In a statement released on 3 December 2021, the Australian Skills Quality Authority said that it has identified international student delivery as a regulatory risk priority for ASQA over the 2021-22 financial year. ASQA’s focus will be on “supporting providers to continuously improve and to self-assure their practices in relation to overseas students. This includes marketing, recruitment, and practices for managing education agents.”

The statement explains the regulator’s approach:

As part of this we will be reaching out to providers to understand how they engage with and manage education agents. Our aim is to be able to offer fit-for-purpose education and support to help providers implement appropriate processes to meet their legislative requirements.

Regulatory requirements regarding education agents

The statement reminds ESOS providers of their obligations towards international students, including “ensuring that education agents you work with act ethically, honestly and in students’ best interests.”

It also summarises the relevant section of the National Code (i.e. Standard 4):

Registered providers must ensure their agents act ethically, honestly and in the best interest of the students (Standard 4).

Providers need to ensure they have established systems in place to manage agents, including education on ethical practices and expectations. Providers should ensure they induct agents appropriately and take necessary action if unethical behaviour is identified. Providers are responsible for the conduct of their agent network, irrespective of where the agents are located.

Standard 4 clearly outlines registered providers’ obligations if an agent acts unethically or dishonestly

Manage education agent risk – protect your students and institution

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