The Albanese Government has announced today the next steps it is taking to strengthen integrity in the international education sector and better protect students.
These actions will tackle serious integrity issues in the sector as identified in the Rapid Review into the Exploitation of Australia’s Visa System (Nixon Review).
As part of its response to the Nixon Review, the Government will build risk indicators across the international education system.
These risk indicators will inform a monitoring framework that will drive targeted compliance by education regulators, and we will increase monitoring of student attendance.
The Government will also amend the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act) to strengthen the existing fit and proper provider test.
This will strengthen the standards required to gain and hold provider registration and prevent cross-ownership of businesses between education providers and education agents.
In addition, we will prohibit agent commissions on student transfers between providers in Australia to remove incentives for unscrupulous agents and providers to ‘poach’ students.
Providers will be given greater access to agent performance data such as student completion rates and visa rejection rates. These benchmarks will help providers choose quality education agents as partners.
These actions build on the changes we announced in August to remove a loophole used to move students who had been in the country less than six months to new providers to facilitate work instead of study.
International students are an important part of Australia’s education system and a significant contributor to the Australian economy, as well as being valued members of our communities and society.
The Albanese Government will not tolerate the manipulation of the international education and student visa systems, or the exploitation of international students.
The Government will continue to work with the international education sector to help ensure a quality education experience for international students and to support integrity in the international education system.
This response is part of a larger body of work being done across government and further announcements will be made in relation to the capacity of the Vocational Education and Training regulator in the coming days.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Education, Jason Clare:
“International students are back, but so are the shonks seeking to exploit them and undermine our international education system.
“That’s why we are acting.
“Students from around the world choose to come here first and foremost for the high-quality education we offer.
“The Nixon Review identified the need to increase monitoring and compliance in the international education sector and the Government is responding.
“The Government will outline further measures to crack down on dodgy and unscrupulous players in the international education sector in the next few days.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Skills and Training, Brendan O’Connor:
“We’re taking action to implement changes to strengthen the quality and integrity of the sector and student welfare is our highest priority.
“These changes will better enforce higher ethical standards and ensure high quality education.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Home Affairs, Clare O’Neil:
“This is the first of many announcements this week to restore integrity to international education and to our migration system.
“The party is over, the rorts and loopholes that have plagued this system will be shut down.”