In light of the increasing return of international students in Australia, TEQSA has advised education providers to return to the pre-COVID international education model by 30 June 2023.
The review comes after the ESOS (Education and Training to Overseas Students) National Code and ELICOS Standards were relaxed in the early months of the pandemic in 2020 which allowed international students to continue their Australian education remotely.
TEQSA announced the return to pre-COVID standards in mid-October 2022 to allow for a transition period for providers to restructure their modes of education.
They acknowledged a return to compliance by June next year will pose challenges for some education providers, so promise to actively engage with those that require more flexibility.
What is the National Code for international education in Australia?
The National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 (the National Code) sets out clear standards for registered providers to meet when devising courses, conducting registration, dealing with complaints, and so on.
Some notable components that will be coming back into practice next year include:
- International students are required to complete at least two-thirds of their Australian education in a face-to-face learning environment and the remaining third can be completed remotely. This does not include online lectures, tuition or other resources that are an addition to the compulsory coursework.
- Students are expected to make a genuine effort to complete their course within its expected duration. However, it also recognises that students may not always be able to complete the course within the expected duration of study and provides extensions for some situations.
Do international students prefer remote learning or on-campus learning?
The survey of more than 11,000 mostly prospective students conducted by IDP earlier this year, found that most international students prefer face-to-face education.
The survey revealed that almost two-thirds of respondents have no interest in fully remote study and three-quarters of the respondents are impartial to online learning within the host countries, as long as it is combined with face-to-face study.
Fully on-campus learning proved by far the most popular mode of learning, attracting favoured by 96 per cent of respondents.