ESOS for agents

The Australian Commonwealth Government seeks to ensure that international students in Australia have a safe, rewarding and enjoyable experience. They have implemented laws which promote quality education and consumer protection for international students.

These laws are referred to as the ESOS framework and regulate the education and training sector's involvement with overseas students studying in Australia on student visas, and protect Australia's reputation for delivering quality education services and the interests of overseas students. The ESOS framework includes the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 and the National Code 2018.

The National Code 2018 outlines the obligations placed on education providers for the delivery of services to international students, including marketing courses and the management of recruitment agents. The information below is some of the ESOS code as it affects our agents. Further information can be found on our main ESOS webpage (opens in a new window), which provides more general information about ESOS, or by reviewing the full National Code 2018 from the Australian Government.

ESOS Standards information for agents

Standard 1 - Marketing information and practices

Students and their parents are often first exposed to the Australian education system through providers' marketing information. It is important that this information is of a high standard, clear and unambiguous, so that intending students and their parents can make informed decisions about their preferred provider and choice of course. The marketing practices of registered providers must also be ethical and uphold the reputation of Australian international education and training.

Obligations and responsibilities
  • Western Sydney University's name and CRICOS number is included in written and electronic materials as per Section 107, ESOS Act
  • Representatives must not give misleading or false information about any matters including: Western Sydney University's industry associations, possible course employment outcomes, automatic acceptances into other courses and migration outcomes to potential students
  • All marketing activities are carried out with integrity and accuracy and uphold the reputation of the University and Australia's education and training
  • Provide information of a high standard that is clear and unambiguous
  • Students must not be actively recruited where there is a clear conflict with the obligations under Standard 7 (Transfer between registered providers).

Standard 2 - Student engagement before enrolment

The recruitment of students is the first step in establishing a relationship between the student and the University. It is important that recruitment is ethical and upholds the integrity of Western Sydney University and Australian education and training. Intending students should be given access to information about courses, fees, facilities, services and resources offered Western Sydney University prior to enrolment in order to make an informed choice.

Obligations and responsibilities
The University provides, in print or electronic copy, current and accurate information about:
  • requirements for acceptance onto a course (including English levels, qualifications, work experience and course credit opportunities)
  • course content and duration, qualifications on offer, modes of study, and assessment methods
  • campus locations and facilities
  • details of any other providers involved in course offerings and delivery
  • fees, including any potential for fees to change over course duration
  • information as to how a student's enrolment can be deferred, suspended or cancelled
  • explanation of the ESOS framework
  • relevant information about cost of living, accommodation and schooling obligations, including fees for dependents of overseas students
  • representatives are not to give misleading or false information about any matters including industry associations, possible course employment outcomes, automatic acceptances into other courses and migration outcomes to potential students.

Standard 3 - Formalisation of enrolment

As a formalisation of enrolment, a written agreement is entered into by the University and student (or parent or guardian if the student is under 18 years of age) and is the final step of the pre-enrolment activities. This agreement aims to ensure the obligations and rights of both the University and student are clearly set out, and include reference to the course fees payable and services to be provided.

Obligations and responsibilities
  • The university must enter into a written agreement with a student where the student, or their legal guardian if the student is under 18, has signed the agreement prior to, or concurrently, paying any course fees to the provider
  • The provider must make reasonable efforts to ensure that the student understands the content of the written agreement.

Standard 4 - Education agents

Representatives are often the first point of contact between the University and prospective students and parents. Their activities and ethics are important to Western Sydney University's reputation as a desirable destination for students. Western Sydney University is obliged to ensure representatives act ethically and appropriately.

Obligations and responsibilities
  • Representatives must be aware of, and comply with the requirements of ESOS and the National Code 2018.
  • Representatives should not provide migration advice unless authorised by the Migration Agent Registration Authority to do so.
  • Representatives should act with integrity and honesty. The University is obliged to terminate the agreement if we become aware of a representative's or its subcontractor's, conduct as outlined in Section 4 of the Agreement Terms and Conditions document.
  • The University takes appropriate corrective and preventative actions regarding a representative if they are negligent, careless, incompetent, dishonest, and engage in misleading or unethical advertising or recruiting practices, or practices that will harm the integrity of the University and Australian education and training.
  • No agreement can be made with representatives who:
    • are, or have been engaged in dishonest practices
    • knowingly facilitate the enrolment of students who are likely not to comply with visa conditions
    • misuse PRISMS in creating eCoEs for these students, or
    • provide unauthorised migration advice.

Standard 5 - Younger overseas students

Where a student is under 18 years of age, the Australian Government must be satisfied that there are appropriate accommodation, support and general welfare arrangements in place for the period that the student will be under 18 while in Australia before a visa can be granted. The University only takes on responsibility for approving these arrangements when the student is staying at the University's approved homestay providers. Arrangements other than the University's approved are considered as independent arrangements that require approval from the Department of Immigration.

Obligations and responsibilities
  • The University advises the Department of Immigration of any change of arrangements
  • Representatives advise prospective students and parents of the University's requirement in welfare arrangements.

