Complaints about using agents

January 13, 2017

TEQSA is aware of allegations concerning an agent who may be engaging in dishonest practices by enrolling international students with Australian education providers and handling refunds of tuition fees.

International students do not have to use an agent. The Australian Government advises students to enrol directly with Australian providers.

TEQSA Chief Executive Anthony McClaran said a new section in the Higher Education Standards Framework, which came into effect on 1 January, is designed to protect students from dishonest agents.

“The new standards place a much greater emphasis on the duties that providers have to ensure correct representation to students and agents are specifically mentioned,” Mr McClaran said.

“They have only just come into force but their existence means that TEQSA will be taking these standards into account in its assessment of providers.”

Mr McClaran said that providers are responsible for agent behaviour.

Falling under a new section titled Representation, the standard specifies that: “Agents and other parties involved in representing the higher education provider are bound by formal contracts with the provider, their performance is monitored and prompt corrective action is taken in the event or likelihood of misrepresentation or unethical conduct.”

The Overseas Students Ombudsman has also published a website alert  for international students.

The Australian Embassy in Brazil has information about using an education agent on its website. The Australian Embassy Santiago has also published information in Spanish.