CRICOS schools and provision of school courses online

Frequently asked questions

These frequently asked questions clarify points for CRICOS schools about providing school courses online to international students who will be outside Australia, or in quarantine, in Term 1 and 2, 2021.

1. What if relevant travel restrictions are lifted during Term 1 or 2?

2. How can my school be sure an international student is suitable for online or remote learning arrangements?

3. Our school didn't deliver remote learning to international students in 2020, can we offer it to them in 2021?

4. What does the Ministerial Direction instruct the VRQA to do?

5. Why has the Victorian Government taken these measures?

6. Is our school obliged to provide online courses to enrolled international students overseas?

7. What are the requirements for a CRICOS registered school to provide a school course online?

8. Our school deferred the course for our enrolled international students who were outside Australia. Can they recommence their studies?

1. What if relevant travel restrictions are lifted during Term 1 or 2?

International students enrolled at a Victorian school should travel to Victoria to begin face-to-face learning when it becomes feasible to do so. This means that if relevant travel restrictions lift mid-term, the student should make efforts to enter Victoria as soon as practicable

2. How can my school be sure an international student is suitable for online or remote learning arrangements?

Under the Ministerial Direction, a CRICOS school must arrange a videoconference to assess each prospective international student's suitability to receive instruction online. This video conference must be conducted by the school's principal or assistant principal and must take place before instruction commences.

3. Our school didn't deliver remote learning to international students in 2020, can we offer it to them in 2021?

Yes. You don't need to have delivered remote learning to international students in Terms 3 or 4 in 2020.

Remote delivery to international students is entirely at the discretion of the school principal.

4. What does the Ministerial Direction instruct the VRQA to do?

The VRQA will not take regulatory action where a CRICOS school provides online school courses to enrolled students who are outside Australia and unable to travel to Victoria in Terms 1 and 2, 2021.

5. Why has the Victorian Government taken these measures?

 

The Victorian Government issued Ministerial Directions for the VRQA to give effect to the Commonwealth Department of Education, Skills & Employment (DESE) guidance and to support Victorian schools with enrolled international students.

In October 2020, DESE , as the national CRICOS school regulator, updated its guidance to state authorities, including the VRQA and CRICOS schools.

The DESE guidance encourages a flexible approach to support enrolled international students who are outside Australia to study online during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, while travel restrictions apply

 

For a copy of the DESE guidance, see:

6. Is our school obliged to provide online courses to enrolled international students overseas?

No. CRICOS school is not obliged to provide online courses.

The measures give CRICOS schools in Victoria the option to provide school courses online to their enrolled international students who are outside Australia. Each school will make their own decision as to whether they can meet the requirements to deliver online courses.

7. What are the requirements for a CRICOS registered school to provide a school course online?

In accordance with the DESE guidance, CRICOS schools opting to provide school courses online to enrolled students offshore must demonstrate:

  • capacity to deliver all of the elements of the CRICOS registered course
  • capacity to meet the relevant school curriculum requirements (for students in years 7 to 10) or the senior secondary qualification requirements (for students enrolled in VCE or International Baccalaureate Diploma programs)
  • appropriate assessments of any child safety implications have been undertaken
  • the parent / legal custodian of students has provided informed consent to changes to the written agreement with the school.

8. Our school deferred the course for our enrolled international students who were outside Australia. Can they recommence their studies?

Yes. If a CRICOS school can demonstrate that it meets the requirements above, they can provide the school course online to enrolled international students that may have had their course deferred.