CRICOS schools and provision of school courses online FAQs

Frequently asked questions

These frequently asked questions provide information for Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) schools about online and remote delivery of school courses to international students who are unable to travel to Victoria, or are in quarantine.

1. What if relevant travel restrictions are lifted during Term 2, 2022?

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

3. Can our school commence new international students into remote learning arrangements?

4. What does the Ministerial Direction instruct the Victorian Registrations and Qualifications Authority (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 2, 2022?

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

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

For existing students, the Principal Executive Officer or their delegate must form the view the student is suitable to continue to receive instruction via online and remote delivery.

For new students commencing from Term 3 of 2021, a student must meet certain criteria outlined in the Ministerial Direction including that 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. Can our school commence new international students into remote learning arrangements?

Yes, provided that any new commencing international student:

  • has completed Year 10 or the equivalent prior to commencement; and
  • will commence Year 11 in Semester 1 of 2022 and is in the process of applying for a travel exemption to travel to Victoria, or who is enrolled to commence a course of study in Semester 2 of 2021 at Year 10 level, and is eligible for and intending to apply for a travel exemption to Victoria to undertake year 11 in 2022.

CRICOS schools must ensure that the parents of any commencing student:

  • have given informed consent in writing to the enrolment and to remote learning, and
  • have been advised that international student travel to Australia in 2021 and 2022 is not guaranteed.

4. What does the Ministerial Direction instruct the Victorian Registrations and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) to do?

The VRQA will not take regulatory action where a CRICOS school's method of providing a course via online and remote delivery, to students who are outside Australia and unable to travel to Victoria, or in quarantine in 2021 and Terms 1 and 2 of 2022.

5. Why has the Victorian Government taken these measures?

In October 2020, the Commonwealth Department of Education, Skills & Employment (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.

The Minister for Education has issued the Direction to the VRQA to give effect to the DESE guidance and to support Victorian CRICOS schools.

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 or in quarantine or to commence new students from Term 3 of 2021. Each school should make their own decision about whether they can meet the requirements to deliver online courses and the conditions outlined in the Ministerial Direction to continue providing online learning to an existing international student or to commence an international student from Term 3 of 2021.

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

In addition to the conditions in the Ministerial Direction that a school must meet, in accordance with the DESE guidance, CRICOS schools opting to provide school courses online 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)
  • an appropriate assessment including in relation to child safety in the online environment has 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 conditions outlined above, they can provide the school course online to enrolled international students that may have had their course deferred.

See also: