Thursday, 12 August 2021
Education Services for Overseas Students (Registration Charges) Amendment Bill 2021, Education Services for Overseas Students (TPS Levies) Amendment Bill 2021, Education Services for Overseas Students Amendment (Cost Recovery and Other Measures) Bill 2021, Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (Charges) Amendment Bill 2021; Second Reading
Labor supports these bills, which aim to streamline cost recovery arrangements for regulation of education providers who provide services to international students. The Education Services for Overseas Students (Registration Charges) Bill 2021 repeals and replaces the current charging provision with a new framework, although most details would be set through regulation, continuing a pattern of this government trying to avoid transparency and accountability for its decisions. The three related bills make minor and consequential amendments arising from the registration charges bill. The bills are all part of a broader shift to full cost recovery for the regulation of higher education providers, including the TEQSA cost recovery and charges bills that were in the Senate this week.
Labor is not opposed to cost recovery in principle, if it is well thought through and justified. Labor has opposed the TEQSA cost recovery legislation as we believe now is not the appropriate time to move to full cost recovery for higher education providers who have been forced to bear the brunt of the COVID pandemic for the most part without any government assistance.
Labor will support the legislation being debated today. While we have opposed parts of the broader shift to expanded cost recovery for higher education providers, this piece of legislation is expected to reduce charges on international education providers and prevent providers from being double charged for the same regulatory activity.