TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998

Information on ESOS


The Education Services for Overseas Students, or ESOS Act, provides the regulatory requirements for education and training institutions offering courses to international students in Australia on a student visa. 

The Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act) and related legislation is designed to protect the interests of students coming to Australia on student visas. The legislation aims to protect and enhance Australia’s reputation for quality education, to provide tuition protection and support the integrity of the student visa program.

ESOS Fact Sheet (May 2014)

The Australian Government released an updated Fact Sheet on the rights and responsibilities of international students on 9 May 2014. The Fact Sheet can be accessed here.

Recent Changes

Amendments to the ESOS Regulations 

The Education Services for Overseas Students Regulations 2001 (ESOS Regulations) have been amended to update the definition of student visa to omit the reference to an ‘Australian Agency for International Development Student’ (AusAID student). This aligns with the Migration Regulations 1994 (Migration Regulations) amendments, which will replace AusAID with the relevant Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade term to reflect administrative changes within the Australian Government. In addition the amendment clarifies that, under the ESOS definition of student visa, exchange students are ‘secondary’ exchange students as per the Migration Regulations. The amendments will take effect from 1 July 2014.

The department has also removed unnecessary provisions in Part 4 of the ESOS Regulations in relation to penalties for breaches under the National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students (National Code). This amendment was undertaken in consultation with the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) and the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), and it was agreed that there were already sufficient powers in relation to sanctions for breaches of the National Code under the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000. Part 4 of the ESOS Regulations has therefore been repealed.

For more information, click here 

Earlier Changes (Prior to 2013)

In 2012 ESOS was amended, following a review in 2009-10. 

Amendments included the introduction of the Tuition Protection Service (TPS). The TPS is a placement and refund service for international students. The TPS replaced the Tuition Assurance Scheme and the ESOS Assurance fund

For further information on ESOS and related amendments , including the TPS click here.


Other helpful resources include:

Australian taxation for international students 

(The Australian Tax office has a special section on their website with essential information for international students regarding taxation).

ESOS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

PRISMS User Guide

TPS Website