Who is the Overseas Student Ombudsman and why are they important?

Overseas Students Ombudsman,

An Ombudsman is a person who helps people who have problems with Australian businesses and government agencies. There are different Ombudsmen for different businesses and parts of government.

There are Ombudsman for many industries in Australia such as telecommunications, renting and more, but in this article, we focus on the Ombudsman that refers to public education providers.

Why would you need the Ombudsman?

If you complain to your education provider, but you are not satisfied with the result, you can then complain to the Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman’s services are free, impartial and independent. They do not take sides or represent you or your provider. They are like a referee who stands in the middle and makes sure all players have followed the rules correctly. If the Ombudsman finds that a business or government agency has done the wrong thing or treated someone unfairly, he can recommend a remedy. That remedy might be, for example, an apology, better information, a new decision, or a refund.

Is there an Ombudsman for private education providers?

Yes, the Overseas Students Ombudsman. They investigate complaints about problems that Overseas Students have with private education and training in Australia.  If you are not satisfied with a decision or action taken by your education provider, you should ask about their internal complaints and appeals process (they must have one).

What about public education providers?

For problems with your public university, TAFE college, institute or school, contact the State or Territory Ombudsman.


This article was supplied by the Overseas Students Ombudsman. The Overseas Students Ombudsman investigates complaints about problems that international students have with private education and training in Australia.

Ombudsman logoFor more information, head to the Commonwealth Ombusdman’s website and see Making a Complaint with the OSO. Find out who else you can contact here.