Education providers in Australia will be required to keep more information regarding their students, or to put more technically "[..] records of each accepted student who is enrolled with a registered provider or who has paid any tuition fees for a course provided by the provider must include the following details [...]".
But the Australian government is also asking for a little bit more information of the agent that is enrolling the student. We went through the pages and pages of the Education Services for Overseas Students Regulations 2019 document for you, here's the summary.
Information ed. providers will send to the Australian government about agents
Here's the information that the providers will send:
(h) if an agent of the provider facilitated or is facilitating, the enrolment of the student—the following details [must be provided]:
(i) the agent’s name;
(ii) the address of the agent’s principal place of business;
(iii) if the agent is a body corporate—the address of the body corporate’s registered office;
(iv) the agent’s postal address (if different from the address mentioned in subparagraph (ii) or (iii));
(v) the agent’s phone number, email address and website address (if any);
(vi) the agent’s ABN or ACN (if any);
(vii) the agent’s trading name or names (if any);
(viii) if the agent is a body corporate—the names of the body corporate’s directors;
(ix) if the agent is a registered migration agent—the agent’s Migration Agents Registration Number;
(x) the information mentioned in subsection (2) about each of the agent’s employees (if any) who were or are involved in the agent facilitating the enrolment.
(2) For the purposes of subparagraph (1)(h)(x), the information about the employee is the following:
(a) the employee’s name;
(b) the employee’s email address;
(c) if the employee is a registered migration agent—the employee’s MARA.
Therefore, it's not just about your education agency as a whole anymore, it's about any of your employees or coworkers that touch the application or sell the course to any international student. How reliable this data will be, only time will tell, but the message is clear...
The crackdown of shady agents is in progress
This is one of the steps taken by the government to increase the quality of recruiting and education agents working with colleges and universities in Australia.
Part of this crackdown is identifying each agent, and when we say agent, we mean the person talking to the student, not the international education agency company, and it starts by collecting information. The Australian government was already collecting education agency's information via PRISMS (Provider Registration and International Student Management System).
With the addition of this extra information, we can expect the Australian government to have more tools to identify and target what the government considers shady agents or actors that are not benefiting Australia as much as they expect. We've wrote about the Australian government sharing education agent's information earlier this year, click here to learn more.
What is ISEAA response to these changes?
In a semi-official post Robert Parsonson, Executive Officer of ISEAA (International Student Education Agents Association) states that "[ISEAA] believes that identifiers to the agency and branch/franchise are needed for data accuracy but not to the level of individual employees apart from the director, CEO or owner (as currently in the ESOS Act). Education providers only need to show the PEO, Principal Education Officer, on CRICOS.".
But it doesn't seem that the case is open for discussion anymore, it's all about adapting to the changes the government is pushing to the industry.
What about EducationLink?
EducationLink is in final stages of preparation for these changes, and most of what is required is already live and being used daily. We will update our customers accordingly.