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Foundation programs and ELICOS

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TEQSA assesses applications for inclusion on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) and may approve a provider to be registered on CRICOS.

To become registered to deliver courses to international students (students studying on a student visa), a provider must apply for CRICOS registration and have the courses and locations in its scope of CRICOS registration approved.

Providers can only enroll and deliver courses to international students in Australia if they are registered on CRICOS.

Foundation programs

TEQSA has regulatory responsibility for all Foundation programs, with the exception of those delivered by schools. Foundation programs for international students are nationally recognised courses that equip students with the skills for entry into Australian higher education programs. They provide an academic entry pathway to first year undergraduate study or its equivalent.

Foundation programs must comply with requirements set out in the:

Application for exemption to enrol students under the age of 17 in Foundation Programs

Providers seeking to apply for an exemption to enrol students under the age of 17 (minimum acceptable age is 16) in a Foundation program, must submit an application to TEQSA detailing arrangements in place to support younger students.

The application must meet the necessary requirements, include all information requested and be submitted through the Provider portal. No fees apply for seeking an exemption. 

Providers must contact case managers for access to the application form.

ELICOS Courses

TEQSA has regulatory responsibility for English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS). These courses can be delivered by a registered higher education provider, or by a provider that has an entry arrangement with at least one other registered higher education provider.

ELICOS Courses must comply with requirements set out in: