News from Adam

Welcome to the latest edition of our CEO’s column News From Adam.

The government’s recently announced legislative changes to the ESOS Act and the agenda they have described in their draft consultation document, Australia’s International Education and Skills Strategic Framework, gives us pause as a community to stop and reflect.  

It’s so very encouraging that the government is placing quality and integrity at the centre of their reforms. At NEAS, those two words “quality” and ”integrity” sit at the core of who we are. We are very well positioned to support the government in its understanding of the impact its suggested changes will have on our sector. For example, is the government aware of just how fundamental international education and migration has been, and still is, to our economy? International students are an important labour source across a range of skill levels. These skills are learned through courses at the education providers affected by the changes.  

It’s important for them to be armed with an understanding of the various nuances that exist within our sector. Universities are very different from TAFE providers, stand-alone ELICOS centres, and cross-sector private providers. NEAS knows the differences between this diversity of international education provision, and so understands the very meaning of quality in each of these contexts. Let’s not forget too, that NEAS quality assures in related areas of policy concern for the government. Namely, homestay provision. Has the government considered quality provision in this sector as a means of solving accommodation shortages? It is widely used by international students, young and old, and might be another avenue of consideration to support the incentive they are offering universities to deliver to students beyond their caps. NEAS is close to the homestay provider industry, and recently launched the NEAS Homestay Standards, which would facilitate improved quality capacity. 

Finally, NEAS is ready to engage with the government and similar member associations such as us, to achieve the best outcomes for everyone. 

May 2024