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ESOS Compliance Vice-Chancellor's Directive

Abstract

This Directive sets out the basis upon which the University is able to ensure that its management of international students undertaking a UTS course in Australia on a student visa is compliant with the ESOS legislative framework. This includes the recruitment and administration of international students and the provision of relevant support services for international students.

The work of staff at all levels who are involved in the administration of international students studying at the University on a student visa is covered by this Directive. The implementation of specific aspects of the Directive is detailed in a suite of standard operating principles and procedures, which supports this Directive.

The ESOS Compliance Vice-Chancellor's Directive is also available as a PDF document.

Dates Directive approved 12/06/2009
Directive takes effect 06/07/2009
Directive is due for review (up to 5 years) 06/2014
Directive amendment approved 16/12/2014
Directive amendment takes effect 22/12/2014
Approved by Vice-Chancellor
Latest amendment: Director, Governance Support Unit, approved administrative changes under Delegation 3.17, 16/12/2014 (see version control for details)
Implementation Officer Director, UTS International
Relevant to All UTS staff involved in the recruitment, administration and support of international students, including staff in the Faculties and Administration, in respect of all international students studying at UTS within Australia on a student visa.
Related documents
Legislation ESOS Legislation for:

  • • Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (Cwlth) [ESOS Act]
  • • Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Regulations 2001 (Cwlth)
  • • ESOS (Registration Charges) Act 1997 (Cwlth)

File number UR09/210
Review notes As the key document under this Directive is the 'ESOS Compliance Standard Operating Principles and Procedures Manual', any review must include this document.

Contents

1. Purpose

The purpose of this Directive is to ensure that the University complies with the ESOS legislation, in order to maintain its registration on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). The Directive articulates the University's commitment to compliance, and coordinates the relevant processes and procedures in line with that commitment.

The Commonwealth Department of Education regulates the education and training sector's involvement with overseas students studying in Australia on a student visa. It does this through the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) legislative framework. This protects Australia's reputation for delivering quality education services, and protects the interests of overseas students, by setting minimum standards.

The legislation mandates a nationally consistent approach to registering education providers so that the quality of the tuition and care of students remains high. The professionalism and integrity of the industry is further strengthened by the ESOS legislation's interface with immigration law. This imposes visa related reporting requirements on both students and providers.

The University must comply with the requirements of the ESOS legislation and related immigration provisions. There are regulated reporting requirements on universities and other providers. If the University fails to comply with any aspect of the legislation, specific sanctions may be applied, including loss of registration and therefore cancellation of its right to recruit international students. Each year, the University is required to submit a 'Declaration of Conformity' to the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA), certifying that it is compliant with all the requirements of the ESOS legislation as set out in the National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2007 (The National Code).

2. Scope

The ESOS Act applies to overseas students who are studying at UTS in Australia on a student visa. All staff who interact with or have any involvement in the recruitment, administration and support of international students who are studying at UTS in Australia on a student visa must comply with the Directive. Similarly, the ESOS legislation has an impact on the rights and responsibilities of international students, and the University has an obligation to inform them of same.

3. Definitions

CRICOS:
Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students.
ESOS:
Education Services for Overseas Students.
PRISMS:
Provider Registration and International Students Management System (the electronic system used to process information in the form approved under subsection 19(3) of the ESOS Act). Through PRISMS education institutions notify DIBP of each student's enrolment in a course.
International student:
Refers to a student studying at UTS in Australia on a student visa.

4. Directive principles

UTS is committed to the education of international students, in line with its philosophy of developing graduates who are highly employable and effective in the global workplace.

To that end, it has in place strategies and procedures for the recruitment of international students, ongoing administration of their enrolment at UTS, and provision of appropriate support services to help them achieve the most from their time at UTS.

The University's management of international students aims to be fully compliant with relevant state and federal legislation, including the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (the ESOS Act) and The National Code 2007.

The University aims to provide an appropriate level of support services to its international students, consistent with the ESOS legislation and with its role as a responsible member of the Australian higher education community.

If a Faculty wishes all or part of its responsibilities under the ESOS Compliance Standard Operating Principles and Procedures Manual to be managed by a Student Centre, it should ensure that the specified delegated tasks are included in its service level agreement.

5. Directive statements

5.1 Compliance — Use of the 'ESOS Compliance Standard Operating Principles and Procedures Manual'

Each staff member who interacts with or has any involvement in the recruitment, administration and support of international students must be familiar with the requirements of the ESOS legislation and related provisions (eg DIBP reporting requirements) as they relate to the responsibilities of their individual position, regardless of their location within the organisation (eg UTS International, Student Administration Unit, Student Centres, Faculties, etc). Each staff member must ensure that they comply with the legislation, and work in accordance with the principles and procedures set out in the ESOS Compliance Standard Operating Principles and Procedures Manual, which supports this Directive.

5.2 Compliance reporting

Each staff member who interacts with or has any involvement in the recruitment, administration and support of international students must be familiar with the specific reporting obligations that relate to their position, whether internal reporting for the purposes of detecting potential or actual risk in relation to compliance, or external reporting as may be required under the legislation.

5.3 Compliance risk

Each staff member who interacts with or has any involvement in the recruitment, administration and support of international students must operate on the basis that compliance is an essential and integral aspect of their role, and not an 'add-on', or the responsibility of another area or position. Staff must notify their supervisor and the Manager, Compliance and Quality, of any potential, likely or actual breach of compliance.

Staff are also invited to provide feedback and to recommend improvements to the compliance regimen, and will be given an opportunity at briefings and information sessions to make suggestions. They may also provide feedback directly to the Manager, Compliance and Quality, at any time.

5.4 Compliance resources

In line with its overall responsibility for compliance, the University must provide adequate resources to ensure compliance. If compliance places an excessive burden on a particular area, it is the responsibility of supervising staff to look to the adequate deployment of staff and resources, and where necessary to seek support through the normal channels.

5.5 Industry standards

UTS International will liaise with other universities, including the sharing of information, to ensure that its own processes and procedures are of a standard at least consistent with that of other universities. This liaison may include benchmarking activities or joint projects and participation in the activities of the ESOS Reference Group of NSW and the ACT.

5.6 Communication

UTS International will be the responsible office to provide briefings for staff to assist them to understand and comply with the ESOS legislation. It will also ensure that staff are kept informed of any updates or changes to the legislative requirements, via broadcast emails and/or workshops and information sessions.

6. Roles and responsibilities

Accountable Officer: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International and Advancement).

Implementation Officer: Director, UTS International, through the Manager, Compliance and Quality.

Other positions: Manager, International Relations and Policy (UTS International); UTS Legal Services.

7. Acknowledgments

Faculty, Student Centre and Student Administration Unit staff for their input in the development of the Manual.

8. Version control and change history

Effective date Version Approved by (date) Amendment
12/06/2009 1 Vice-Chancellor N/A
24/04/2013 1.1 Director, Governance Support Unit (GSU) (23/04/2013) GSU administrative changes (under Delegation 3.17): reflecting changes to Commonwealth Government Department names.
22/12/2014 1.2 Director, Governance Support Unit (GSU) (16/12/2014) GSU administrative changes (under Delegation 3.17): reflecting changes to Commonwealth Government Department names, UTS Senior Executive title changes and web link updates.