Education Services for Overseas Students Act (ESOS Act) 2000 Compliance

1. ESOS legislative framework

Flinders University is registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).

Under the ESOS Act, the University is legally required to comply with the standards and requirements of the National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students (National Code 2007).

The ESOS Act and National Code 2007 affect the way in which the University markets, offers and provides courses of study to international students studying in Australia.

The ESOS Act only applied to onshore international students who are studying in Australia on a student visa. It does not apply to students studying in offshore locations.

For further information refer to:

2. Staff obligations

All staff dealing with international students must understand their obligations under the ESOS Act.

Staff who deal with international students are strongly encouraged to attend an ESOS Information Session. Details of sessions can be obtained from the Professsional Development Unit. 

Click on the links below for a summary of the University's obligations under the National Code 2007 in the following areas:

3. Summary of ESOS requirements

3.1 Marketing and Recruitment

Under the ESOS National Code 2007, the University is required to ensure that the marketing of its courses is professional, accurate, and maintains the integrity and reputation of the University and the education industry.  

The University must also recruit students in an ethical and responsible manner and provide information that enables prosective student to make informed decisions about studying in Australia.

If you are preparing written material (both in print and electronic format) to provide to prospective onshore international students it must include the provider name 'Flinders University' and the University’s CRICOS Provider Number (00114A).  This information should be included in emails (in electronic signature block), letters, publications, advertisements, brochures or any other information provided in writing to prospective onshore international students.  If you have any questions about the compliance of any marketing materials you are preparing please contact the International Centre.

3.2 Enrolment and Completion within expected duration of study

The ESOS Act requires that the University ensures onshore international students are enrolled in the correct load according to the requirements of their student visa.

When providing enrolment advice or authorising the enrolment of onshore international students, you need to be aware that unless there are compassionate or compelling circumstances that prohibit international students from studying full-time (ie 18 units per semester) they are not guaranteed an extension to their student visa if they do not complete within the CRICOS registered timeframe. Should students be enrolled in less than an 18 unit load in any given semester they will not be guaranteed a new COE (visa document).

The University may only extend a students duration of study in limited circumstances as specified in the National Code 2007. These include compassionate or compelling circumstances, the implementation of an intervention strategy (see below for details) or an approved interruption to study.  Under these circumstances a student may study less than a full-time load, but the reasons for their under-enrolment must be documented and retained on the student's file. 

Students should also be advised that a variation to their study plan may affect their student visa and as necessary they should seek an extension through Enrolment Services.

The University is required to monitor the study load of international students, in accordance with documented policy and procedure to ensure that they can complete the course within the expected course duration, as registered on CRICOS and as identified by the length of their student visa.  Monitoring of student load is managed by Enrolment Services.

3.3 Monitoring Course Progress

Under the ESOS National Code, the University is required to systematically monitor students’ course progress in accordance with documented policy and procedures. 

The Policy and Procedures on Review of Student Progress specifies the University's requirements for monitoring student progress.   The key clauses are:

  • Clause 5 which defines the University's intervention strategy for those student identified as being 'at risk' of preclusion; and
  • Clause 6 which defines the procedures for monitoring and identifying making unsatisfactory progress and inviting those student to 'show cause'.

Note: students will be deemed to be: 

  • at risk of  preclusion based on a grade of FAIL in 50 per cent or more of the units attempted in the period under consideration;
  • making unsatisfactory progress if they have attempted 36 units or more with an overall Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 or less and in the period under consideration has a GPA of 2.0 or less. Topics for which a Withdraw, Not Fail (WN) has been recorded will be excluded from the calculation of the GPA.

Students are also required to meet any definition of unsatisfactory progress that is outlined in the Course Rule governing their course(s).  

3.4 Distance or online topics

Onshore International students are eligible to undertake distance or online topics only where the number of units does not exceed more than 25% of the total course. In addition, the University must not enrol an onshore international student exclusively in distance or onshore topics in any compulsory study period (i.e. standard semester).

In non-standard semester study periods, students may enrol in exclusively distance or online topics.  

If you are responsible for providing enrolment advice to international students you must take this restriction into account when counselling students.  

At the beginning of each semester, Enrolment Services will check enrolments to ensure adherence with this requirement.

3.5 Complaints and Appeals

Under the ESOS National Code 2007,  international students have the right to access an appropriate internal complaints and appeal process. This requirement is satisfied by the Student Appeals and Complaints Policies and Procedures.

Flow Charts for the various types of appeals, complaints and grievances are available to assist staff and students to understand the different appeals and complaints processes.  Refer to student-related policies and procedures for further information.

Students who are not satified with the outcome arising from the University’s internal complaints and appeals process, may refer their appeal or complaint to a relevant external agency.

3.6 Transfer between providers

International students may not be permitted to transfer between registerd providers within the first six (6) months unless they meet specific criteria. Any international student who wishes to transfer to another registered provider should be referred to International Student Services to discuss the requirements. For further information refer to the Policy and Procedures on International Students.

3.7 Deferring, suspending or cancelling a student's enrolment

International students may only defer or temporarily suspend their enrolment where compassionate or compelling circumstances apply.

Clause 11 of the Policy and Procedures on International Students provides details for students who want to defer or suspend their enrolment, and the suspension or cancellation of a student’s enrolment if initiated by the University.

Staff providing advice to students about their enrolment should advise international students that any changes to their enrolment status will be reported to the Department of Education and that the change may affect their student visa.

4. Further information

For further information, please contact: 

  • ESOS Compliance Team: 82013571 or 82012458
  • International Student Services: 82012717
  • International Admissions: 82012727

November 2016