Australia is well known for offering quality education. To ensure and maintain the quality of its education system, Australia has introduced systems and processes. For example, Vocational Education and Training (VET) institutions are governed by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA). Higher education institutions are governed by Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TESQA).
In addition, only education institutions who are registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) can enrol and deliver education services to students on a student visa. Australia also provides protection for international students through the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000 which sets out the legal framework governing delivery of education to international students in Australia on a student visa. Australian education institutions also have to adhere to the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 (National Code), which sets nationally consistent standards for the delivery of courses to overseas standards.
What is Tuition Protection Service?
To further protect the interests of international students who study in Australia, the Australian Government has put in place the Tuition Protection Service (TPS). This is an initiative to assist international students who study in Australia in the unlikely event your education provider defaults on their obligations. In the unlikely event that your education provider is unable to deliver a course you have paid for and does not meet their obligations to either offer you an alternative course that you accept or pay you a refund of your unspent prepaid tuition fees, the TPS will ensure that you are able to either:
- Complete your studies in another course or with another education provider or
- Receive a refund of your unspent tuition fees
How does it work?
- In the event your education provider stops providing or does not start providing your course as agreed and does not meet their default obligations, the TPS will contact you and create an account for you.
- You will need to register with or login to the TPS and provide proof of identity.
- The TPS online system will assist you to find options for completing your studies in Australia
- (a) You can choose and accept the preferred offer. You can then commence your studies and TPS will transfer any unspent pre-paid tuition fees to your new education provider.
OR (b) If there are no suitable alternative courses or offers, you may apply for a refund of the amount of any unspent pre-paid tuition fees you have paid your education provider.
Expansion of the TPS from next year
As a result of its success, starting from 1 January 2019, the Australian Government will expand the TPS to provide tuition assurance for students with VET Student Loans providers and non-university higher education providers (NUHEP) offering FEE-HELP from the closure of training providers. This will help to build confidence in the education sector.
Non-exempt providers will be required to pay levies, commensurate with their size and risk. Students, providers and the training sector can be confident that the new tuition assurance arrangements will support students and replacement providers, if tuition assurance is activated. Replacement providers will benefit from the introduction of a per student incentive payment if they take on students from a closed provider.