The below information aims to help international students and their parents or guardians understand the role and expected behaviour of an education agent in supporting Victorian government school students before and after enrolment.
Why families use an education agent
A number of families looking to enrol their child in a Victorian government school will use an agent accredited by the Department of Education and Training, Victoria (DET) International Education Division (IED). In most cases, the agent will act as an intermediary between DET (IED) and the family until the student arrives in Australia.
Role of an education agent before enrolment
An agent will:
help the family determine where to send the student to study and submit the enrolment application on their behalf
receive the letter of offer from DET (IED) and the initial invoice on the family's behalf
organise for the family to sign the written agreement and return the signed written agreement to DET (IED) on the family's behalf
ask the family to pay the DET (IED) invoice for tuition fees and other charges
help the family with the student's visa application
assist the family until the student arrives in Australia.
The agent will receive a commission from DET (IED) for placing a student in a Victorian government school in exchange for their services. Commission payments are only made after the student has studied in a Victorian government school for a period of 28 days. This is standard practice in the international education industry.
Role of an education agent after enrolment
Some agents offer to extend their services to families after the student arrives in Australia. A very small number of families choose to have an agent support them after they arrive. If the family chooses to do this, they will pay the agent a separate fee. Where a family chooses to have an agent support them, the DET (IED) may continue to send the student's invoice to the agent and the agent will then forward this on to the family for payment. However, it is important to note that agents are prohibited from collecting payments on behalf of DET (IED). Accredited education agents do not receive a commission payment for providing services after enrolment.
Prohibited activities by agents
Education agents have a limited role in relation to international student fees. The education agent must not:
collect fees or any other charges on behalf of DET (IED). All course fees from students must be paid directly to DET (IED) via the payment methods as outlined at How to Apply
provide migration advice unless the education agent is authorised to do so under the Migration Act 1958 (Commonwealth)
carry out the services in a manner that is false or misleading, or inconsistent with Australian Consumer Law
engage in dishonest recruitment practices, including the deliberate attempt to mislead students
facilitate the enrolment of a student who the education agent believes will not comply with the conditions of his or her student visa.
Education agent accreditation
DET (IED) only accredits education agents that meet certain criteria, and ongoing monitoring, compliance and training requirements. Only accredited education agents are permitted to represent DET and Victorian government schools, and receive commission payments. To access a list of accredited agents, see: Register of accredited education agents (Word 107kb)
Feedback on education agents
We welcome feedback on student and parent or guardian experiences with an accredited education agent, both positive and negative, which can be provided via email at: email@example.com.