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 2018).

The ESOS Act and National Code 2018 affect the way in which the University markets, offers and provides courses of study to international students studying in Australia.

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

For further information refer to:

2. Staff obligations

All staff dealing with international students must understand their obligations under the ESOS Act and the National Code 2018.

Staff who deal with international students MUST be aware for the University’s responsibilities regarding ESOS Act and National Code 2018. If you need to seek advice, please contact Flinders’ International Compliance team on internationalcompliance@flinders.edu.au or on +61 (08) 8201 3571 or +61 (08) 8201 2458.

Click on the links below for a summary of the University's obligations under the National Code 2018 in the following areas:

3. Summary of ESOS requirements

3.1 Marketing and Recruitment

Under the ESOS National Code 2018, 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 prospective students 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 on a student visa.  If you have any questions about the compliance of any marketing materials you are preparing, please contact the Flinders International on internationalcompliance@flinders.edu.au

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 international students are required to be studying full-time (ie 18 units per semester) unless authorised by Flinders International due to compliance issues with their student visa.

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) unless authorised by Flinders International.

The University may only extend a student’s duration of study in limited circumstances as specified in the National Code 2018. 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 and authorised by Flinders International.

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 Flinders International.

3.3 Monitoring Course Progress

Under the ESOS National Code 2018, 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 students 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 one third 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 a non-compulsory 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, Flinders International will check enrolments to ensure adherence with this requirement.

3.5 Complaints and Appeals

Under the ESOS National Code 2018, 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 registered 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 International Student Transfer Procedures

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.

Section 10 of the Enrolment Procedures for Coursework Students provides details for students who want to defer or suspend their enrolment

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/ Department of Home Affairs and that the change may affect their student visa.

4. Further information

For further information, please contact: 

  • ESOS Compliance Team: +61 (08) 8201 3571 or +61 (08) 8201 2458
  • International Student Services: +61 (08) 8201 2717
  • International Admissions: +61 (08) 8201 2727

ESOS Act and National Code 

The Education Services for Overseas Students Act (ESOS Act) sets out the requirements with which Flinders University, as a registered provider of education and training courses to international students studying in Australia and its staff must comply.

University staff who deal with international students must be aware of their obligations under the National Code 2018 and ESOS Act. 

Details of ESOS Information Sessions can be obtained from the Professional Development Unit on extn. 1-3180 or from the Flinders Compliance team on Internationalcompliance@flinders.edu.au

May 2018