ESOS amendments receive Royal Assent

Amendments to the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 were passed by Parliament on 1 December and Royal Assent was received on 11 December 2015. Details of the amendments are available on the international education website.
 
Some key measures removing regulatory burden on education institutions have now taken effect.  The following system changes have been implemented in PRISMS to facilitate the amendments.
 

Student default reporting changes

Education providers are no longer required to notify student defaults in PRISMS.  Providers are only required to report that they have met their refund obligations to students in PRISMS for situations where a student’s visa is refused or where a provider has not entered into a written agreement in accordance with the requirements of the ESOS Act.
 
Note: that previously commenced student default reports (for circumstances other than visa refusal and no compliant written agreement) have been removed from the active default queue, as they require no further action. These student default reports can still be accessed by searching for those with a status of ‘Outcome not required’ if they providers wish to view or finalise them for their own records.
 
Refer to Section 4.32 in the PRISMS user guide for steps on how to record a student default outcome in PRISMS.  A factsheet on student default changes is available on the Department of Education website.
 

50 per cent validation rule

An update to the 50% validation rule in PRISMS will ensure education providers are restricted from collecting an initial tuition fee greater than 50% of the total tuition fee, where the student’s course is greater than 25 weeks and the student is yet to begin his or her course. The check is applied at Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) creation and when recording a single or multiple tuition fee payment in PRISMS. Providers can declare the student, or the person paying the tuition fees has chosen to pay more than 50% of initial tuition fee by ticking a check box in PRISMS.
 
Refer to Section 4.8 in the PRISMS user guide for further instructions on creating CoEs and Section 4.21 for changes to the tuition fee upload function. A factsheet on the amendment to Section 27 on of the ESOS Act is available on the Department of Education website.
 

Student Course Variation changes (SCV)

The SCV reporting period has been extended from 14 to 31 days except for students under the age of 18 years old. Providers must still inform the Secretary within 14 days where the student is under the age of 18 year and has failed to begin their course or has terminated their studies. 
 
Refer to Section 4.26 in the PRISMS user guide on how to create a student course variation in PRISMS. A factsheet on amendments to Section 19 of the ESOS Act is available on the Department of Education website.