New Ombudsman for overseas students in private education and training

9 May 2011

Overseas students in Australia who have problems with private education and training can now take their complaints to the Overseas Students Ombudsman (OSO) if they cannot resolve problems with their education providers directly.

The OSO role is effective from 9 April 2011 after legislation was passed by the Australian Parliament and is located within the office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

The OSO role is to give overseas students already in Australia, and those planning to come soon, access to a free and impartial complaints service.

The OSO will resolve complaints and can also help private providers to improve their policies and practices to enhance the quality of international education in Australia by providing practical information about best practice complaint handling. The Commonwealth Ombudsman has more than 30 years experience in complaints handling and investigations.

The new role is one of a range of measures recommended by the Baird Review of the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000 and is reflected in the April 2010 Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Agreement in relation to international students.

The OSO will also publish reports on problems and broader issues in international education identified through investigations.

More information (including Frequently Asked Questions in English and 21 other languages) is available at the Overseas Students Ombudsman website.