Acknowledging the concerns of tertiary education sector representatives in relation to onshore transfers of international students, the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA) and TAFE Directors Australia have issued a joint statement. The statement seeks to encourage government action to protect students where transfers between providers are motivated by, or the result of, inducements provided through excessively low fees and study expectations that may not satisfy educational or industry expectations.
Key Issues —
Reports from quality independent tertiary education providers, and some public TAFE colleges, indicates high rates of transfers connected to a number of providers offering courses with excessively low fees and low study expectations, often designed to enable students to maximise working hours beyond what might be facilitated under their student visa.
These are what can be termed non-genuine onshore transfers and they put providers who have brought these students to Australia at risk of not meeting the obligations placed on them to maintain students’ visa status under the legislative framework for international education in Australia.
Both TDA and ITECA support the right of international students to transfer education providers after arriving in Australia if they are not satisfied with the education service or find themselves not suited to the course. That said, there is a clear need to address a growing trend, one that is not in the interest of students, and this lead to the joint statement.
Various stakeholders across the independent tertiary education sector with an interest in international education sector participated in discussions leading to the joint statement. As the two major organisations representing dual sector providers, ITECA and TDA were able to come to an agreed position reflected in the joint statement.
If you're employed with an independent higher education or vocational training provider that supports international students, be sure to participate in meetings of the ITECA International Education Interest Group . For more details click on the links below.
The ITECA TDA joint statement sets out a number of steps, noting that any regulatory and policy response to these circumstances should be refined and nuanced; one that is informed by a comprehensive evidence base that has been collaboratively developed alongside sector peak body representatives
ITECA's work on this matter is one of many projects and advocacy priorities currently underway to support members in the higher education and vocational training sectors that support international students.
Membership of ITECA is all about empowering independent providers to drive reform and this joint statement is one outcome of our members work. If you're not a member, apply today.
ITECA Membership – It's a great time to get involved.
Getting Involved —
Members with an interest in international education provide advice and guidance to the ITECA policy team in Canberra through their participation on the ITECA International Education Policy Committee.
Further Information —
If you're an ITECA member and would like more information on this matter, the ITECA team would value the opportunity to talk to you. Simply send an email to [email protected] or telephone 1300 421 017. Stay up to date via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
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