Protecting the international student experience

New measures have been announced to support the highest quality student experience in Australia.

3 November 2023

The Australian Government has announced new measures designed to better protect you as an international student and make sure you have the best possible experience while studying in Australia. 

What are the new measures?  

  • Fees paid to education agents (by education and training providers) for student transfers between providers in Australia are no longer allowed.  
  • A new VET Integrity Unit will be run by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) to make sure that you are delivered the highest quality education and training. 
  • Education providers will be given more access to education agent data to help ensure that providers work with high quality education agents.  
  • Student attendance will be monitored more closely by the international education sector’s regulators. 
  • The Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act) will be changed to strengthen the existing fit and proper person test for education and training providers, including owners and senior managers. 

These actions build on the changes recently announced, including the change to evidence of financial capacity for student visas and the concurrent enrolment changes.

Where to get help 

If you are having an issue with your education provider, there is help available. As an international student, you have access to a range of resources to protect your rights and well-being: 

  • Provider and local student services: Australia’s ESOS Act means that all Australian education and training providers must offer specific student services to you as an international student. Please reach out to your international student adviser service to find out more.  
  • Tuition Protection Service (TPS):  The TPS supports any international students affected by an education provider closure. Free student support services include: 
    • Arranging for you to continue your studies with another provider. 
    • Helping you to secure a tuition-fee refund for incomplete studies. 
    • Offering advice if an education provider stops providing a course or if you fail to make payments or breach the conditions of your student visa. 
  • Commonwealth Ombudsman: The Commonwealth Ombudsman can investigate any complaints you may have about private schools, colleges, institutes and universities in Australia. If you are studying at a public university, TAFE or school, please contact your local state or territory Ombudsman.  
  • Mental health resources: If you are feeling stressed or anxious, there are many free services available.