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Education Providers' Roles and Responsibilities

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Reporting breaches of attendance and course progress

Education providers are required to report students failing to comply with the attendance or course progress requirements of their visa to the department through the Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS) system.
Note: For advice on using PRISMS, contact the PRISMS Help Line at the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR).
Telephone: 02 6240 7647

Education providers must report students who:

  • do not achieve satisfactory attendance
  • withdraw from a course
  • do not maintain satisfactory course progress.

Detailed information about education providers' reporting responsibilities is available on the Australian Education International Education Services for Overseas Students website.
Australian Education International – Education Services for Overseas Students
Student Course Variation (SCV) Report Options Quick Reference Guide (117KB PDF file)

Responsibilities for under 18 year old students

Education providers approving care arrangements for students less than 18 years old must:

  • give the department a signed statement confirming that for a nominated period appropriate arrangements have been made for the student's accommodation, support and general welfare. The period nominated by the provider must be a least the length of the student's Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) plus seven days at the end of the CoE or until the student turns 18.
  • report through PRISMS any changes to the care arrangements, including the type of accommodation.
    Example: If the student moves from a boarding school to a homestay.

This information is required to ensure compliance with Public Interest Criterion 4012A and visa condition 8532.
See: Changes to the Migration Regulations relating to student visa holders under 18 years of age ( 96KB PDF file)

Education providers are strongly advised to use the standard letters available from the PRISMS for confirming welfare arrangements and notifying of changes.
Australian Education International – Education Services for Overseas Students

Minimum contents of a letter of offer

Letters of offer made to students are used to support student visa applications and must contain the information in the table below.

Information the letter must contain Type of information
Tuition costs The amount for the entire course. This is calculated by aggregating the highest estimate per semester.

The tuition costs may include the cost of health insurance where the education provider has arranged this on behalf of the student.
Course duration Include start date, end date and length of the course.
Course description The CRICOS code and name of the course.
Education provider code The CRICOS code for the provider of the course.
Note: This is required because of the many institutions using different trading names.
Conditional offer of a place if applicable Specifications of the conditions.

Note: If a letter of offer does not contain the information specified in the table above the department will need to estimate costs based on the highest tuition cost, and there may be a delay processing the application.

Arranging health insurance for students

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is insurance to assist international students to meet the costs of medical and hospital care that they may need while in Australia.
Note: If a student is from Norway or Sweden, their government will provide their overseas health cover. If the student is from Belgium they will be covered under a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement and will not be required to take out OSHC.

Many education providers now collect the OSHC premium from overseas students enrolling at their institution and arrange to pay the health insurance cover on their behalf.

From 1 July 2010 students must obtain OSHC for the proposed duration of their Student visa.
See: How this Visa Works

Education providers must ensure that they enter the required details of the student's OSHC coverage in PRISMS when registering the CoE.

It is not mandatory for providers to organise OSHC for intending students. Ultimately the student is responsible for ensuring adequate coverage for the proposed duration of their visa.

Packaged courses – where a student will be studying at more than one education provider, the requirement remains that the student maintain health insurance for the duration of their stay. This means that where different education providers are organising OSHC for different courses that a student is proposing to study, there cannot be a gap in the OSHC coverage.

For providers organising OSHC on behalf of a student, a suggested approach for package courses is to have the policy cover the period up to the commencement of the next course.

When completing the CoE providers should only select Yes if they have received money from the student and arranged OSHC on their behalf.

Education providers should not select Yes if they have only sighted evidence that the student has arranged his or her own health cover. In this circumstance, they should select No.

Students who decide to pay the OSHC premium personally are expected to provide evidence of payment directly to this department.

Students who intend to bring family members to Australia with them are also expected to provide evidence to the department that their OSHC includes these family members.

Information on the OSHC can be found on the Australian Department of Health website.
See: Australian Department of Health

Maximum period for a student visa

A student visa is generally issued for a maximum period of five years. The department will take into account cases where it may be reasonable to apply for a longer period.
Example: A medical degree may take up to six years to complete and a period of English studies may be required ahead of the principal course.

Thesis marking – Postgraduate research students

Postgraduate Research sector students are currently granted a student visa with an extra six months to stay in Australia during the marking of their thesis. Postgraduate Research students may in exceptional circumstances apply for a further visa to remain in Australia for a further six months for the marking of their thesis where their education provider requires them to remain in Australia.

A visa may be granted for a maximum continuous period of six months.

Maximum number of courses in packages

Department systems have the capacity to record a maximum of nine CoE for each visa grant.
Note: Courses can only be packaged where one of the courses is a prerequisite to another course, or where one of the courses may only be taken after the completion of another course.

Student visa holders studying in a third country

Information on education provider responsibilities for student visa holders studying courses in a third country.
See: Overseas Students on Exchange Programs in a Third Country

Providing immigration assistance

The department has guidelines about the type of assistance education provider staff can give to students if they are not registered migration agents.
See: Giving Migration Advice in Australia