Australia has a qualification framework that provides a coherent system of award descriptors from schools, which ensures the system’s integrity. It also has well- established national policies and practices in quality assurance and mutual recognition of qualifications in higher education.
The Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000 protects and enhances Australia’s reputation for quality education and training services for students who come toAustralia on a student visa. It also provides a range of consumer protection for students, such as refunds, tuition assurance and dispute resolution obligations. It achieves this through compulsory, nationally-consistent registration of providers and their courses with appropriate enforcement powers and sanctions for non-compliance.
TheAustralia Education International - National Office of Overseas Studies Recognition (AEI-NOOSR) provides information and advice about overseas education systems and qualifications, and deals with a range of qualification recognition issues. AEI-NOOSR resides in the International Policy and Recognition Branch of the Intentional Education Group in the Federal Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST). It functions in a dual role as the National Academic Recognition and Information Centre (NARIC), which makes all decisions on recognition of qualifications. There are also various organizations and agencies responsible for recognition programmes:
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Professional bodies and individual employers (for employment purposes) State/territory regulation bodies (for registration and licensing) Individual education institutions (for academic purposes) Gazetted assessing authorities and DIAC (for migration purposes)
The AIE-NOOSR facilitates decisions regarding recognition of degrees and promotes fair, equitable and transparent recognition procedures through a number of products and services. It also provides advice to the Australian government about recognition matters and publishes country education profiles.
Australia takes an active part in the mapping of qualification frameworks across Asia- Pacific economies. It hosted the 29thAsia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Human Resources Development Working Group (HRDWG) meeting to discuss globalization of higher education, quality assurance and the utility of diplomas. The project also identified formal and informal qualification framework systems, associated descriptors and quality assurance frameworks across APEC economies.
Australia has also signed up several bilateral agreements concerning recognition of qualifications within Europe, the Americas, Africa, the Middle East and East Asia. It has signed up bilateral agreements with China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, India and Saudi Arabia. More importantly, for multilateral agreements, Australia is part of treaty-level UNESCO conventions on mutual recognition of higher education, i.e. both the Lisbon Recognition Convention and the Asia-Pacific regional convention. With the increase of trade in education across borders and the subsequent importance of ensuring that the qualifications obtained be recognized for both study and employment,
Ninth Session of the Regional Committee