1. Senate Inquiry Findings
  2. ESOS Reviews
  3. ESOS Report Extracts
  4. Student Welcome Services – Questions and Answers

Senate Inquiry Findings

The Senate Inquiry into the Welfare and Safety of International Students (2010) set the scene for Education Providers to adopt a much stronger response to Student orientation and accommodation referrals into the future.

Click to see some relevant extracts from the Senate Inquiry findings with a full report available.

Extracts from the Senate Inquiry report

3.16 The committee is concerned at the evidence surrounding

  1. the lack of personal safety awareness by some international students and
  2. the reluctance to report safety incidents to the police

Recommendation 1

  • 3.17 The committee recommends that international students be provided with personal safety information including reporting requirements, prior to coming to Australia. This should be reinforced at the orientation session provided by the relevant provider.
  • 3.18 The committee notes that safety is a broad issue and incorporates factors such as fire and beach safety. The committee was told that there are initiatives and partnerships underway to provide this information to international students.
  1. That ESOS be amended to require providers to demonstrate that they deliver a comprehensive induction program and access to information on a continuing basis that:
    1. is reasonably adapted to the needs of their students
    2. allows students to easily access the information on an ongoing basis
    3. includes information on safety, student rights, and where to seek support in making complaints.

The International Student Roundtable considered the issue of pre-arrival information for students and recommended a comprehensive information manual be developed and made available to prospective students (para 2).

ESOS Reviews

Reviews of ESOS have also put high on the Agenda the safety and orientation of International Students.

Standard 6—Supporting students in Australia

This standard ensures that appropriate support services are available to international students to ease the transition into life and study in Australia and to assist them as needed.

Key Requirements:

Orientation and support services

  • Providers must ensure that orientation for all international students is appropriate and thorough
  • Welfare related support services must be available to students to assist with issues such as accommodation, course progress and attendance requirements
  • Students must be made aware of the existence of the welfare-related support services and how to access them

For a provider to show it is complying with Standard 6, it may need some of the following as evidence: evidence that the information provided during the orientation program is appropriate and thorough.

ESOS Report Extracts

Ref Review of ESOS Act 2000 Feb 2010 Pg 35 5.7

The review has revealed widespread concerns about the provision of information and support to students, and whether the current requirements of ESOS are sufficient or sufficiently monitored and enforced (para 1).

Students often say information needs to be available at all times, not just in the first weeks of studying. In these early days, information overload can be a problem (para 2).

One issue raised by students is the importance of including an introduction to the style of Australian education in pre-departure information and orientation activities (para 5).

Ref Review of ESOS Act 2000 Feb 2010 Pg 37 6.1

Research and anecdote suggest a significant number of international students do not enjoy the rights they have and are either unaware their rights are being impinged or are unaware of how to enforce them.

Student Welcome Services (SWS) Questions and Answers

Does the Student Welcome Services online orientation program offer appropriate and thorough topics?
A: Yes, we have thoroughly researched each topic. Each topic is presented in easy to understand English with visual aids. All lesson summaries and comprehension tests are in multiple languages. The program topics have carefully been selected for international student needs.

Will the topics be updated?
A: Yes, the topics will be adjusted accordingly to industry updates and requirements. Feedback from Industry and members will lead to further updates and enhancements.

Does the program assist with compliance as per the National Code?
A: Yes, the SWS program is thorough and appropriate to the international student market.

How does the program assist the education provider with compliance?
A: The education provider can have peace of mind that they are making available to their international students the comprehensive and accurate information at the right time. SWS services provides the perfect support for on campus activities post arrival.

Does the program assist education providers with issues relating to their duty of care of international students?
A: Allianz Global Assistance strongly believes the SWS orientation program will significantly reduce any risk of negligence or duty of care in relation to providing the most appropriate and necessary information to our new students.

Does the program have auditable records?
A: Yes, the program maintains a permanent record of the results of all participating students. It is fully auditable for compliance measures.

Can the content be customised by education providers?
A. Yes, there will be capacity for education providers to develop and include customised content modules.