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New Era Institute welcomes international students

International education: ensuring quality and protecting students

You can open each question below (or information heading) by clicking on the + sign and closing the question by clicking on the sign.

You will find the most up to date legal information about studying in Australia. New Era Institute is committed to upholding ALL the LAWS of AUSTRALIA to ensure you are protected before and during your stay in the country and whilst studying at New Era Institute.

If you are still unsure, you can get advice from the friendly staff at New Era Institute by:

  • Talking with your trainer
  • Making an appointment with a student support staff member
  • Speak with a student services officer at reception
  • Phone: +61 2 89 646 457
  • Complete CONTACT US Form

Before you approach a staff member, the following questions and statements are designed to help you understand how New Era Institute must and intends to support your studies in Australia.

Q1. Do Australian laws protect international students?

As a student on a student visa, you benefit from Australian laws that ensure high standards of education, facilities and support services while you are in Australia. You also have rights to information about your course and the institution you wish to study with before and during your enrolment. The Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) framework offers you financial protection in case your education institution does not deliver what it has promised you.

You can find out more about the framework at https://internationaleducation.gov.au/regulatory-information/pages/regulatoryinformation.aspx.

Q 2. How do I choose a course to study?

As an international student, you can only study a course with an education institution listed on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). All institutions registered on CRICOS have met the quality standards set out in Australian law, which ensures you receive the best possible education services. New Era Institute conforms to these quality standards.

Q 3. Do I need to use an education agent?

International students do not have to use an education agent. You can enrol directly with an Australian education institution. Information about what education institutions offer is usually on their websites.

If you want to use an education agent, it’s best to pick one used by the institution you want to study at. You can find a list of education agents on the institution’s website.

The law requires institutions to use only education agents that act honestly and with integrity. Agents must give you accurate advice about the courses on offer, including entry requirements, and information about living in Australia. You should still be careful and alert when dealing with agents to ensure you enrol in a course that is suitable for you and will help you achieve your learning goals.

Education agents cannot give you information on visa and immigration matters – only migration agents can do this. You can find out more about using migration agents at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s website at www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa/Usin.

If you think your education agent might be behaving dishonestly or unethically, you should stop using them immediately and contact your education institution directly. New Era Institute uses ethical agents.

Q 4. Will New Era Institute give me a written agreements or contract between myself and New Era Institute

Under Australian law New Era Institute must have a written agreement with you outlining the services they will provide, all the fees you are required to pay, and conditions for refunds of money you pay for the course.

The written agreement is a legal contract. You should read it carefully and make sure you fully understand what it says before signing it. You and your education institution must follow whatever is set out in the written agreement once you have accepted it, so you should keep a copy of it. Should you ever make a complaint about your institution, you will need to refer to your written agreement. You can find out more about making complaints in Q 16. How do I make complaints and getting help.

Your rights before you enrol:

Even before you enrol with New Era Institute, under Australian law you have the right to:

  • receive current and accurate information about the courses, entry requirements, all fees and modes of study from your institution and your institution’s agent before you enrol
  • sign a written agreement with your institution before or at the time you pay fees. You do not have to pay the institution any money or fees until you accept the agreement
  • seek a refund in certain situations for course money you have paid. Information about refund arrangements must be included in your written agreement
  • get the education you paid for. The law includes tuition protections that will allow you to be placed in another course or receive a refund if your institution is unable to teach your course (known as a provider default), visit https://tps.gov.au/ for more information
  • access complaints and appeals processes
  • request to transfer to another institution and have that request assessed by your institution.

Q 5. What do I need to know about paying my tuition fees?

From 14 December 2015, changes to Australian law give international students more choice about how they pay their fees. Previously you could not pay more than 50 per cent of your fees before you started a course. Now you can choose to pay more than 50 per cent of your tuition fees before you start. For example, you or the person who is paying your fees may decide this is a good idea if the Australian dollar exchange rates mean you will save money by paying more of your fees early.

Your education institution may ask you if you would like to pay more than 50 per cent of your fees before you start your course. This is your choice. Your institution cannot require you to pay more, unless you are doing a short course of 25 weeks or less. If your course is longer than 25 weeks, you cannot be asked to pay more than 50 per cent of your tuition fees before you start.

