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Education Services for Overseas Students Bill 2000

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1998-1999-2000

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EDUCATION SERVICES FOR OVERSEAS STUDENTS BILL 2000

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUPPLEMENTARY EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amendments to be moved on behalf of the Government

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs

the Hon Dr David Kemp MP)

 

 

AMENDMENTS TO THE EDUCATION SERVICES FOR OVERSEAS STUDENTS BILL 2000

 

OUTLINE

 

The Education Services for Overseas Students Bill 2000 (the Bill) strengthens the regulatory framework for the international education and training services industry.

The Bill provides for the establishment of a National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students (the national code), an ESOS Assurance Fund (the Fund) to provide financial and tuition protection for overseas students and a Contributions Review Panel (the Panel) to determine the contributions criteria for registered providers and to hear and determine appeals.

These amendments will:

  • Clarify the record keeping obligations of registered providers under clause 21 of the Bill;
  • Make the national code a disallowable instrument;
  • Give the Minister the discretion to consult with industry representatives in addition to persons nominated by relevant State Ministers before establishing or amending the national code;
  • Clarify that the Bill does not affect students’ consumer protection rights under other legislation;
  • Require the Panel to represent the interests of providers who are contributors to the Fund and members of a tuition assurance scheme;
  • Require the Fund Manager to obtain the approval of the Panel before imposing a special levy under clause 72;
  • Require auditors to provide the Panel as well as to the Minister with the report on the financial state of the Fund;
  • Modify the form of a written notice to a provider under clause 93;
  • Reduce the penalties for infringements of the notification requirements of clause 104 or the record keeping requirements of clause 105; and
  • Provide for an independent review of the Education Services for Overseas Students Act after three years.

FINANCIAL IMPACT

 

Nil



EDUCATION SERVICES FOR OVERSEAS STUDENTS BILL 2000

 

NOTES ON AMENDMENTS

 

 

 

Amendment 1

 

Clarifies that a provider’s record keeping obligations under clause 21 of the Bill in respect of the current residential address of each student is to keep a record of the address supplied by the student to the provider.

 

 

Amendment 2

 

Makes the national code a disallowable instrument.

 

 

Amendment 3

 

Amends the heading to clause 36 to more appropriately reflect the provisions in clause 36 as amended by Amendment 4.

 

 

Amendments 4 and 6

 

Give the Minister the discretion to consult with industry representatives in addition to persons nominated by relevant State Ministers before establishing or amending the national code.

 

 

Amendment 5

 

Deletes the second paragraph of the note to clause 40 to clarify that the Bill does not affect students’ consumer protection rights under other legislation.

 

 

Amendment 7

 

Amends clause 54 to require the Panel to represent the interests of providers who are liable to pay annual contributions to the Fund and for at least 4 of these Panel members to also represent the interests of providers who are members of a tuition assurance scheme.

 



 

Amendment 8

 

This amendment inserts new subclauses 72(2) and 72(3).

 

Subclause 72(2) requires the Fund Manager to obtain the approval of the Panel before requiring registered education providers to pay a special levy.

 

Subclause 72(3) requires the Panel, in deciding whether to give its approval, to consider relevant matters including the ability of the Fund to meet current and future liabilities.

 

 

Amendment 9

 

Requires auditors to provide the Panel as well as the Minister with the report on the financial state of the Fund required under clause 80.

 

 

Amendment 10

 

Modifies the form of a written notice to a provider under clause 93.  The amendment specifies the minimum amount of time that must be given to a registered provider to make written submissions before a decision can be made in relation to the possible suspension, cancellation or imposition of sanctions.

 

In urgent cases involving the possibility of the imposition of sanctions in relation to possible breaches of the Act, the national code or a condition of registration, the provider must be given at least 24 hours to make written submissions.

 

 

Amendments 11 and 12

 

Reduce the penalties for infringements of the notification requirements of clause 104 or the record keeping requirements of clause 105.

 

 

Amendment 13

 

Provides for an independent review of the Education Services for Overseas Students Act three years after it receives Royal Assent.