Overseas Students Have Their Own Ombudsman

13:42' 10-08-2017
An Ombudsman helps people who have problems with Australian businesses and government agencies. There are different Ombudsmen for different businesses and parts of government.


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    You might not know it, but there is even an Overseas Students Ombudsman (OSO). The OSO investigates complaints about problems that overseas students have with private education and training providers in Australia.

    If you have a problem with a university, TAFE or government school, and are not satisfied with a decision or action they made, you should ask about their internal complaints and appeals process. By law, they must have such a process, and must guide you to it.

    If you are not satisfied with the result of your complaint, or if you are told there is nothing you can do, then you should contact the OSO.

    An Ombudsman’s services are free, impartial and independent. They do not take sides or represent you or your provider, as a lawyer does. Their duty is to make sure everyone is following the rules. If the Ombudsman finds that a business or government agency has done the wrong thing, or treated someone unfairly, they can recommend a remedy, like an apology, better information, a new decision, or a refund.

    The OSO can look at any decision, action or inaction of a private education provider, such as:

    • Your provider says it will report you to the Department of Immigration for poor course progress or attendance, and you want to lodge an external appeal with the Ombudsman.
    • Your provider tells you that you owe fees, but you disagree.
    • You applied for a refund after withdrawing from your course, or because your visa was refused, but your provider has refused.
    • You want to change to a different education provider, but your current education provider has refused your request for a release letter.
    • You need to suspend or defer your studies but your provider will not approve your request.
    • Your provider cancelled your enrolment without telling you.
    • You think your education agent or your education provider gave you misleading or incorrect advice.
    • Your education provider is refusing to deal with your complaint.

    This information comes from an article which the OSO supplied to the student help site Insider Guides. For useful and helpful links to more information, see the original article at insiderguides.com.au/what-does-the-overseas-students-ombudsman-do. 

    For general information, do directly to the OSO site at ombudsman.gov.au/about/overseas-students, where you can find information in 36 languages.

    Liu W


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Keywords: australian businessesoverseas students ombudsmanuniversity

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