CODE OF ETHICAL PRACTICES IN AGENTS/REPRESENTATIVES OFFICES
PREAMBLE : REPRESENTING QUALITY EDUCATION
1. ABIDE BY THE ESOS ACT ,2000 (refer to Notes for (1.) )
2. PROVIDE ACCURATE AND REALISTIC COUNSELLING TO PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS WHO HAVE SELECTED AUSTRALIA AS THE POTENTIAL STUDY DESTINATION. (refer to Notes for (2.) )
3. DISSEMINATE AUTHENTIC INFORMATION ON:
• THE TOTALITY OF FINANCES REQUIRED FOR STUDY IN AUSTRALIA, IE, TUITION FEES, LIVING COSTS, TRANSPORT, BOOK AND EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS AND COSTS OF USING OTHER FACILITIES SUCH AS COMPUTERS MEDICAL ETC, (refer to Notes for (3.) paragraph 1.
• ABILITY TO, AND THE AVAILABILITY OF WORK, IE WORKING A MAXIMUM OF 40 HRS/PER FORTY NIGHT DURING THEIR STUDY PERIOD AND FULL TIME OVER THE LONG BREAKS, WORK MAY BE DIFFICULT TO SECURE AND CANNOT BE GUARANTEED. (refer to Notes for (3.) paragraph 2.)
• THE LIMITED NUMBER OF SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE TO OVERSEAS STUDENTS. (refer to Notes for (3.) paragraph 3.)
4. PROVIDE UPDATED INFORMATION ON INSTITUTIONS REPRESENTED BY US COVERING ISSUES SUCH AS ACADEMIC MATTERS, LIVING ARRANGEMENTS, LEGAL REQUIREMENTS AND ENTITLEMENT, FEES AND REFUND POLICIES AND SUPPORT SERVICES AS PER DETAILS COVERED IN ANNEXURE I TO AUSTRALIAN HIGH COMMISSION / AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION FOUNDATION'S BOOKLET, 'CODE OF ETHICAL PRACTICE FOR AGENTS/REPRESENTATIVES OF AUSTRALIAN EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS IN NEPAL'. (COPY AVAILABLE IN OUR OFFICE.) (refer to Notes for (4.) Annexure 1.)
5. DISPLAY CLEARLY FOR APPRAISAL BY PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS AND PARENTS, OUR COMPANY'S "REFUND POLICY" AND "SERVICE FEES", WHICH WILL NOT EXCEED RS. 10,000/-. THE SERVICES WE PROVIDE, WITH A BREAKDOWN OF CHARGES WHICH WILL BE LEVIED FOR SPECIFIED FUNCTIONS PERFORMED SUCH AS COUNSELLING AND PROCESSING APPLICATIONS, WILL BE DETAILED IN A CONTRACT TO BE SIGNED WITH THE STUDENT AND OUR COMPANY REPRESENTATIVE AT THE TIME OF THE PAYMENT OF THE FEE. PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS WILL ALSO NOT BE CHARGED FOR PUBLICITY LITERATURE PROVIDED FREE BY INSTITUTIONS. (refer to Notes for (5.) Schedule of Fees)
6. NOT STATE THAT IT IS MANDATORY FOR A STUDENT TO UTILIZE AN AGENT'S / REPRESENTATIVE'S SERVICES OTHER THAN STUDY COUNSELLING AND PLACEMENT E.G. MAKING TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS OR MIGRATION ADVICE ETC UNLESS THEY ARE PROVIDED AS A COMPONENT OF THE "SERVICE FEE". (refer to Notes for (6.))
7. RESTRICT ADVERTISEMENTS TO INSTITUTIONS FOR WHICH WE HAVE DUE ACCREDITATION AND ALSO NOT MAKE ANY STATEMENTS THAT ARE MISLEADING, OPEN TO MISINTERPRETATION OR NOT TRUE. IE INFERRING THAT WE HAVE A SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT WITH THE IMMIGRATION SECTION OF THE AUSTRALIAN HIGH COMMISSION THAT WILL ENABLE US TO FACILITATE OR GUARANTEE THE ISSUING OF A VISA. (refer to Notes for (7.) )
8. SERVE WITH HONESTY AND INTEGRITY THE INSTITUTIONS WE REPRESENT AND ALSO ENSURE THAT WE WILL:
• NOT DENIGRATE OTHER INSTITUTIONS OR THE COURSES THEY OFFER,
• NOT OVERTLY OR COVERTLY DISSUADE PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS FROM UNDERTAKING COURSES OR ENROLLING IN AN INSTITUTION, IN FAVOR OF THE INSTITUTION(S) THAT WE REPRESENT,
• CONVERSELY, REFER THESE PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS TO THE AUSTRALIAN HIGH COMMISSION FOR REFERRAL TO INSTITUTION'S AGENT / REPRESENTATIVE, AND
• PROVIDE A PROFESSIONAL SERVICE TO PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS TO PROTECT OUR INTEREST AND THE INTEREST OF AUSTRALIA AND AUSTRALIAN EDUCATION.
