Government to protect international students from closures
The Federal Government has passed its Education Services for Overseas (ESOS) Bill 2011 through the Federal Parliament, which is designed to protect Australia’s international education sector from possible education provider closures.
International education valued at around $19 billion annually to the Australian economy and generates up to 125,000 jobs.
“Commencing 1 July 2012, the Gillard Government’s increased protections will ensure that international students continue to view Australia as a great place to study,” Federal Minister for Tertiary Education Senator Chris Evans said.
The legislation forms part of the Federal Government’s response to the Baird review of the ESOS legislation and will meet the key recommendation to form a Tuition Protection Service.
“Overseas students affected by the closure of an education service provider will have access to a single point of contact,” Senator Evans said.
“The TPS will support students to find an alternative placement with another provider or, if necessary, will be able to refund the student any unspent tuition fees.
“It will deliver a timely service, more choice and control for students; one set of fees for providers and will ensure greater accountability for Government.
To support the TPS, the Bill introduces limits on the amount of upfront fees a provider can collect from the student while protecting tuition fees paid before the student starts their course.