National Code Part D, Standard 2

Student engagement before enrolment

 

Explanatory guide for Standard 2

Frequently asked questions on this page:

 

Registered providers recruit students in an ethical and responsible manner and provide information that enables students to make informed decisions about studying with the registered provider in Australia. Registered providers ensure students’ qualifications, experience and English language proficiency are appropriate for the course for which enrolment is sought.


The information students receive before enrolment should be accurate so that their actual study experience matches their expectations.

Students need to know about the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) legislative framework, the security it affords them and how to make use of its consumer protections should the need arise. The standard also ensures students are only offered places in courses for which they have been assessed as having the appropriate skills and experience.

Key requirements for all providers

 

  • Students must be provided with information that will enable them to make informed decisions about their studies in Australia.
  • Providers must have documented procedures for assessing students’ English proficiency and qualifications and they must implement these procedures.
  • Providers supply information about the availability of course credit.
  • Providers inform students of the modes of study through which the course may be offered.
  • Providers list the grounds on which the students’ enrolments may be deferred, suspended or cancelled.
  • Providers give students a description of the ESOS framework prior to enrolment.
  • Providers supply information about indicative course related fees, including the potential for fees to change.
  • Providers supply relevant information on accommodation options.
  • Where students plan to bring school-aged dependants with them, providers inform them of Australia’s schooling obligations and options, including the fact that they may have to pay school fees.
  • Documented procedures are in place for assessing students’ qualifications, experience and English language proficiency.

 

What this standard involves:

 

 2.1

Prior to accepting a student, or an intending student, for enrolment in a course, the registered provider must provide, in print or through referral to an electronic copy, current and accurate information regarding the following:

a. the requirements for acceptance into a course, including the minimum level of English language proficiency, educational qualifications or work experience required and whether course credit may be applicable
b. the course content and duration, qualification offered if applicable, modes of study and assessment methods
c. campus locations and a general description of facilities, equipment, and learning and library resources available to students
d. details of any arrangements with another registered provider, person or business to provide the course or part of the course
e. indicative course-related fees including advice on the potential for fees to change during the student’s course and applicable refund policies
f. information about the grounds on which the student’s enrolment may be deferred, suspended or cancelled
g. a description of the ESOS framework made available electronically by DEEWR, and h.
h. relevant information on living in Australia, including:
    i. indicative costs of living
    ii. accommodation options; and
    iii. where relevant, schooling obligations and options for school-aged
    dependants of intending students, including that school fees may be
    incurred.
 

 

  • The information required to be provided to the student under Standard 2.1 must be given to the student before the student acknowledges acceptance (signed or otherwise accepted) of the offer of place. This means that information specific to the course for which the offer has been made may be provided to the student at the same time as the letter of offer.
  • Standard 2.1 f. requires providers to supply information about the general grounds on which the student’s enrolment may be deferred, suspended or cancelled. For further information about deferring, suspending or cancelling a student’s enrolment, please see Standard 13 of the National Code 2007 and the section of the Explanatory Guide relating to Standard 13.
  • Standard 2.1 g. requires that providers must provide a description of the ESOS framework (pdf) (doc) made available electronically by the Department of Education. This description  is available from the AEI website so providers can choose to download and print copies of this brochure, or can refer students to the website. Providers are also welcome to put the document up on their websites.
  • The information required under this standard can be provided to students in print form or through referral to an electronic copy. The inclusion of URLs in copies of material provided to students could serve as evidence that students were provided with the required materials.
     

 

 2.2. The registered provider must have documented procedures in place, and implement these procedures to assess whether the student’s qualifications, experience and English language proficiency are appropriate for the course for which enrolment is sought.

 

  • All staff responsible for implementing the procedures should have easy access to the procedures documents.

     

    Compliance tips    

    To demonstrate compliance a provider may need some of the following as evidence:

    • samples of the information provided to students prior to enrolment as outlined in Standard 2.1; and 
    • a copy of documented procedures for assessing students’ qualifications, experience and English language proficiency. 
 

 

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Common questions and answers


Accurate course information

Please note: The principles in the examples below can be applied to all sectors.

