The Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Framework covers the provision of education services to overseas students.
This legal framework sets out the requirements for registration as an ESOS provider. It also defines the standards that providers offering courses to overseas students must meet.
The framework provides a consistent national approach, which helps ensure high-quality training and high standards of care for students.
ASQA monitors and assesses Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) providers' compliance with the ESOS Framework. This monitoring includes providers delivering English Language Intensive Courses to Overseas Students (ELICOS).
The ESOS Framework comprises the:
- Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act)
- Education Services for Overseas Students Regulations 2019 (ESOS Regulations)
- National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 (National Code)
- National standards for ELICOS providers and courses (ELICOS Standards)
- other legislative instruments.
The ESOS Act
The principal objects of the ESOS Act are to:
- provide tuition assurance and refunds for overseas students for courses for which they have paid
- protect and enhance Australia’s reputation for quality education and training services
- complement Australia’s migration laws by ensuring providers collect and report relevant information relating to student visas.
The ESOS Regulations
The ESOS Regulations support the ESOS Act by setting out detailed requirements for providers. For example, providers must:
- show information on the CRICOS about their organisation and the courses they offer
- submit information about students to the Provider Registration and International Students Management System (PRISMS)
- provide information about students' visa conditions
- keep student records
- accept penalties and observe infringement notices.
The National Code sets out standards for the conduct of registered providers. The National Code governs the protection of overseas students and the delivery of courses to those students by CRICOS providers.
The objectives of the National Code are to:
- support the ESOS Framework
- safeguard Australia’s international reputation as a provider of high-quality education and training
- protect the interests of overseas students
- support registered providers in monitoring compliance with student visa conditions.
The National Code is a legislative instrument of the ESOS Act, meaning it is legally enforceable. Breaches of the National Code can result in enforcement action under the ESOS Act.
The ELICOS standards
The ELICOS standards exist as guidelines for regulatory authorities. They help authorities determine whether a provider meets the registration requirements of the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).
The ELICOS standards are a legislative instrument of the ESOS Act.
ESOS Act—other legislative instruments
Other legislative instruments support the implementation of the ESOS Act 2000 by setting out specific details about some of the information and requirements in the Act.