ESOS information for students

The Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000 protects the interests of international students in Australia by enforcing standards of educational quality and service delivery. The National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018  or National Code, lists the standards which Curtin University must meet to ensure that overseas students like you receive high quality education and training.

Student Responsibilities

As per the Student Declaration you signed on your Acceptance of Offer form, you are expected to comply with all Curtin University Policies and Procedures concerning your enrolment. As a student visa holder, you should also be aware of the following:

  • You are expected to complete your principle course by the end date on your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE). This usually requires you to complete 200 credit points per academic year. The University can only extend the duration of your CoE in limited circumstances.
  • You must hold a valid visa while in Australia. It is your responsibility to know your visa expiry date and apply for a new visa or depart Australia before your visa ends.
  • You must comply with the conditions of your visa, including those related to work limitations, Overseas Student Health Cover, course progress/attendance requirements and ensure your address is up-to-date in the OASIS Student Portal.
  • You must not study more than 33% of your course units via online enrolments or distance learning. If a unit is offered both on-campus and via online enrolment, you must enrol in the on-campus availability.
  • You must be enrolled in at least one on-campus unit in each compulsory study period.

Curtin University’s Responsibilities

  • Curtin University is legally required to comply with the standards and requirements provided in the ESOS Act 2000 and the National Code. These standards and requirements affect the way Curtin University markets, offers and provides courses of study to international students studying in Australia. The University is required to:
  • monitor the enrolment of international student visa holders, in accordance with the Assessment and Student Progression Policy and Procedures, to ensure they can complete their courses within the expected course duration, do not exceed their 33% online study allowance and are enrolled in at least one on-campus unit in each compulsory study period.
  • monitor students’ course progress in accordance with the Assessment and Student Progression Policy and Procedures.
  • monitor attendance for any students completing ELICOS courses.
  • provide students with access to an appropriate internal complaints and appeals process. Students who are not satisfied with the outcome arising from the University’s internal complaints and appeals process, may refer their appeal or complaint to the West Australian Ombudsman’s Office.
  • provide a range of student support services to assist students with adjusting to study and life in Australia.
  • have policies that set out the grounds and procedures for suspending or terminating student enrolments, for instance failure to re-enrol, non-payment of tuition fees, general or academic misconduct or unsatisfactory course progress.
  • notify the Department of Education and Department of Home Affairs of changes to student’s enrolment or a breach of visa conditions related to course progress/attendance.

Please see the information provided below for an overview of each National Code standard and the measures Curtin University has put in place to support compliance with that standard.

Standard 1: Marketing and Information Practices Standard 1 is directly linked to Australian Consumer Law. This standard makes sure that the University upholds the integrity and reputation of Australia’s education industry by marketing its courses and services in a way which is not false or misleading.

Under Standard 1, the University must:

  • Make sure that any marketing or promotional materials we publish about our courses and education services do not include false or misleading information; and
  • include our Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) registered name and registration number on all written and online materials.

Under Standard 1, the University must not:

  • provide false or misleading information in relation to course requirements when seeking to enter into a written agreement with an overseas student;
  • promise to secure migration or education assessment outcomes for overseas students; and
  • recruit students if it conflicts with its obligations under Standard 7 (Overseas Student Transfers).

Standard 2: Recruitment of an overseas student The expectation of Standard 2 is that registered providers recruit responsibly and ensure that overseas students are appropriately qualified for the course they are seeking to enrol in. We must provide overseas students with sufficient information to enable them to make informed decisions about choosing to study at Curtin University.

Under Standard 2, the University must:

  • provide a range of current, comprehensive and plain English information, including on course details, tuition and non-tuition fees, that is easily accessible to assist students in making informed decisions;
  • ensure overseas students have sufficient English language proficiency, educational qualifications and/or work experience to enrol in the course; and
  • have a policy and process for assessing and recording recognition of prior learning (RPL), if it intends to assess RPL or grant course credit.

Standard 2 Resources

Standard 3: Formalisation of enrolment and written agreements Under Standard 3, the obligations and rights of both Curtin University and overseas students must be clearly set out in a formal written agreement or offer letter between the two parties.

Under Standard 3, the University must:

  • have a written agreement with overseas students or intending overseas students they enrol, which may take any form, as long as it meets the requirements under the National Code and the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000;
  • ensure the written agreement is signed or otherwise accepted by the overseas student, or if they are under 18 years of age, their parent or legal guardian;
  • include information in the written agreement about course details, prerequisites and conditions on enrolment (if applicable), fees, refund and cancellation policies, and the provider’s complaints and appeals processes; and
  • advise overseas students of required information.

Standard 3 Resources

Standard 4: Education Agents Education agents are an important part of the international education sector in Australia. Under Standard 4, the University is required to ensure that the education agents it works with, act ethically, honestly and in the best interest of overseas students and uphold the reputation of Australia’s international education sector.

Under Standard 4, the University must:

  • have a written agreement with each education agent we work with;
  • enter and maintain education agent details in Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS);
  • ensure education agents have appropriate knowledge and understanding of the Australian International Education and Training Agent Code of Ethics;
  • ensure education agents act honestly and in good faith;
  • take immediate corrective action, or terminate a relationship if an agent (or an employee or subcontractor) is not complying with the National Code; and
  • not accept overseas students from an education agent if it knows or suspects that the education agent is engaging in unethical recruitment processes.

Standard 4 Resources

A list of Curtin University’s Registered Agents is available on the Curtin International website.

Standard 6: Overseas student support services Overseas students require certain support services as they are living and studying in an unfamiliar environment. Under Standard 6, the University is responsible for providing access to certain services to ensure the mental and physical wellbeing of their overseas students.