Standard 7 - Transfer between registered providers

The University is restricted from enrolling transferring students for the first six months from the commencement of the student's principal course of study, except for the circumstances outlined below.
The University is responsible for assessing the student's request to transfer within this restricted period. It is expected that the student's request will be granted where a transfer is not of detriment of the student.

Obligations and responsibilities
  • Representatives should not actively recruit a student who has not undertaken 6 months of studies of their principal course, except:
    • the original provider or course has ceased to be registered
    • the original provider has given a letter of release
    • the original provider has had a sanction imposed on its registration that prevents the student from continuing their principal course
    • a student's government sponsor has provided written support for the change
  • The University cannot knowingly enrol a student who is wishing to transfer from another provider within the first six months of the start of their principal course, except under the circumstances above
  • The University's policy provides information on the circumstances in which a release and transfer will be approved.

Standard 13 - Deferring student's enrolment

Students may, through formal agreement with the University, be given permission to defer commencement, take a leave of absence or temporarily suspend their studies. Such absences, however, may affect the student's visa status. The University may also seek to cancel the student's enrolment.

Obligations and responsibilities
  • Western Sydney University can only defer or suspend a student's enrolment to the next semester under compassionate or compelling circumstances
  • Western Sydney University can only defer or suspend a student's enrolment to the next semester under compassionate or compelling circumstances
  • Students may not be eligible for an offer for future intakes where entry requirements change, where entry is competitive or where a program quota has been met.

Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE), Genuine Student (GS), and Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF)

On 16 June 2015 the Australian Government released the Future directions for streamlined visa processing report and announced the introduction of a simplified student visa framework (SSVF) to support Australia's education services sector.

The key changes under the SSVF are a reduction in the number of student visa subclasses from eight to two and the introduction of a single immigration risk framework for all student visa applications.

Under the SSVF, all CRICOS registered education providers have been allocated an immigration risk rating based on the immigration risk outcomes of their international students over a 12 month period. The same approach has also been used to allocate an immigration risk rating to each country/region.

The single immigration risk framework will be used to guide the evidence of financial capacity and English language proficiency that a student is required to provide with their visa application. It will be based on two factors – the immigration risk outcomes associated with the student's education provider and country/region of citizenship.

To see the documentary requirements please download the document  A Simplified Student Visa Framework – Documentary Requirements [PDF, 83.53 KB]. (opens in a new window)

The University is required to ensure that students who enrol are genuine students and meet the Immigration's requirements under 'Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE)'. (opens in new window)

The University retains the right to refuse admission if an applicant is considered a non-genuine temporary entrant for student visa purposes and is closely monitoring the visa refusal and cancellation rate and will link this with representatives performance.

Genuine Temporary Entrant/ Genuine Student checklist

Questions to ask to determine GTE/GS

Please use these questions as a guide to help you determine if a student is a Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) / Genuine Student (GS).
  • Have original/certified and translated copies of supporting documents been provided, checked and verified?
  • Have academic documents for the most recent study undertaken been provided including current study and reasons for any gaps explained?
  • Have you explained the program details and content to the applicant, including: cost, campus location, the overall duration, progression requirements from the College to University degree (if applicable) and career opportunities on completion of the program?
  • Has the applicant ever been excluded from another institution? If so, when, from which country and for what reason?
  • Does the applicant's education and work background support their chosen program of study as well as their future prospects in their home country? Is the field of study chosen, relevant to the applicant's previous qualifications?
  • Are there any gaps in the student's education, English language ability or employment history that may cause doubt about their intention to complete their study- as a Genuine Temporary Entrant or a Genuine Student?
  • Is the applicant bringing a spouse and/ or children to Australia?
  • Does the applicant have relatives in Australia?
    • If YES, what is their visa/citizenship status?
    • What is the relationship?
  • Has the applicant had a visa application rejected or a visa cancelled previously?
  • Does the applicant understand that their visa may be rejected or cancelled if:
    • It is found that documents supporting their application are fraudulent?
    • They do not pass Department of Immigration's  health and character checks?
    • The immigration department is not satisfied they are a genuine student?
    • They do not abide by the conditions of their visa? These conditions include:
      • Work limitations
      • Visa Length OSHC (8501)
      • Notification of Address Changes (8533)
      • Full Time Enrolment (8202)
      • Achieve satisfactory academic performance (8202)
  • Does the applicant understand that the University has the right to refuse a transfer request to another institution within the first six months of study?
  • Based on the interview conducted with the applicant, can you conclude that the applicant is a GTE/GS?
  • Have you provided information relating to all fees and living costs and does the applicant understand their obligation to have sufficient funds to pay OSHC, all tuition fees, associated study costs and all living and travel expenses (transport, food, utilities, rent etc.) for themselves and any dependent/s for the entire duration of their stay in Australia?
  • Have you verified bank and/or loan documents and are the funds sufficient to cover the first year of study in Australia? Have you verified bank and/or loan documents or other relevant documents which support the applicant's ability to maintain access to funds after completing their first year of study?
  • Is the applicant aware that University will not waive their tuition fees or assist with their study costs/living expenses if they are unable to fund their stay in Australia?
  • Does the applicant understand that if they are unable to pay their tuition fees, the University will cancel their enrolment and COE which will affect their student visa?