Legal rights of international students in Australia
Understand the legal framework for international students in Australia. The Australian government has put in respective laws to create better quality of education for the international students. This framework takes care of everyday things and also considers whether you as an international student are treated fairly when buying any goods and services or not.
Some of the measures that Australian government has taken to protect the rights of international students:
All courses must be accredited by the government
All the Australian law tries to protect every international student. This is why all the higher education institutes need to get themselves accredited by the Australian government.
In order to further protect the rights of international students, the Government has made mandatory for every course offered by a university to be accredited through CRICOS (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students). This registration ensures all courses across institutions are of the same standards.
Special complaint cell – Overseas Students Ombudsman
Any international student can approach the Overseas Students Ombudsman, which is the sole entity with the power to investigate complaints against private education and training institutions in Australia. If you are studying at a public university, school, or TAFE (Technical and Further Education), you can complain to the Ombudsman of the concerned state or territory where you are studying. The Ombudsman’s services are independent, free, and impartial.
Consumer protection laws
Australia has various consumer protection laws framed to safeguard the rights of its consumers including international students. These laws include National Law, which will protect your rights while buying any goods or availing any service in Australia. Do keep in mind to reach out to the relevant government trade or consumer agency located in your state or territory, if you:
Tuition Protection Service
The Tuition Protection Service (TPS) was set up by the Australian Government to assist international students in case the institution is unable to fully deliver their course. This makes you eligible for a refund or you can approach the TPS if you haven’t started or have stopped your course.
The rights of all international students in Australia are safeguarded by the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act, which covers everything i.e., from financial protections to work rights, student’s welfare, and complaints.
Workplace rights of an international student
A majority of international students take up part-time or casual job to take care of their living expenses while studying in Australia. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of your rights at the workplace including fair treatment, knowledge of basic rights and protections, minimum wages, etc.
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