New requirements for schools with international students

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Important regulatory changes commence on 1 January 2018 for schools providing courses to overseas students.

The National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 revises the minimum standards for all education providers delivering courses to international students.

Schools enrolling overseas students have responsibility for approving a student’s accommodation, support and welfare where the student under the age of 18 is not living with a parent or approved relative. 
From 2018, education providers assuming this responsibility cannot delegate or contract it out.

They must verify that the accommodation they have approved for the student, such as a homestay placement is suitable for the student’s age and needs:

  • prior to the student commencing
  • at least every six months.

The National Code also strengthens a range of measures to protect younger overseas students including:

  • enhanced provisions for matters that schools must include in student written agreements
  • new measures to ensure continuity of student welfare arrangements where students transferring are between education providers.

The Commonwealth Department of Education and Training is responsible for the National Code and, with the VRQA, hosted an information seminar in December for our school sector providers. 

The seminar presentation and resources are available on our website.

Have your say on our guidelines

We have released a consultation draft of the VRQA Guidelines for Enrolment of Overseas Students Aged Under 18 (docx - 56.47kb) and are seeking feedback from schools registered on CRICOS. 

The VRQA Guidelines:

  • supplement the new 2018 ESOS National Code to align with Victorian child safe standards
  • support CRICOS schools by clarifying and setting minimum standards for key National Code terms such as ‘appropriate accommodation’
  • provide additional protection for overseas students aged under 18.

Please provide written feedback on the draft Guidelines by 28 February 2018 to:
or by mail to:

Manager School Projects, VRQA
GPO Box 2317
Melbourne 3001