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The Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act) forms the legal framework for the quality assurance of education and training institutions offering courses to international students (students studying in Australia on student visas). 

The ESOS legislative framework consists of the:

  • ESOS Act 
  • Education Services for Overseas Students Regulations 
  • Education Services for Overseas Students (Registration Charges) Act 
  • National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2017
  • National Standards for Foundation Programs
  • ELICOS National Standards.

Find out more on the Department of Education and Training's ESOS legislative framework page

The Department of Education and Training administers the ESOS Act and the related legislative instruments which govern:

  • the registration process and obligations of registered international education providers
  • the Tuition Protection Service
  • enforcement and compliance arrangements. 

The Australian Government passed a bill in mid 2017 which aimed to strengthen the Government's ability to monitor current and new education providers. For more information on these changes, view the Department's Changes to the legislative framework for overseas students page.

TEQSA's responsibilities

TEQSA’s responsibilities as a designated authority under the ESOS Act were expanded under changes made in 2015. These changes mean that we have responsibility for:

  • higher education providers registered under the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011
  • English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS) providers – if they have an entry arrangement with at least one registered higher education provider
  • providers offering Foundation Program.