Call To Regulate Education Agents

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15th July 2009, 06:11pm - Views: 721
Call to Regulate Education Agents

International students are the most visible victims of the Australian international education and migration nexus.

"Education agents should be regulated", says Maurene Horder, CEO of the Migration Institute of Australia.

The current situation is that individuals who give migration advice in Australia must be registered. The profession is regulated and the government has the power to pursue illegal operators. However, the same rules do not extend to offshore migration agents or to education agents either here or overseas, and it is often these agents who mislead or exploit clients.

While Registered Migration Agents must abide by expensive registration and a stringent Code of Conduct, those who are not required to register get away scot-free and leave visa applicants without a safety net.

Additionally, the MIA is concerned that education agents who receive undeclared commissions from training providers may not act in the best interests of the client. Similarly, owners of private training facilities may be motivated by filling fee-paying places, rather than student's educational outcomes.

A recent independent report, entitled Changing Together, confirms what was known anecdotally: the bad behaviour of a minority of unscrupulous operators' impacts negatively on the entire migration advice profession.

Any unethical or illegal behaviour by registered migration agents is not tolerated by the Institute and should be cracked down on by the Department of Immigration. The MIA also strongly advocates establishing an independent Migration Consumer Complaints Commission, with the power to review fees.

Responsibility should be shared by education providers, the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship in their role managing the profession's regulatory authority (OMARA).

Available for Interview:
Maurene Horder
Chief Executive Officer
Migration Institute of Australia

Tara Grimshaw
Communications Manager
Phone: 0410 532 995, Email: [email protected]

SOURCE: Migration Institute of Australia

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