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“Sloppy practices” on international students

Fairfax Media    |     11 June 2015

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Sloppy student services and false attendance reporting are systemic problems plaguing overseas students at private education providers, the national Overseas Students Ombudsman has revealed.

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The Ombudsman released a new issues paper on poor compliance in the private education sector, based on 448 investigations into student complaints since the body’s establishment in 2011.

It warned some providers were failing to intervene with at-risk students, allowing weak students to continue to study and fail.

Student absences were also being miscalculated. Providers were marking students absent when they were merely late, or on days when it was a public holiday and there were no classes scheduled.

These failures posed serious consequences for international students, who risked being reported to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and being sent home if they failed to meet basic academic and attendance requirements as prescribed in their student visa.

In the past four years, the Ombudsman has intervened in 142 cases, recommending that providers not report students to the Department of Immigration because of the providers’ own poor compliance.

Under the national code of practice for education providers, the institution is required to monitor and support at-risk students. The providers are supposed to notify the student when they start falling behind, but the report found some were leaving it too late.

 

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