Education institutions teaching overseas students in Australia may face tougher norms, including re-registering themselves along with education agents attached to them, as per a draft legislation prepared to regulate their standards.
The draft laws to be passed in parliament will protect overseas pupils from low-quality education providers and have been prepared after several instances of bogus colleges came into light, an AAP report said.
The legislation, if passed, will require education institutions teaching overseas students to re-register themselves under tougher criteria, it said.
Besides, schools will need to show that their principal purpose is providing education and they have the capacity to meet satisfactory standards.
A list of education agents used to attract students within Australia and abroad will also need to be provided.
Meanwhile, Opposition front bench senator Mathias Cormann said coalition would seek to amend the bill so that the school auditing process was more vigorous and focused on institutions’ financial position and reputation.
He also favoured an amendment to audit high-risk providers before considering them as stable.
Greens senator Sarah Hanson Young has sought creation of an independent Education Commission which among other things would monitor providers and their compliance with national codes of conduct.
Ms. Young said greater protection for international students was urgently needed in the backdrop of the closure of several colleges that left thousands of students in limbo.
“It is clear that students themselves are the worst affected by this worrying flux of the sector,” she told the parliament yesterday. “They are put in limbo when these type of collapses happen,” she said.
Government backbench senator David Feeney meanwhile said the negative media coverage was not always justified. “Sections of the Indian media are playing up the threat to Indian students in Australia in an irresponsible way,” he said after police charged an Indian man Jaspreet Singh for allegedly faking an attack to seek insurance benefits.