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Education Commission needed to restore, safeguard quality and integrity of international education in Australia.



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Sarah Hanson-Young Education Commission needed to restore, safeguard quality and integrity of international education in Australia

Media Release | Spokesperson Sarah Hanson-Young

Tuesday 1st September 2009, 11:52am

in

• International Students

• Senate Inquiries

• Tertiary Education

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young says evidence given at today’s senate inquiry hearing into the

welfare of international students highlights the need for an independent Education Commission to be set up

in Australia as a one-stop national authority for international and domestic students.

The Senate Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committee’s inquiry into the welfare of

international students, established by Senator Hanson-Young in May, is meeting in Melbourne today and

Sydney tomorrow.

“While Australia has been taking pride in its educational reputation, the reality is that a lack of monitoring

and compliance of basic quality standards has been white-anting educational experiences for students,

particularly those from overseas,” said Senator Hanson-Young, Greens spokesperson for Education.

“The Education Services for Overseas Students Act, or ESOS Act, sets out some fairly decent benchmarks

- but the lack of monitoring and compliance leaves it as not much more than an aspirational document at

the moment.”

Senator Hanson-Young said the Greens’ call to establish an independent Education Commission could

oversee the improvement of three key areas in the international education sector: immigration

requirements, quality benchmarks, and monitoring and compliance.

“The evidence being raised at today’s hearing supports what the Greens have been hearing for months

from those studying and working in the international education sector,” she said.

“An independent Education Commission would make sure that, from an immigration perspective,

international students are given appropriate information about what their visa entitles them to.

“A Commission would define minimum standards for information and advice provision on a national level, to

ensure that educational institutions across the country are upholding their duty of care towards their

students.

“The Greens also think an Education Commission would play an important role in overseeing the

monitoring and compliance in the provision of consistent, good quality education and support services in all

states and territories.”

Senator Hanson-Young said Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard, currently in India to repair relations

between the two nations in the wake of widespread negative reports about Australia’s treatment of

international students, should take note of the evidence raised in this senate inquiry.

“Any number of public relations visits will not repair Australia’s reputation for international education without

real change in the sector,” she said.

“The Greens urge the Government to take on board the expert evidence in this senate inquiry to restore the

quality and integrity of Australia’s international education sector.”

More info: http://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/committee/eet_ctte/international_students/index.htm