Australia: ESOS bills pass with few exceptions

The Australian Government continues to move on streamlining regulations in the international education sector. The recent changes to ESOS is a clear indication of the Government's active involvement in the industry.

What is ESOS Act?

The ESOS Act 2000 (Education Services for Overseas Students) sets out the legal framework governing delivery of education to overseas students studying in Australia on a student visa. The Australian Government, through the Department of Education, administers the ESOS Act and its associated instruments. For further information about ESOS Act, please click here

Changes to the legislative framework for overseas students

The Parliament recently passed changes to the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act), streamlining the legislative framework for overseas students.

These amendments streamline regulation, remove duplicative requirements and cut red tape in the ESOS framework, without compromising Australia’s strong student protections or our reputation as a world class destination for international students. The changes free up education institutions to invest in quality and innovative teaching and learning, so they can become even more competitive globally. They also give students, or the person paying tuition fees on their behalf, more flexibility to manage their tuition payments.

Three measures in the new legislation came into effect in Mid December 2015, which aim at reducing administrative costs for educational institutes. The changes have been made in the following areas:

  1. Removal of study periods

  2. Reporting student defaults and refunds

  3. Flexibility in paying tuition fee upfront

However, an amendment removing the requirement for colleges to place tuition fees paid in advance into a holding account – which providers have labelled costly and unnecessary – failed to pass.

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