From English Australia 12 October 2017
Education Minister announces the revised standards for Australia’s ELICOS sector
HOBART: The Hon Senator Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education and Training, today reiterated the importance of quality and standards in maintaining Australia’s high reputation as a destination for international students.
Speaking at the Australian International Education Conference the Senator used the Ministerial Address to highlight Australia’s successes in international education, and the important role of ELICOS within that space. He also stressed the need to maintain high standards across the sector. The Senator recognised English Australia’s leading role in driving quality across the ELICOS sector, in particular acknowledging the role of English Australia’s CEO Brett Blacker in the development of legislative and regulatory framework for the sector.
“Australia has always been at the forefront in regard to legislation to support quality in English language teaching and the ELICOS National Standards are the cornerstone of our sectors quality assurance framework, with the new standards upholding that tradition.
The changes announced today will ensure that all providers of courses to international students where the outcome is solely or predominantly English language will need to adhere to the standards, and that is a positive step in ensuring a level playing field for all providers”, noted Brett.
English Australia CEO stated, “there has been some misinterpretation of the new standards, which implied a deficit in the English proficiency of students currently entering Australian Tertiary qualifications. I uphold that the Australian ELICOS sector is highly recognised globally for our course accreditation processes and the quality of educational delivery with a low prevalence of compliance issues, and the sector has been well served by the standards to date”.
Students undertaking ELICOS should note that they will not be directly affected by the scope of the new standards or required to undertake any additional assessment.
The new standard for providers related to direct entry arrangements into tertiary education courses, strengthens existing polices already met by most providers and should not require a significant change to current assessment processes. In consultation with TEQSA, English Australia is confident that a risk based approach will be adopted in the application of this standard.
We will actively work with members to ensure there is clarity in the application of the standards and utilise resources such as our Best Practice Guide to Direct Entry Programs, and we will continue to support providers in demonstrating adherence to the standards.
English Australia is proud to have played an invaluable part in representing our members in the pursuit of robust standards throughout the sector, and will continue to work closely with the Government in the implementation of the ELICOS National Standards.
15 October 2017
Joint Response from:
A MESSAGE TO INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS SEEKING TO STUDY IN AUSTRALIA
Contrary to some media reports over the past day, a new test is not being imposed to
assess English-language proficiency among international students in Australia.
Australian education institutions already have some of the strongest standards in the world
to ensure that international students can get the most benefit from studying and living here.
Yesterday the Australian Government released updated national standards for ELICOS
(English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students), which will apply from 2018.
Some media reports mistakenly suggested a new test is required as part of these new
There is no requirement for further standardised testing under the ELICOS National
Testing is only one form of assessment that may be considered and education providers will
still set their own English language requirements for entry to their courses.
Crucially, also, the revised standards do not change the existing visa requirements to study
in Australia – nor the pathways to further study.
It is important that potential students understand this will not make it harder to study in
The ELICOS National Standards 2018 make minor amendments to existing standards to
ensure quality is upheld in the future.
The main change amends the definition of an ELICOS course to bring all registered
intensive English language courses within the scope of the ELICOS standards.
This step has been supported by all peak education bodies as yet another quality measure
to ensure students get the most from their education in Australia.
Australia’s international education industry has been developed with robust regulatory and
This joint communique of Australia’s leading peak bodies for international education affirms
the quality of our ELICOS sector and our shared commitment to safeguard that quality