Student placement in an alternative course
You can arrange for an overseas student or intending overseas student to be placed in an alternative course. You must have that student’s written agreement.
This alternative course may be:
- a course you offer that is not subject to default
- a course offered by a different provider who has agreed to enrol the student.
An alternative course does not have to be the same course that the student was undertaking prior to the default—it can be a different course that the student is capable of entering and that they have agreed to undertake.
You cannot charge the student any kind of fee for arranging an alternative placement.
Any unspent tuition fees that the student has paid towards their course must be transferred as payment towards the alternative course.
All overseas students must be given the option of refusing an alternative placement. If the overseas student does refuse the placement, they are entitled to a refund of their unspent tuition fees.
Where the student has not paid any tuition fees (or has no remaining unspent tuition fees), they must still be given the option of refusing the placement and accepting a refund. In this case, the provider’s refund to the student will be ‘nil’ tuition fees.
Arranging an alternative course placement
When arranging a placement for a student after a default, it is important that you:
- clearly advise the student of the default
- make the student aware that they may choose a refund instead of an alternative placement
- ensure that any agreement is in writing—signed and dated—and clearly identifies:
- the alternative course in which the student has been offered a place
- the registered provider that will provide the alternative course
- that the student has been advised of their options, and they have chosen to accept the alternative course offered.
If you have agreed to place a student at an alternative course, but cannot do so within the provider obligation period, you must refund the student any unspent tuition fees before the end of the provider obligation period.
Alternative course suitability
If you are arranging for a student to be placed in an alternative course that you deliver, it is your responsibility to ensure they are a suitable candidate for that course.
If the student is being placed with a different registered provider, it is the responsibility of this alternative provider to ensure the student is a suitable candidate for the course.
In both cases, the student's English language competency, prior qualifications and work experience should be verified by the responsible provider as being adequate for entry into the alternative course.
Student placement compliance
When placing an overseas student in an alternative course, it is important that you can demonstrate you have complied fully with your provider obligations.
To demonstrate compliance when placing a student in an alternative course, you should:
- retain evidence to show the student has been informed of their options and has freely accepted placement in an alternative course
- hold records for each student who has accepted a place in an alternative course
- ensure each record you retain clearly identifies:
- full details of each student who has accepted placement; for example, the student’s full name, date of birth and provider student ID
- the date the student accepted placement
- the course in which the student has accepted a placement
- the provider who will deliver the alternative course.
To avoid any doubt about the authenticity of a student’s acceptance, consider having the signature of the student witnessed at the time of signing.
ASQA monitors compliance with the ESOS Act and associated legislative instruments. You may be found to have breached the ESOS Act if you cannot produce, at ASQA’s request:
- a written acceptance for each student who is placed in an alternative course
- evidence to show that you meet your requirements within the provider obligation period of 14 days after the default day.