Your institution may wish to organise a payment plan so you can start regularly paying the rest of your tuition fees once you start the course. Your written agreement should include an itemised list of all the fees you will be charged for your course, including your tuition fees and how they will be paid, and refund arrangements.

In Australia there are also very strong protections for students’ fees, which you can learn more in Q 9. under how does the educational institution protect my tuition fees. 

Q 6. What happens if I can’t start the course because my visa is refused?

If you have paid fees to an education institution and your visa is refused, you are entitled to a refund. Under Australian law, New Era Institute is allowed to keep either 5 per cent of the tuition fees you paid or $500, whichever is the lowest amount, and must refund you the rest.

 

Q 7. What happens if I decide I don’t want to start or continue the course?

If you change your mind and do not want to start the course, you may be entitled to a refund.

If you have a written agreement with the institution, the amount of your refund will depend on the written agreement, which should tell you what will or will not be repaid to you.

If you do not have a written agreement, you have the right to receive some of your fees back. Under Australian law, New Era Institute is allowed to keep either 5 per cent of the fees you paid or $500, whichever is the lowest amount, and must refund you the rest of the tuition fees you paid them.

Q 8. What are the support services for me whilst I am studying in Australia?

Under Australian law your education institution must offer you support services to help you adjust to study and life in Australia, achieve your learning goals and maintain satisfactory progress in your learning. This support is available because we recognise that Australia may be a new environment for students, with different laws, culture and customs. New Era Institute must and will give you advice on:

  • support and welfare services available at the institution
  • legal services
  • emergency and health services
  • facilities and resources
  • complaints and appeals processes
  • any student visa condition that relates to the course you are studying.

Many education institutions also offer career advice services. You should ask them whether they can help advise you on working and careers.

Q 9. What are MY responsibilities as an international student in Australia?

Your responsibilities are covered below:

Your student visa

As an international student on a student visa, you must:

  • comply with your student visa conditions
  • ensure you have and continue to maintain your Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for as long as you stay in Australia on a student visa
  • tell your institution if you change your address or other contact details
  • meet the terms of your written agreement with your education institution
  • maintain satisfactory course progress and attendance.

Information about visa conditions for student visa holders is available on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s website at www.border.gov.au/Trav/Stud/More/Visa-conditions/visa-conditions-students, or call 131 881 on Monday – Friday from 8.30am – 4pm inside Australia (except public holidays).

Academic integrity and misconduct

The Australian Government and education institutions take issues of academic integrity very seriously. Education institutions have many ways of detecting cheating or plagiarism in exams and assessments.

Using ghost writing services, asking someone to take an exam in your place, or any other kind of academic misconduct will result in serious action being taken against you. Your enrolment or student visa could be affected, or cancelled altogether.

If you are struggling with your studies, it’s best to ask your institution what support services they can offer you.

Your consumer rights and protections

Your consumers rights and protections are covered below:

Q 10. How does the educational institution protect my tuition fees

Australia is widely recognised as a world leader in protecting the tuition fees of international students through its Tuition Protection Service (TPS). The TPS assists international students whose education institutions are unable to fully deliver their course of study, and ensures that international students are able to either:

  • complete their studies in another course or with another education institution, or
  • receive a refund of their unspent tuition fees.

In the unlikely event your education institution is unable to deliver a course you have paid for, they have obligations to offer you an alternative course or, if you do not accept the alternative course, pay you a refund of your unspent prepaid tuition fees. If your institution is unable to meet these obligations for some reason, the TPS will assist you in finding an alternative course or getting a refund if a suitable alternative is not found.

For more information on the TPS, visit www.tps.gov.au. If you are a student whose provider is unable to fully deliver your course, you can call (02) 6271 3440 for assistance.

Working in Australia

Australian workplace laws provide basic protection and entitlements for all workers in Australia, including workers from overseas. International students have the same entitlements to minimum wages and protect you from being discriminated against at work, for example because of your race or your visa status. This could happen when you are applying for a job, about to begin a job, or at any time during your employment. For more information about discrimination at work, visit https://www.fairwork.gov.au/employee-entitlements/protections-at-work/protection-from-discrimination-at-work.

