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Policies, rules, and regulations

In Australia, there are many regulations and laws to ensure international education is safe, fair, and reliable for international students. Some of these are specific to international education organisations, some are specific to international students and some are general laws that cover all organisations and all consumers. This section of the handbook will explain some of the key rules that you should know about and all the rules that we are required to tell you about.

It is important to know that the rules that are specific to international education institutions and students relate to student visa holders only – and the institutions that provide courses to them. These rules aren’t required by law to apply to students who are on a visitor or working holiday visa. However, as 80% or more of the students at UEC are on a Student Visa, we generally use these rules as our standard operating procedures.

CRICOS & college registration

In Australia, colleges and universities must be officially registered with the Australian government to be allowed to have student visa holders as students. The register of all providers approved by the Australian government is called CRICOS. You can find it here:

You can find us and all our details here:

A key thing you should know: Student Visa holders should not enrol in courses offered by organisations that are not CRICOS registered. There are a small number of exceptions to this rule though, mainly for very short courses like first aid and the RSA. If you’re not sure, come see us at reception and we can help.

The ESOS framework & rules for education providers

To be approved and stay on the CRICOS list, all providers, including UEC, must follow the rules set by the Australian Government known as the ESOS Framework. This includes lots of rules in different documents, including:

  • The Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act),
  • The Education Services for Overseas Students Legislation Amendment (Tuition Protection Service and Other Measures) Act 2012.
  • The Education Services for Overseas Students Regulations 2019 (ESOS Regulations)
  • The National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018
  • ELICOS Standards 2018 (ELICOS = English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students

These laws and regulations are designed to protect student visa holders and make sure students consistently get high quality learning experiences and outcomes. These and other associated legislations can be found here. Another useful website to understand the rules is. All students and prospective students should definitely read the fact sheet by the Australian government:

Rules and protections for every student

While most protections are for Student Visa Holders, the Australian government provides a lot of protection for all consumers regardless of what visa you are studying on. There are a number of laws that protect all consumers, including international students from organisations not keeping their promises and not providing goods or services according to their advertising or the terms and conditions or in line with laws in Australia. The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission has a website which explains a lot of these matters:

Australian Consumer Law offers consumer protections in the areas of:

  • unfair contract terms, covering standard form consumer contracts
  • consumer rights when buying goods and services

If you have a question or complaint about your rights as a consumer, you can contact consumer protection in New South Wales, NSW Fair Trading’s office at:

NSW Fair Trading 60 Station Street Parramatta NSW 2150 Postal:
PO Box 972
Parramatta NSW 2124
Enquiries: 13 32 20

UEC Code of Conduct.

Privacy protections

In today’s world there are many laws about privacy and about your ‘data.’ At UEC we take your privacy very seriously and we take a range of steps to protect your data. However, there are a number of important things that you must know:

  • To process and manage your enrolment, in accordance with the requirements of the ESOS Act 2000, the National Code 2018, the NVETR Act, and to ensure compliance with the conditions of your visa(s) and the associated obligations under Australian immigration laws, UEC must collect certain personal information on all applicants.
  • UEC is committed to only collecting personal information by fair and lawful means and as necessary for it to perform its functions and comply with its obligations.
  • UEC will store all personal information and take all reasonable security measures to protect it from unauthorised access, misuse or disclosure.
  • UEC is committed to ensuring the confidentiality and security of the information provided to it, in accordance with Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and Australian Privacy Principles (APPs).
  • UEC may also disclose personal information to Commonwealth and State or Territory government departments and authorised agencies, including the education department, the ELICOS regulator (ASQA), the Tuition Protection Scheme (TPS), The Overseas Students Ombudsman, and the immigration department.

Your personal information may be used or disclosed for the following purposes:

  • issuing certificates;
  • facilitating statistics and research relating to education, including surveys;
  • developing market understanding, policy, workforce planning and consumer information; and
  • programme administration, regulation, monitoring and evaluation.

