Addressing risk to VET for international students

30 November 2022

ASQA is acutely aware that poor quality practices by a small number of providers can inflict significant harm on students, on confidence in an otherwise dedicated and committed sector and damage Australia’s reputation for quality educational outcomes.

ASQA has been attuned and proactively managing the risks to international education, including the vulnerability of international students, within our functions and in partnership with others for some time.

ASQA has a Regulatory Risk Priority for 2022-23 and risk treatments in relation to VET delivered to international students onshore and offshore, to maintain quality and confidence in international VET, in the context of government initiatives to target skills gaps through stimulation of VET growth in international markets. This is inevitably an area of focus for ASQA as the nature and extent of the delivery of VET to international students, along with its risk profile, is changing. It will also continue to change as the government and sector respond to initiatives to expand VET delivery to international students to support skilled migration, Australia’s economic recovery and improve the resilience of the international education sector.

ASQA has undertaken a range of regulatory activities in progress, including participation in a nationally coordinated, multi-agency response to the exploitation of Australia’s visa programs by criminal syndicates based in Australia.

ASQA also continues to proactively engage with the Department of Home Affairs, the Department of Education, Austrade, law enforcement agencies, states training authorities, the Overseas Student Ombudsman and through the Education Regulators and Immigration Committee (ERIC) to safeguard the integrity of international VET. We work closely together to detect, disrupt and prevent risk to the international VET.

ASQA currently applies a higher threshold at market entry for providers seeking registration on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) compared to Registered Training Providers under the National VET Regulator Act, in recognition of this risk.

ASQA also assesses the risk when providers apply to deliver English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students and qualifications with the highest levels exposure to international students.

These are:

CHC33015 – Certificate III in Individual Support

CHC50121 – Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care

CHC30121 – Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care

CHC43015 – Certificate IV in Ageing Support

CHC52015 – Diploma of Community Services

RII60520 – Advanced Diploma of Civil Construction Design

ASQA will continue to develop information and support providers to assure themselves against risks to Quality VET within their own operations.

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