Q  

Standard 2.1 b. requires providers to give the student information about ‘modes of study’.  Why is this required and where can I find more information about ‘modes of study’?

A

Under the National Code 2007, students are allowed greater flexibility in relation to mode of study, as they are now allowed to take up to 25 per cent of their total course by online or distance education. Students must be told about the modes of study of a course so they can make informed decisions about the suitability of a course for their needs and preferred learning style. 

For further information about ‘modes of study’, please see:

 

What information should a provider give a prospective student about places of study?

A

Standard 2.1 c. requires that providers give the student information about the location, facilities, equipment, learning and library resources available to the student at each place at which the student will be required to study in order to complete the course. So, if the student must study at two or more campuses in order to complete his or her course, the provider must give the student information about the location of each campus and the facilities available to the student at each campus.

For details about what to tell students about places of study when there is an arrangement with another provider to offer the course or part of the course, please see Question 3.

Q

Are providers obliged to inform students if part of the course is offered by arrangement with another provider?

A

Yes. Standard 2.1 d. requires that providers give students current and accurate information about details of any arrangements with another registered provider, person or business to provide the course or part of the course. Location of the other provider’s premises is particularly important, as this information may influence a student’s decision about where to study.

If the registered provider of the course knows the location at which the other provider will be offering the course, details of this campus should be given to the student.

If the other provider has a number of campuses at which the course may be offered, the registered provider of the course should provide information about the location of all of these campuses (as potential sites of study). In this case, a general statement about the possibility of the course being offered in a number of locations and the distance of these locations from the registered provider’s main premises, along with a reference to other provider’s contact details for further information, would be sufficient. Similarly, if the registered provider has arrangements with a number of providers to run a course, these arrangements, locations of study sites and contact details (for further information) should be made clear to students.

For further information about arrangements with other providers, please see the National Code 2007 Part C, Sections 10.1 – 10.4

Q

What information should a provider give students prior to enrolment about work-based training components of a course?

A

Standard 2.1 d. requires that providers give students details of any arrangements with another registered provider, person or business to provide the course or part of the course.  If a course includes work-based training (part of the course provided by another person or business) providers must make students aware of the details of this arrangement. 

Work-based training placements may be arranged by the registered provider, or by the student. Consequently, details of arrangements for work-based training are not always available prior to enrolment. So, if offering work-based training as part of a course, providers should make it clear to students that work placements are likely to be conducted off-campus (with another person or business) and that the placement/s must be undertaken in the same state or territory as the course. 

For further information about work-based training, please see the National Code 2007, Part C Section 8 (Work-based training).

 

Q

When does a description of the ESOS framework need to be made available to students?

A

The student must receive a description of the ESOS framework before the provider accepts them. The provider must give this document - in print or by referring them to an electronic copy - to the student (or intending student) before accepting them. Standard 2.1(g) refers to the ESOS framework document (pdf ) (doc ) being available on the AEI website. The provider can add this link into their offer letters and advise students to read it from either the AEI website or they can put the document on their own website. Students must read the ESOS framework before accepting a provider’s offer of a place and forwarding their fees.

 

Grounds to defer, suspend or cancel

 

Q

What information should providers give students about grounds on which a student’s enrolment may be deferred, suspended or cancelled?

A

Standard 2.1 f. requires providers to give students information about grounds on which their enrolment may be deferred, suspended or cancelled. The grounds listed must be consistent with the provider’s documented policies and procedures on matters such as, but not limited to, failure to meet unit prerequisites, unavailability of units/subjects, non-payment of fees and student behaviour. The information provided should also include the option for students to request a deferment or suspension of their studies on the grounds of compassionate or compelling circumstances. For further information about deferring commencement, suspending or cancelling a student’s enrolment, please see Standard 13 and the Explanatory Guide section relating to Standard 13.

 

Q

When should a provider inform a potential student or intending student about the circumstances for suspending and/or cancelling enrolment?

A

Providers must give information about the grounds on which the student’s enrolment may be deferred, suspended or cancelled. This information must be given to the student before they are accepted.

