Melbourne: Australia is all set to make stricter laws to weed out ‘shonky’ operators in a bid to rebuild the image of its battered overseas education sector.
Education minister Julia Gillard on Wednesday introduced in parliament the amendments to the law regulating schools that provide courses to the nearly half-a-million overseas students who come to Australia every year.
“The message to providers is, if you’re not providing your students with a quality education in a safe environment, clean up your act or risk being shut down,” Gillard informed the parliament, according to an AAP report.
She said the sector had grown too fast,with insufficient checks and balances, which attracted a small number of unscrupulous operators.
“We need to weed out the shonky operators,” she said.
The main changes will require all institutions now registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students to re-register under tougher criteria by the end of next year and make the use of education agents “more transparent and accountable”.
Gillard said requiring re-registration would restore confidence in the quality of Australian education that has come under severe criticism after blanket media coverage on bashing of some Indian students and claims that some training schools were ripping off overseas students.