UEC will not disclose your personal information to another person or organisation except or unless:

  • you are made aware that information of that kind is usually passed to that person or organisation (see above examples); or
  • you have given written consent to the disclosure; or
  • UEC believes on reasonable grounds that the disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to your life or health or that of another person; or
  • the disclosure is required or authorised by or under law; or
  • the disclosure is reasonably necessary for the enforcement of criminal law or of a law imposing a pecuniary penalty, or for the protection of the public revenue.

As well as communicating directly with you, UEC may communicate with your parents, legal guardians, and representative agents in cases of unsatisfactory attendance, course progress, late payments, or failure to adhere to the Student Code of Conduct. UEC may send you information about us or other courses. You may request not to receive further information at any time.

Any personal information you provide in this application and during your enrolment at UEC is available for your review within 10 days of UEC receiving a written request from you. Should you indicate at that time any incorrect, incomplete, out of date, or misleading information, appropriate corrections will be made.

Please note that, as per the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment, any testimonials by you or photos of you which are used by UEC are property of the UEC and may be used for UEC promotional material. If you have any concerns about this, please come to reception to discuss it.

Your address and contact details

A requirement of a Student Visa is that you must give your address and contact details to the college. You must also tell us if your address changes – within 7 days of the change.

This includes:

  • Your home address; and
  • Your mobile phone number; and
  • Your email address.

While it is a legal ‘must’ for students on a student visa, it is also very important for all students to share their contact details with us. We often need to share important information with you and may need to check up on you and make sure your okay during your stay.

Minimum attendance

Student Visa holders are required to attend a minimum of 80% of the scheduled lessons. This means a minimum of 80% of the 20 hours a week of classes.

Almost all UEC students have no problem meeting the 80% requirement. They came to UEC to improve their English and make the most of the learning opportunities they have. Sometimes though it’s impossible not to miss some classes – you might get sick for example and need to rest for a few days.

We understand that living in Sydney there can be lots of distractions from studies – beaches, friends, and work. To help make sure you don’t have a problem with your visa because of low attendance, we will give you warnings if you attendance falls below certain levels. Actually, we are required to warn you and, if your attendance gets too low, we are required by law to report this. Basically, it works like this:

  1. We will send all students fortnightly attendance emails that tell you your attendance, your and our obligations with attendance.
  2. If your attendance falls below 88%, you will receive a written warning
  3. If your attendance falls below 80%, you will receive a ‘Notice of Intent to Report’

The ‘Notice of Intent to Report’ – sometimes called an ITR – means you have failed to meet the 80% minimum attendance requirements. It means you must come see us as discuss the reasons for your attendance and a plan to improve it. It may mean we are required to report your attendance to the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) which could result in visa cancellation.

Another important rule for student visa holders is that you must not be absent without approval for more than 5 consecutive days. If we haven’t seen you or heard from you for 3 days in a row, we will email, text, or call you to check you are okay. If you know you will miss class for 3 days in a row or more for any reason, please make sure you tell us.

Please note that if a decision is made that UEC must report a student for failure to meet the attendance requirements of their student visa, the student will be give 20 days to make an appeal of the decision. Please see the section on complaints and appeals for more details or check the Complaints and Appeals Policy.

For more details please visit our website and read the Policies and Procedures page:

Terms & conditions of enrolment

When you enroll at UEC, you sign an agreement that includes the terms and conditions of enrolment. You can review the current terms and conditions via the link below.

We’ve tried hard to write the terms and conditions in a way that they can be easily understood, but we recognise that sometimes, even with translation, it might be hard to understand some parts. If you ever want help understanding anything in this document, please come and see us at reception and we will help you.

Terms and Conditions 2024

Policies and procedures

Part of the rules and requirements for colleges in Australia are that we have written policies and procedures that explain how certain things will happen and how we do things. Below you will find links to the UEC policies and procedures that you might want to or need to understand.
We’ve tried hard to write these in a way that they can be easily understood, but we recognise that sometimes, even with translation, it might be hard to understand some of these policies and procedures. If you ever want help understanding anything in these documents, please come and see us at reception and we will help you.

Code of Conduct

UEC is a safe, friendly, and comfortable place for students and staff and we welcome and celebrate diversity.

UEC is more than just a college – it’s a community. To make this work, we all follow the simple rules and guidelines set out in the Code of Conduct.