New legislation to strengthen the quality of Australian international education

Greater protection for international students will be available following last night’s passage of the first tranche of the legislative changes recommended by the Baird Review.
Minister for Tertiary Education, Senator Chris Evans, said these legislative changes reinforce the Gillard Government’s continued commitment to international education, and build on a range of current initiatives to enhance and protect the international student experience.
These changes will better protect international students by further strengthening education providers’ registration requirements, and expanding the role of the Commonwealth Ombudsman for external complaints by international students relating to private providers.
“The international education sector is going through a period of readjustment after several years of unprecedented and unsustainable growth,” Senator Evans said.
In recent times, the sector has come under increasing pressure as a result of the rising value of the Australian dollar, the ongoing impact of the global financial crisis in some countries, and growing competition in the international education market.
“The Gillard Government is firmly committed to supporting quality and sustainability in the international education sector,” he said.
“This legislation follows the Government’s re-registration of all international education providers last year, which has raised the quality of education and training delivered to international students. It also accompanies the Student Visa Program Review, which is due to report in the middle of this year.”
“The legislative changes passed yesterday are an integral next step as the Government moves to build the foundations of a system based on quality and integrity.”
The Government is also consulting key stakeholders on a range of reforms to be introduced later this year, which are primarily aimed at strengthening the tuition protection framework for international students.
The establishment of the National VET Regulator and the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency this year will underpin continued high quality in both the VET and higher education sectors.