October 10, 2014

Aligning Esos with the national Quality Frameworks – Response to the ESOS Discussion

The Educational Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) framework of Act, National Code and national register (CRICOS) was created at a time when there were few if any explicit protections for higher education students. It is a valuable assertion of the importance of ensuring students receive a quality education and receive needed supports while studying. It has provided a frame to support adherence to visa requirements for students coming to Australia.

Since its creation there has been a major transformation in the formal quality regulatory arrangements for higher education and vocational education in Australia. There is now a suite of education regulatory frameworks governing providers, the quality of student outcomes, and protections for students and agencies to oversee their operation in TEQSA for higher education and ASQA for VET. The final element is to confirm the new higher education standards.

The question is whether significant elements of ESOS are now superseded.

The IRU argues that the creation of the general Higher Education Standards Framework and other quality arrangements means that it is time to integrate the provisions for international students such that there is a common set of expectations for all students. Specific additional protections or requirements for international students should be used only where needed to meet the distinct needs of international students. Read more in the attached PDF below.