Approval of school providers to deliver courses to overseas students
This section provides information about the approval of school providers seeking to deliver courses to overseas students in NSW including school courses and Non-AQF Award English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) where provided in the capacity as a school.
The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) is responsible for administering the approval process.
A school provider seeking to deliver a course/s of study to overseas students must be listed on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) prior to enrolling students from overseas. CRICOS is maintained by the Australian Government’s Department of Education (DoE) under the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act). CRICOS lists providers registered to deliver course/s to overseas students and the course/s they are approved to deliver. An overseas student is a person (within or outside) Australia who holds a student visa as defined by the ESOS Act.
CRICOS registration is a two-stage process. In NSW the first stage is that the provider and the courses to be delivered are approved by NESA. The second stage is undertaken by the Australian Government’s Department of Education (DoE). It is at this stage that providers and courses are ‘registered’ by being listed on the CRICOS website.
The requirements for approving school providers seeking to deliver courses to overseas students in NSW are detailed in NESA's Guidelines for Approved NSW School Providers Delivering Courses to Overseas Students.
Proforma checklists listing the requirements for school provider approval and approval to provide ELICOS are available. The proformas are helpful in planning for initial or renewed approval and can be used as a ‘self-audit’ checklist.
The administrative arrangements for approval of school providers to deliver courses to overseas students in NSW are detailed in the Administrative Arrangements for Approved NSW School Providers to Deliver Courses to Overseas Students.
Find more information below:
- contact information
- applications for approval and notifications
- legislation and information for overseas students.
|Type of information||Who to contact|
|List of CRICOS approved providers and courses (including contact details)||Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) at cricos.deewr.gov.au|
Questions about the Provider Registration and International Student Management System (PRISMS)
|Questions regarding Vocational Education and Training (VET) providers and courses (including English language/ELICOS courses delivered by a VET provider)||Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)
telephone: 1300 701 801 (within Australia)
telephone: +61 3 8613 3910 (outside Australia)
|Questions regarding Higher Education (Tertiary) providers and courses (including English language/ELICOS courses delivered by a Higher Education provider)||Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA)
telephone: 1300 739 585
|Complaints about a provider||Step 1 – raise your complaint with the provider following the provider’s internal complaints and appeals procedures
Step 2 – if you are not satisfied with the result, you may contact the Overseas Students Ombudsman
telephone: 1300 362 072 (within Australia)
telephone: +61 2 6276 0111 (outside Australia)
|Visa enquiries||Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP)
telephone: 131 881
|Questions from NSW schools seeking approval to deliver courses to overseas students||NESA – School Registration and Accreditation Directorate
telephone: 02 9367 8432
What fees are charged by the NESA for approval to deliver courses to overseas students?
School providers are required to pay a fee:
- for initial approval
- annually (includes renewal of approval fee)
- for amending approval including amending scope (adding or withdrawing a courses), increasing student capacity and establishing/relocating to a new site.
Information regarding the payment of fees and refunds is provided in section 7.1 of the Guidelines.
How does NESA manage complaints regarding schools with overseas students?
Information regarding the complaints handling process is available in the complaints section of the Administrative arrangements.
Responsibility for investigating complaints regarding overseas students is shared by the NESA and the Commonwealth Department of Education (DoE). Details of the respective responsibilities are available in the Shared Responsibility Framework.
A person wanting to raise a concern relevant to the responsibilities of NESA must follow NESA's process for raising concerns.
Where NESA receives a complaint that is identified in the Shared Responsibility Framework as the responsibility of the Commonwealth, the complaint will be referred to the DoE.
Applications and notifications
How does a school provider make an application for approval or notification?
Information regarding the procedures for application and notification is available in section 7 of the Guidelines.
Applications are made using RANGS Online for:
- initial approval
- renewal of approval
- amending of approval including amending scope (adding or withdrawing a course), increasing student capacity and establishing/relocating to a new site,
A notification can be made using RANGS Online for:
- change in name or address of the provider
- change of ownership
- prospective or actual change to high managerial agents
- change of course details including change to course cost
Access to applications and notifications using RANGS Online requires a unique User ID and password. If you require advice or you are a new user please contact the School Registration and Accreditation Standards Directorate on 02 9367 8432.
- Education Act 1990
- Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000 (amended 2007 and 2014)
- National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students (The National Code) 2007
Information for overseas students
If you are from overseas and plan to have a student visa, you must check that the school you wish to study with is approved to deliver courses to overseas students and is listed on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).
Seeking a refund in certain circumstances
The school provider is responsible for providing the course that you, as a student, enrolled in. If you are not provided with that course, and you believe that the provider has defaulted, you may be entitled to a full refund of your fees. If you believe this is the case, contact the Department of Education (DoE) using:
- the online ESOS Enquiry form
- the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) helpline on 1300 615 262
- the Tuition Protection Service administrator by email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone on 02 6271 3440
You should be aware that you cannot be transferred to another course or provider without first receiving a written offer from the other registered provider. If you do not agree with this offer, or you do not wish to transfer to another course or provider you are entitled to seek a full refund. If you have any concerns regarding these matters you should contact the ESOS helpline.
Overseas students who are not satisfied with the education provided and believe they have not received value for money should contact the Office of Fair Trading on 133 220.
Any overseas students with concerns about their visas should contact the Department of Immigration and Border Protection on 131 881.