Under Standard 6, the University must:

  • give overseas students information on, or access to, an orientation program about living and studying in Australia, including information about safety on campus and while living in Australia;
  • offer reasonable support to overseas students, irrespective of their place or mode of study, at no additional cost to the overseas student;
  • have a critical incident management policy; and
  • ensure there are sufficient staff, in addition to academic staff, to support and advise overseas students who request assistance.

Standard 6 Resources

Information on the full range of student support services available at Curtin can be found on Curtin’s Current Student website.

Standard 7: Overseas student transfers Standard 7 requires that registered providers not knowingly enrol an overseas student wishing to transfer from another registered provider’s course prior to the overseas student completing six months of their principal course of study, except in certain circumstances.

As the principal course of study is generally the final course of study covered by the overseas student’s visa, transfer requirements apply to all courses of study prior to the overseas student’s principal course. When considering a request from an overseas student seeking to transfer, the University is expected to:

  • have and implement a documented policy and process for assessing overseas student transfer requests during the restriction period;
  • outline in the policy the circumstances where transfers will be granted or refused;
  • record all transfer request outcomes in the Provider Registration International Student Management System (PRISMS);
  • not finalise a refusal to release the overseas student until the student has had an opportunity to access the complaints and appeals process; and
  • ensure where the request concerns an overseas student under the age of 18, the overseas student’s parent or legal guardian has provided support for the transfer in writing.

Standard 7 Resources

Please see the University’s International Student Transfer Procedures for detailed information about this Standard.

Standard 8: Overseas student visa requirements Overseas students holding student visas are expected meet a number of visa conditions which include, making satisfactory course progress and, where applicable, meeting course attendance requirements.

Under Standard 8, the University is required to do the following to help students meet their visa conditions:

  • monitor the overseas student’s course progress and attendance records where applicable
  • identify and offer support to those students at risk of not meeting course progress or attendance requirements
  • only extend the duration of an overseas student’s enrolment in certain circumstances and advise them of potential impacts on their student visa
  • only deliver online learning in accordance with the online learning requirements for their sector.

Student Visa Condition 8202 requires that student visa holders must maintain a full time enrolment in a registered course. At Curtin University, a full time enrolment for students not enrolled in a higher degree by research (HDR) is:

  • 100 credits each semester; or
  • 75 credits each trimester

Student visa holders who need to reduce their study load below a full time load will need to:

  • speak to a Student Service Officer
  • seek approval by submitting an ‘Enrol in Less than 100 Credits in the Current Semester form’ (visit the student administrations forms page). The form must be submitted prior to each enrolment period.

Standard 8 Resources

Standard 9: Deferring, suspending or cancelling the overseas student's enrolment Standard 9 sets out the conditions under which an overseas student’s enrolment can be deferred, suspended or cancelled.

These enrolment changes can be initiated by either the overseas student for compassionate and compelling circumstances, or the University where, a student has breached a visa condition, failed to pay fees, misbehaved, or failed to meet a condition listed in a University policy.

The University is required to manage the enrolment of overseas students and maintain up-to-date enrolment information in the Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS) database.

Under Standard 9, the University must:

  • have a documented process for assessing, approving and recording a deferment, suspension or cancellation of study
  • notify the overseas student in writing of the intention to suspend or cancel their enrolment
  • tell the overseas student to seek advice from the Department of Home Affairs on the potential impact on their visa if enrolment has been deferred, suspended or cancelled
  • not let a suspension or cancellation take effect until the overseas student has been given a chance to complete an internal appeals process, unless their health or wellbeing, or the wellbeing of others, is likely to be at risk.

Standard 9 Resources

  • Course deferrals, suspensions or cancellations may have an effect on a student visa. It is important that student’s contact the Department of Home Affairs (DHA), for advice before taking any action. Students can contact the DHA through their official email address Please note: the Perth DHA office no longer sees students without an appointment. You can arrange an appointment by contacting them via the email address provided or by phone on: 131 881 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.
  • Course management information.
  • International Student Refunds: Refunds available to International Students for cessation or non-commencement of study are subject to specific legislation and differ to refund conditions for Domestic Students. Please see the International Student Refund Agreement for more details.

Standard 10: Complaints and appeals Standard 10 requires that the University provide an internal complaints handling and appeals process for overseas students.

The internal complaints and appeals must be handled in a professional, timely, inexpensive manner and be well documented to ensure that grievances between overseas students and registered providers can be heard and addressed.

Under Standard 10, the University must:

  • have and implement a documented internal complaints handling and appeals policy and process;
  • advise an overseas student within 10 working days of their right to access an external appeals process and provide contact details, if the overseas student is not satisfied with the outcome of the internal complaints and appeals process; and
  • immediately implement any decision or recommendation in favour of the overseas student through the internal or external appeals process.

Standard 10 Resources

Official communications or letters from the University recording the final outcome of a student management process will always include advice on how students can:

External Appeals

Students who are not satisfied with the University’s internal appeals processes can lodge an external appeal with the West Australian Ombudsman. Please note: you must have exhausted all of your internal appeal and complaint option before contacting the West Australian Ombudsman.

Standard 11: Additional requirements As a Registered provider, the University must continue to meet the requirements for Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) registration.

Only full-time courses can be registered on CRICOS. The University must also ensure its ESOS agency, the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA) approves and has up-to-date information on specific aspects of its operations and any registered courses.

Under this standard, the University must:

  • seek approval from TEQSA to register full-time courses;
  • submit any proposed changes to the registration of courses to TEQSA for approval at least 30 days prior to the date the changes will commence; and
  • As a self-accrediting registered provider, undertake an independent external audit during its period of CRICOS registration to inform the re-registration process.

Standard 11 Resources