A reputation for quality is essential for the ongoing viability of international education and research in Australia. The ESOS Framework is a principle facet of Australia’s quality reputation and it is essential that it be upheld.

The ESOS Act provides for a legal framework to govern the delivery of education to overseas students in Australia on a student visa. The ESOS Act governs:

  • the registration process and obligations of registered providers;
  • the Tuition Protection Service; and
  • enforcement and compliance powers.

The ESOS Framework is a strong and comprehensive set of legislative instruments that assist in determining items such as the portion of unspent pre-paid fees in the event of a provider default or if a student is unable to obtain a visa; the notice a provider must give in the event of a provider or student default; and the criteria to be applied in considering if a course is a 'suitable alternative course'.

The Tuition Protection Service was introduced in 2012 as a mechanism to further strengthen the protections offered to students through the ESOS Act.

Information provided to the Government under the ESOS ACT is managed through a central system, the Provider Registration and International Students Management System (PRISMS).

In 2009, the Government undertook to the review the ESOS Act and Universities Australia made numerous recommendations to that review including the establishment of a national register of accredited/recognised agents; continued restriction on transfers at six months; revision of Part B of the National Code; review of the financial requirement on student visas. 

The Baird Review led to a number of significant changes in the international education sector in Australia. In 2012 the Tuition Protection Service was established, the registration process for international education providers has been strengthened and international students now have access to post study work visas for up to four years.