The Education Services for Overseas Students Regulations 2019 (ESOS Regulations) commence on 1 October 2019. They replace the current 2001 regulations.
The ESOS Regulations commence on 1 October 2019. Registered providers must comply with the ESOS Regulations from 1 October 2019, including by giving information in the Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS).
Changes to the ESOS Regulations While the ESOS Regulations are substantially the same as the current regulations, the changes are described below.
Where an agent of a provider facilitated the acceptance for enrolment of a student in a course, the ESOS Regulations require providers to give information in PRISMS on the agent, including details of the agent’s Director and the agent’s employees who were involved in facilitating the enrolment.
Collection of this information will provide a more detailed picture of agent activity across the international education system and over time. This will better support regulators to monitor providers’ compliance with the ESOS Act and the National Code with respect to their agents, and provide a more detailed picture of agent performance for providers and students.
English language tests
Providers must now give more information on students' English language proficiency in relation to student visas, specifically:
the date a student took an English language test, if the student was required to provide evidence of their level of English language proficiency for the purposes of a student visa, and
the class of student visa applicant a student falls within (commonly referred to as evidence exemptions), if a student was not required to provide evidence of their level of English language proficiency for the purposes of a student visa.
Migration (IMMI 18/015: English Language Tests and Evidence Exemptions for Subclass 500 (Student) Visa) Instrument 2018 establishes the current English language tests, minimum scores and evidence exemptions.
Including this additional detail will improve data integrity by aligning the information on each student’s enrolment directly to student visa requirements and exemptions.
The Department of Home Affairs is responsible for student visa policy and requirements for student visas are subject to change.
When students breach their visa requirements
Providers must now give more prescribed information about students who have breached a condition of a student visa with respect to course attendance or progress requirements; specifically, the student’s contact details, their residential address in Australia and their residential address overseas. Collection of this information will help support the integrity of Australia’s student visa framework.
Terminating the student’s course
Providers must now give information in the event that the student's course is terminated before the course is completed, whether the studies were terminated by the student or the provider. In addition to the student’s contact details, providers must now give the day the student's course is terminated as well as the last day of the student’s studies. This will ensure that the information is given regardless of the initiator of the termination. It will assist the regulators to monitor providers’ compliance with the ESOS Act and the National Code and help support the integrity of Australia’s student visa framework.
Tuition fees definition
The list of definitions specific to the ESOS Regulations has been expanded to provide improved guidance for providers, and now includes a definition of tuition fees that expands upon the definition under section 7 of the ESOS Act.
The list of definitions specific to the ESOS Regulations now includes a definition for classes of tuition and non-tuition fees that expands on the definition under section 7 of the ESOS Act. Tuition fees include fees for lectures, tutorials, tutoring sessions, training, excursions, fieldwork, laboratories, or practical experience that form part of the student's course (whether mandatory or not), or are intended to assist the student to progress in their course, or are ancillary to the activities that form part of the student’s course listed previously. Non-tuition fees include books and equipment, health insurance, administration, accommodation, and assistance to apply for or hold a student visa.
Including this definition is intended to support providers to fulfil their responsibility to give information on tuition and non-tuition fees as required by the ESOS Regulations. The estimated total tuition and non-tuition fees for a course provides valuable consumer information to prospective students, and supports providers’ compliance with the National Code with respect to marketing courses. Information on the tuition and non-tuition fees paid by a student in accordance with the terms of their written agreement supports the calculation of refunds in the event of a provider closure.
Definitions removes from ESOS Regulations
Some definitions have been removed from the ESOS Regulations as they duplicated definitions in the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act), or were no longer needed.
Providing the name and contact details of the principal executive officer
If a provider is not a public provider and is not an individual, it must give the name, phone number and email address of the provider’s principal executive officer. Collection of this information assists the regulators to monitor providers’ compliance with the ESOS Act by providing more visibility of ownership and management.
Information regarding students through PRISMS
The ESOS Regulations require providers to update student contact details within 14 days for students under 18, and within 31 days for all other students. Keeping information in PRISMS as upto-date as possible assists providers to effectively comply with the ESOS framework and supports student well-being by enabling providers and the Australian Government to contact students in a timely manner, such as in the event of a provider closure.
The requirement to update PRISMS within the acceptable number of days of any change to an enrolment is also critical to the administration of Australia’s laws relating to student visas.
Providers must give information about accepted students as follows:
the student’s residential address, phone number and email address
when a student changes their course, in addition to the student's contact details, providers must give the day the student changes their course
when a student's course changes duration, in addition to the student's contact details, providers must give the day the change takes effect
when a student's course changes location, in addition to the student's contact details, providers must give the day the change takes effect
when a student's studies are deferred or suspended, in addition to the student's contact details and the expected duration of the deferment or suspension, providers must give the date deferment or suspension starts
in the event that the provider gives particulars of a student's breach of their student visa conditions, providers must give the student’s contact details and residential address in Australia and their residential address overseas, and
when a student’s studies are terminated (whether or not by the student), in addition to the student's contact details, providers must give the day the student's studies are terminated and the last day of the student's studies.
Other minor amendments
A number of minor additions, deletions and changes were made as follows.
The reference to course level has been clarified to refer to the Australian Qualifications Framework. Reference to the course field of study has been clarified to refer to the Australian Standard Classification of Education.
If a provider is registered to provide a course at a location in accordance with an arrangement with another provider (whether registered or not), it must give the name, phone number and email address of the individual who is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the other provider at the location. Collection of this information will assist the regulators to monitor providers’ compliance with the ESOS Act by providing more visibility of ownership and management with respect to the delivery of courses by arrangement with another provider.
The requirement for providers to give domestic student numbers has been removed, as this information was not deemed necessary for the regulators to fulfil their responsibilities.
The requirement for providers to give information about the level and field of study of ea