and the Code to help provide the best quality education experience for all our international students.
All Charles Sturt University staff who interact with international students must be aware of their obligations under the Code and the ESOS Act. There are also specific areas of the University which are involved in ESOS compliance including the Offices and Divisions that operate the first line of defence controls; Internal Audit who perform the second line of defence function; and the third line of defence, which is conducted by an external party as required.
The main Offices and Divisions involved in ESOS compliance are the Division of Student Administration, Division of Student Services, Office of Global Engagement and Partnerships and Division of Marketing and Communication.
Internal Audit has documented the controls that these Offices and Divisions have in place to ensure compliance with each Standard in the Code. On an annual basis Internal Audit conduct an update and assessment of the design and operating effectiveness of these controls and, in line with the Code, an external review is conducted no more than 18 months prior to registration.
The International Operations and Compliance Committee (IOCC) has been established as the main forum for ESOS related issues to be monitored, discussed and addressed. Working groups and a Steering Committee have also been established to manage the partnerships and the University has a representative on the NSW/ACT ESOS Reference Group.
Marketing information and practices: This standard sets out that registered providers must uphold the integrity and reputation of Australia’s education industry by ensuring the marketing of their courses and services is not false or misleading
Recruitment of an overseas student: This standard sets out that registered providers must recruit responsibly by ensuring students are appropriately qualified for the course for which they seek enrolment, including having the necessary English language proficiency, educational qualifications and work experience. Students must have sufficient information to enable them to make informed decisions about studying with their chosen registered provider in Australia.
Formalisation of enrolment and written agreements: This standard sets out that registered providers must formalise their enrolment of overseas students through written agreements with overseas students. The written agreements protect the rights and set out the responsibilities of each party, as well as the courses and related education services to be provided, tuition and non-tuition fees payable, and refund policies.
Education agents: This standard sets out that registered providers must ensure that their education agents act ethically, honestly and in the best interests of overseas students as well as uphold the reputation of Australia’s international education sector.
Younger overseas students: This standard sets out that registered providers of overseas students aged under 18 must meet legislative or other regulatory requirements relating to child welfare and protection. Registered providers of overseas students aged under 18 must provide the students with emergency contact information and information about how to report actual or alleged abuse. Where the registered provider has taken on responsibility for the approval of welfare arrangements for a student who is under 18 years of age (for the purposes of the Migration Regulations), the registered provider must ensure the arrangements for the younger students are suitable, ongoing and appropriately managed until the student turns 18 years of age.
Overseas student support services: This standard sets out that registered providers must assist overseas students to adjust to study and life in Australia and have appropriate orientation programs that help overseas students to access the information and services they require.
Overseas student transfers: This standard sets out that registered providers must not knowingly enrol an overseas student wishing to transfer from another registered provider’s course prior to the student completing six months of his or her principal course (or for the school sector, until after the first six months of the first registered school sector course), except in certain circumstances.
Overseas student visa requirements: This standard sets out that registered providers must safeguard the integrity of Australia’s migration laws by supporting overseas students to complete their course within the required duration and fulfil their visa requirements for course attendance and course progress. Standard 8 sets flexible provisions to allow online learning while maintaining appropriate standards for overseas students to comply with student visa conditions.
Deferring, suspending or cancelling the overseas student’s enrolment: This standard sets out that registered providers must appropriately manage the enrolment of their overseas students and ensure all necessary information about enrolments has been provided to the relevant government department by maintaining updated information in the Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS) database.
Complaints and appeals: This standard sets out that registered providers must ensure their overseas students have the right to natural justice protected through access to professional, timely, inexpensive and documented complaints handling and appeals processes.
Additional registration requirements: This standard sets out that registered providers must continue to meet the requirements for CRICOS registration and ensure the ESOS agency for the registered provider approves, and has up-to-date information on, specific aspects of the registered provider’s operations and any registered courses.
Further information on ESOS Compliance can be obtained by contacting the Manager, Compliance and Policy in the Division of Student Administration email DSA@compliance.csu.edu.au.