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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Information for students
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This information is for students studying a diploma qualification or above, with a higher education provider that is registered with TEQSA (check the National Register if you’re not sure).

To help you stay up-to-date with authoritative information, and find the support you need in these challenging times we’ve put together these Frequently Asked Questions.

Note:  What is a ‘provider’? To keep it simple, we are referring to all the types of higher education providers (such as universities, Australian branches of overseas universities and other higher education providers) as ‘providers’.

For everyone

What can TEQSA help with?

TEQSA is the regulator for all the HE providers in Australia, so we work with the whole higher education sector and each provider in Australia to ensure that the interests of students are protected and the quality of education is safeguarded.  

There are other government departments and agencies that can help with guidance on your personal finances, health services, visa issues or employment issues, such as: 

• matters relating to FEE-HELP 
• issues concerning visas 

We also have some links below to organisations that can connect you with help for other issues. 

My course is being delivered online now and I am concerned about the quality

All modes of study, including online, must meet the same quality standards in the Higher Education Standards Framework.

We are aware that, given the quick transition to online learning due to COVID-19, some students are concerned about the quality of online study and the resources available to them. 

If your course has moved to online delivery, your provider needs to:

• ensure students have access to the resources they need to engage in online learning, including identifying and addressing barriers to accessing technology;
• ensuring students are offered alternatives where there is significant change or disruption to delivery of courses, including processes for fee reduction, refunds or deferral;
• checking existing contractual arrangements with students about mode of delivery, which may involve seeking and incorporating the views of students;
• understand what additional learning, academic and personal support may be required in the online context. This includes ensuring students have the opportunity to contact and interact with academic and support staff and that student support is adequately resourced;
• demonstrate how student engagement will be maintained throughout the delivery of the course, including peer-to-peer interaction, staff to student interaction, and student support. This includes mitigating risks associated with social isolation.

There is also help available to support you to thrive in online study, such as 8 strategies for getting the most out of an online class

I spoke to my provider about my online course, but they haven’t improved. What can I do?

If you have tried to resolve a complaint with your higher education provider to no avail, there are other options, including making a complaint to us. Look through the information on our complaints page for advice and information on resolving your complaint with your provider, and on the TEQSA complaints process.

Complaints by international students
Commonwealth Ombudsman

My course has gone online, but I don’t have the equipment I need to access it at home. What can I do?

Contact your provider to discuss the problem. Your provider needs to ensure that you have access to the resources you need to engage in online learning, which includes helping you with any barriers to accessing technology.

Where can I get reliable information on COVID-19?

There is lots of media coverage and a lot of opinion of COVID-19, so it is helpful to only look at reliable sources of information. Depending on your circumstances, some or all of the links below may be helpful to you:

• DHHS information on pandemic  
• Local state and territory health departments 
• Coronavirus information for Indigenous communities 
• Coronavirus information in your language  

Where can I get mental health support?

This is an unusual situation and a difficult time for many people. There are lots of places to get help and support during this challenging time. 

Your provider must deliver the same student support services to you, even if you’re not on campus, so see what services they have available for you to access counselling and other supports.  

Head to Health is a website with reliable digital health resources and links to trusted services, including the numbers to 24x7 phone counselling services that are free to access. 

For information and support in other languages, go to Embrace Multicultural Mental Health.

I’m worried about my placement. What can I do?

We are aware that there are issues with industry professional accreditation arising over this period. We are working to support providers and industry professional bodies to work together to address issues as they arise and minimise the disruption. Contact the head of your course to discuss your specific options. 

I’m a domestic student

I’m worried about money and bills

Your provider must deliver the same student support services to you even if you’re not on campus, so see what services they have available to help you manage your finances.  

There is also government support available to some students to help get through the effects of COVID-19. 

I’m an international student

I’m worried about money. Who can help?

Your provider must deliver the same student support services to you even if you’re not on campus, so see what services they have available to help you manage your finances.  

The Study Hub in your state is also a good source of information and practical support:

Study Adelaide

Study Melbourne

Study NSW 

Study Northern Territory

Study Perth 

Can I have a reduced study load?

Our priority is to ensure that the quality of higher education and student wellbeing are maintained. A reduced study load may be an appropriate suggestion from your provider to stay enrolled through this challenging period, however it may mean you will need an extension to your student visa in the future. Your provider will need to ensure that they’re in a position to substantiate that extension. For information on any changes to student visa requirements, the Department of Home Affairs has information on its website.

What can my home country’s embassy do to help?

Embassies provide consular services and protect the rights of their citizens in foreign countries.  Please contact the embassy of your home country for advice on travelling home and COVID-19 measures in your home country. 

What happens if I need to study online from my home country next semester?

If you need to study online from your home country next semester, your provider should ensure that the assessment and course quality meet the standards within the Higher Education Standards Framework.  Not all courses will be suited to online learning. Your provider should also continue to ensure you receive appropriate learning support via its online delivery model and are able to achieve learning outcomes. 
 

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