• SERVE WITH HONESTY AND INTEGRITY THE INSTITUTION WE REPRESENT AND THE STUDENTS WE COUNSEL. (refer to Notes for (8.) )
Notes for (1.)
The ESOS Act, 2000 (Education Services for Overseas Students) has been created to ensure that overseas students receive a high standard of education and training in Australia.
The ESOS Act will ensure a high quality of services by offering courses of a high standard and provide overseas students with the education and training they pay for. In doing so, build confidence in Australia's education and training services.
The ESOS Act, 2000 ensures the overseas student receives a high standard of service in Australia, specifically:
a) Institutions shall only endorse factually true education and training services they offer.
b) The prospective student will be offered education and training services that is true and in the best interest and capabilities of the student. (i) student recruitment and placement in a course shall emphasise the students ability to undertake the course.
c) The prospective student will be entitled to financial protection of all monies paid to institutions. (i) The Tuition Assurance Scheme (TAS) ensures that a student shall receive the education they have paid for. If the initial institution closes or withdraws a course, the student will be offered the same course at a different institution that is registered on CRICOS.
d) Institutions shall disclose true and up-to-date information pertaining to admission requirements, academic programs, costs (including living, transport, books, tuition etc), refund and grievance procedures.
e) Institutions shall provide effective student support services for overseas students.
f) Institutions will incur sanctions and penalties if they do not comply with the conditions of their accreditation, approval and registration. These may include withdrawing their approval to conduct courses for overseas students.
g) Institutions are responsible for the undertakings and actions of their agents/representatives.
Notes for (2.)
Agents shall provide accurate and realistic counselling in order to comply with educational, cultural and economical objectives. Agents/representatives shall be sensitive to the cultural and political background of the student and be aware of their historical, political background and education systems. Agents/representatives shall be knowledgeable, experienced and competent in the administration of student policy and in personal dealings with students.
Institutions are to be promoted accurately in terms of an institutions quality of education and availability of places of a course. Students should be informed of selection criteria in order to help predict success rate and maintain the institutions academic standard.
Notes for (3.) paragraph 1.
It should be noted that costs for books and equipment requirements differ from course to course. Equipment for fine arts, graphic design and architecture etc, must be provided by the student and are very expensive. All students must pay an amenities and services type fee. The fee differs from institution to institution in cost and what is covered by the fee. Examples of what is covered by the fee include usage of cafeteria, student discounts for social activities conducted by the university. However some services may or may not be covered. For example in some institutions the amenities and services fee covers computer usage, including access to internet. Printing paper for computers may also be an additional cost as most institutions insist that assignments should be computer or typewriter generated. However this is not always the case and students should discuss this with the agent/representative. Photocopying costs should also be taken into consideration. In most institutions students may purchase an electronic pre-paid card for photocopying. Cards are sold in $2, $5, $10 and $20 denominations. A $2 card allows for approximately 9 photocopies. A student can spend as much as $80 per semester on photocopies alone.
Notes for (3.) paragraph 2.
Students can find help in acquiring employment at the Student Employment Office (SEO) offered by some institutions as a part of student services. Alternatively students can look for employment in the classified section of a local newspaper. It should be noted that office work is difficult to find and therefore the most common employment for students is in the food and hospitality and retail industries. Wages are dependant on the age of the person and type of work one obtains. Discrimination on the basis of race, gender, creed, religion or disability is illegal in Australia.
Notes for (3.) paragraph 3.
Students should note that there are two basic types of scholarships offered to students in Nepal:
• 1. International Post Graduate Research Scholarship (IPRS) and
• 2. Institution scholarships
The International Postgraduate Research Scholarships (IPRS) is offered to students of Masters and Doctorate level. The scholarship is offered primarily for research purposes, specifically the research specialisation of the individual institution. The scholarship covers tuition fees and health insurance and 300 places are offered internationally (i.e. not only in Nepal).
3. Some Australian institutions offer scholarships for overseas students. These are few and very competitive.
Notes for (4.) 4
• 1. Academic concerns
o The prospective student should be made aware of an institution's:educational objectives and current activities;
o Courses offered, course summaries for the degrees, diplomas and certificates offered and duration of a course. In brief, TAFE and VET colleges offer diplomas, associate diplomas and advanced certificates. Universities offer degrees and diploma;
o Assessment requirements, including attendance obligations;
o Admission prerequisites, application and acceptance procedures;
o Credit transfer procedures; (Note: credit transfers are NOT automatic and must be negotiated with the individual institution. Students should also note that it is difficult to successfully transfer credits, for partly completed courses, into an Australian institution)
o English language requirement; Students should note that TAFE colleges and other organisations offer an English Language Intensive Course to Overseas Students (ELICOS). Students should note that if their English does not meet up to an institutions standards they may be obligated to take a pre-tertiary ELICOS (or similar) course before beginning their studies in Australia.
o Relevant dates such as academic terms, semester registration, dates for withdrawal without financial or course penalty and tutorial registration.
• 2. Living Arrangements
o Geographical location and climate;
o Accommodation options; these include university residences/colleges, renting a room or sharing a house/flat/townhouse with other students. Students should note that placement in a university residence/college is not automatic and is very expensive. Students are obliged to pay for residence accommodation in full per semester. Generally city accommodation is more expensive than in smaller centres and country areas.
o Living costs; If a student lives a considerable distance away from an institution they should explore the option of public transport as a means of transport to and from the institution. In most capital cities, public transport is of a high standard and fares are at a concessional rate (in some states) for overseas students. Alternatively student may choose to invest in buying a car. Before purchasing a car students must ensure they have a valid international drivers licence purchased from their country of origin. Students should be aware of the high cost of registration and state legislation of a car's "road-worthiness". Also students should note the parking arrangements of an institution as many institutions charge a semester/yearly fee for parking.
o Social customs and norms; there are no dress codes at most institutions, however most students wear casual clothes such as jeans, t-shirts, sneakers, etc
• 3. Legal Requirements and Entitlements
o Conditions of entry and stay in Australia. Students should familarise themselves with the ESOS Act, 2000.
o Employment regulations; students should note that they are allowed a maximum of 40 hours of work per forty night during when school is in session and full time work during vacation. The spouse of a student may work more than 20 hours per week, i.e. full time.
o Mandatory health-care insurance and health-care arrangements.
• 4. Fees and Refunds
o Costs of courses and other compulsory charges; including an amenities and services fee.
o Policy on increases to fees;
o Procedures for dealing with exceptional cases related to the payment and refund of fees; including death of an immediate family member.
o Procedures for cancellation of enrolment and obtaining refund of fees together with details of financial and academic penalties which may result from cancellation.
• 5. Services
o Support services available to all students of the institution;
o Support services specific to international students. International students should familiarise themselves with staff and services offered by the international students office of an institution;
o Grievance procedures available for international students;
o Social/sport/academic/religious clubs and societies offered by an institution and clubs/societies offered only to international students;
o Transportation services offered by the university for students;
• 6. Admissions
o Students should become aware of an institutions selection criteria for admissions, including specific criteria for particular courses and for international students.
Notes for (5.)
Service Fees" have been defined below in the Schedule of Fees:
Schedule of Fees -
Access to resource material FREE
Preliminary counselling with counter staff FREE
Preliminary counselling with counsellor Rs 200
Extensive counselling and processing of applicants
to institution and assisting with visa application Rs 9800
TOTAL MUST NOT EXCEED Rs 10000
Notes for (6.)
Students are not obligated to use an agent's/representative's services other than study counselling and placement.
Notes for (7.)
Under no circumstances shall an agency or representative infer a privileged association with The Australian High Commission in any of its advertising or counselling. Agencies or representatives are in no way able to guarantee the issuing of a visa and may not infer such a service.
Notes for (8.)
Agents must be competent, well informed, reputable and act in the best interest of the applicant and the institution
STUDENTS SHOULD REPORT ANY BREACHING OF THE CODE OF ETHICS AS STATED ABOVE TO THE STUDENT SECTION OF THE AUSTRALIAN HIGH COMMISSION, NEW DELHI.