If you feel you are being unfairly treated by your employer, you can contact the Fair Work Ombudsman (www.fairwork.gov.au) for free advice and complaints assessments. You can also call 13 13 94 from 8am – 5.30pm Monday to Friday inside Australia (except public holidays).

The Fair Work Ombudsman is an independent legal agency that provides information and assistance for workers and employers to ensure they comply with Australian workplace laws. Seeking assistance to resolve a workplace issue will not automatically affect your student visa.

You are limited to 40 hours of work per fortnight when your course is in session, and unlimited hours in out of session periods. This is to ensure you are mainly focused on your studies. Work conditions for student visa holders can be found on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website at www.border.gov.au/Trav/Stud/More/Work-conditions-for-Student-visa-holders

Work conditions as Australian workers, as well as superannuation, workers’ compensation and work safety protection under Australian workplace and taxation laws. Minimum wages and employment conditions for different occupations or industries, known as industrial awards, are set out by Fair Work Australia and are available online at www.fairwork.gov.au/awards-and-agreements

Q 11. How do I change education institutions or courses

If you are not satisfied with the course you are doing and wish to transfer to another education institution, before you make the decision to enrol with another institution you should be aware that there are rules about what you can or cannot do.

If you haven’t completed six months of your principal course (the main course of study you are undertaking), Australian legislation says that you can only change institutions if:

  • your New Era Institute can no longer provide the course you enrolled in, or
  • you have a letter from New Era Institute saying they will release you, or
  • you have a government sponsor and that sponsor writes a letter saying they support your change of course.

In other words, you will usually need New Era Institute’s permission if you want to transfer before you have completed six months of your principal course.

New Era Institute can only provide a letter of release if:

  • you have a letter from another institution saying they have made you an enrolment offer
  • where you are under 18, you have the support of your parent or legal guardian, or the institution wishing to enrol you says they will take responsibility for your welfare.

You should read and understand New Era Institute’s transfer policy, as it clearly states the reasons that you may or may not be granted a transfer. New Era Institute must assess or consider your request to transfer against this policy.

If you are not satisfied with New Era Institute’s decision, you can appeal through our internal appeals and complaints handling process. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of that internal appeal process, your options are outlined in the question below, How do I make a complaint and getting help.

If you are thinking about changing your course, you need to ensure that you continue to meet the conditions of your student visa. Further information about the impact of changing courses or education institutions is available on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s website at http://www.immi.gov.au/Study/Pages/changing-courses.aspx.

Q 12. How do I make complaints and get help?

If you have a complaint about New Era Institute, you should talk to student services first. New Era Institute has a complaints and appeals process in place to help students resolve their issues.

If you cannot resolve your complaint with New Era Institute, there are other actions you can take. You will need to find out whether your institution is a private or government type by searching them and looking at the Institution type field on the CRICOS website at http://cricos.education.gov.au/Institution/InstitutionSearch.aspx

New Era Institute is a private (non-government) organisation, and you can take your complaint to the Overseas Students Ombudsman (OSO). Refer to the Overseas Students Ombudsman website at www.oso.gov.au for more information about how the OSO can assist help students, or call 1300 362 072.

There is also a series of videos in :

and access to other publications at the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s website:

 

Questions?

If you have any questions or concerns that haven’t been answered in this series of frequently asked questions page, you can submit an enquiry at http://www.ombudsman.gov.au/

Find out more and connect on social media

Study in Australia is the official Australian Government website for international students. You can connect with it through:

The Fair Work Ombudsman.

The Fair Work Ombudsman gives you information and advice about your workplace rights and obligations. You can connect with it through:

References:

The questions and information contained in this page have been sourced from https://docs.education.gov.au/node/39586 retrieved February 14 2016 where a  copy of the above fact sheet pdf can be downloaded for your records.

Click on this link to access to more information on International education in Australia: https://internationaleducation.gov.au/Pages/default.aspx retrieved May 31 2016.