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Strengthening Australia’s protections for international students

The Australian Government has released the revised National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 (National Code 2018) to ensure strong student protections while minimising the regulatory burden on registered providers and persons who deliver educational services on behalf of registered providers.

The published National Code 2018 is available on the Federal Register of Legislation.

TheNational Code 2018 is a legislative instrument made under the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 and sets nationally consistent standards to support providers to deliver quality education and training to overseas students.

Education providers must comply with the National Code 2018 to maintain their registration to provide education services to overseas students.

Key areas for reform include:

  • protecting students by requiring more detail on a student’s course and refund arrangements in the written agreement between students and providers;
  • strengthening arrangements for the care and welfare of students under the age of 18;
  • provides greater guidance for providers on the circumstances in which student transfer requests should be granted; and
  • supporting overseas students to fulfil visa requirements by strengthening the provisions to monitoring overseas students’ course attendance and progress.

The department publicly consulted on the National Code 2018 with governments, sector peak bodies, regulators and education providers in early 2017, and feedback has informed the revised National Code.

To ensure providers have sufficient time to understand and implement the changes, the revised National Code will commence from 1 January 2018.

Ahead of the 1 January 2018 implementation date, the department will work with sector peak bodies in developing system changes and explanatory material for the sector. For more information, visit the National Code 2018 Implementation page.

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