Better consumer protection for international students

08 March 2012

Amendments to the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 were passed by Parliament on 1 March 2012 and will commence from 1 July 2012, following Royal Assent. The amendments are part of the Government’s second phase response to the Baird Review of ESOS which reported in February 2010.

These amendments include a new Tuition Protection Service (TPS) to establish a universal, single-layer tuition protection scheme.  The TPS will streamline placement and refund processes for students, establish more representative governance and ensure greater accountability back to Government.

To support the TPS, a suite of complementary initiatives will be introduced, including:

  • limiting to 50% the amount of pre-paid course tuition fees that may be collected by providers upfront (except for courses 24 weeks or less)
  • a requirement on some providers to keep initial pre-paid tuition fees in a separate account until a student commences study
  • strengthening record keeping obligations, and
  • establishing a national registration system which will allow for the registration of providers who operate across multiple jurisdictions.
  • For more information on these amendments, please see the Frequently Asked Questions document.