The National Code Standard 2.1 states: "Prior to accepting a student, or an intending student, for enrolment in a course, the registered provider must provide, in print or through referral to an electronic copy, current and accurate information regarding the following...(2.1f) information about the grounds on which the student's enrolment may be deferred, suspended or cancelled".

Before the student is accepted means “before the student acknowledges acceptance of the offer of place”.

The provider must state the grounds on which the student’s enrolment may be deferred, suspended or cancelled. This information must be given to the student before they enrol so they can make an informed decision about which provider to study with. The National Code does not prescribe how providers should handle requests to defer or cancel an offer before the student has accepted the offer.

Standard 2.1(f) relates to Standard 13, which covers how to defer, suspend or cancel a student’s actual enrolment.

 

 

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English language proficiency

 

Q

What information should providers give students regarding English language requirements?

A

Standard 2.1a requires that before accepting a student for enrolment in a course (i.e. before issuing a CoE) the provider must provide current and accurate information about the minimum level of English language proficiency required.

 

English language requirements

The University of the North offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses to both domestic and overseas students. For its Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), the university requires students to have English language proficiency of IELTS score 6 or equivalent. Before offering a place in the BBA to Yi Qing, the university checks her English language proficiency in accordance with its documented procedures and finds that it is the equivalent of IELTS 5. The university informs Yi Qing that she has not met the English language requirements for the BBA, and suggests she undertake further English language studies before applying again for admission to the course.

Note:

  • Providers need to have in place, and follow, documented procedures for assessing whether a student’s qualifications, experience and English language proficiency are appropriate for the course for which enrolment is sought. 
  • IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System. IELTS scores are commonly used by both providers and DIBP as evidence of students’ English language ability. For further information on the IELTS, please see IELTS or idp websites.

 

Q

What information should providers give students regarding English language requirements for ELICOS courses?

A

The English Language requirements for ELICOS courses are determined by the provider's policies. An ELICOS General English course for beginners may have no English requirements, in which case literacy in the student’s first language would be required.

 

Q

Should a provider assess English language proficiency before enrolling the student by issuing a CoE?

A

Yes. Standard 2.2 requires the provider to assess whether the student’s English language proficiency is appropriate for the course for which enrolment is sought. Therefore, assessment must occur before enrolment.  DIBP requires the student to have a CoE before it issues a student visa. The correct procedure is: language assessment – CoE – visa.

 

Q

I’ve enrolled  a student in a VET course only to find they have insufficient English.  Can I issue a conditional CoE for the VET course based on the student sitting an English test onshore and if they don’t pass automatically enrol them in my English course?

A

You can issue a conditional CoE. However, if the student’s onshore results require them to study more English to meet the entry requirement of your VET course you cannot compel them to enrol in your English course.  The test result is a proxy for a letter of release which enables the student to enrol with an English language provider of their choice.

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Information on living in Australia

 

Q

What information should providers give prospective students about the education of school-aged dependants accompanying the prospective student?

A

Standard 2.1 h. iii. requires that providers must inform prospective students with school-aged children about schooling obligations and options for school-aged dependants, including that school fees may be incurred. 

For further information about school-aged dependants, please see FAQs and/or the DIBP website.

 

Information regarding school-aged dependants

The Central Tilba College of English runs ELICOS courses for overseas students, catering from absolute beginners through to English for Academic Purposes. A prospective student has expressed an interest in studying for a year with the college, and mentions that his wife and school-aged children will be accompanying him to Australia. 

The college provides the prospective student with information about the course, the campus and fees. It also directs the student to the description of the ESOS framework on the DEEWR website. As the student has indicated he wants to bring his family with him, the college provides him with information about family-friendly accommodation options and indicative costs of living. The college also informs the student of the fact that his school-aged children will be obliged to attend school whilst in Australia, and that school fees may be incurred.

 

Note:

  • If prospective students will be bringing their families with them, they need to be made aware of schooling obligations and options for their school-aged dependants.
  • For more information about visas for dependants of student visa holders, please see the DIBP website.

 

Connections

 

 

Information

For further information about this standard, please visit IE website and DIBP website.

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