Where UTS enrols an international student who is under 18 years of age, it must meet Commonwealth, state or territory legislation or other regulatory requirements relating to child welfare and protection appropriate to the jurisdiction(s) in which it operates.
Under the Migration Regulations 1994 (opens an external site) the Department of Home Affairs requires that persons under 18 years of age entering Australia on a student visa must have adequate welfare and accommodation arrangements in place.
The ESOS Act 2000 (opens an external site) and Part B, Standard 5 of the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 (opens an external site) outline the framework for managing the welfare and accommodation for international students under 18 years of age.
This protocol supplements the UTS Child Protection Policy(opens an external site) (opens an external site)
2. Purpose and scope
This protocol applies to UTS international students who are under 18 years of age.
The protocol informs and guides staff and international students under 18 years of age on UTS’s legislative requirements and processes.
Adult means any person over the age of 18 years old.
CAAW is the Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare and is the Department of Home Affairs pro-forma letter downloadable through PRISMS. A CAAW is issued by the registered provider when creating a CoE. Once a CAAW is created the registered provider will advise the Department of Home Affairs of any care arrangements changes or where these are no longer provided.
CoE refers to the electronic Confirmation of Enrolment issued through the Australian Government’s Department of Education and Training PRISMS system.
Contact details refers to a residential address, mobile phone number and personal email address.
National Code refers to the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018.
PRISMS stands for Provider Registration and International Students Management System
International student means a person who is not a citizen or permanent resident of Australia, not a New Zealand citizen or not a person entitled to stay in Australia without any time limit, who is enrolled or to be enrolled in a course of study at the University.
Third party provider refers to an organisation or service that has a written agreement with UTS to provide all or part of welfare, accommodation and support arrangements.
Working with Children Check means the process of screening individuals engaged in child-related work. It is a legislated requirement under the Child Protection (Working With Children) Act 2012 (opens an external site) and managed by the NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian (opens an external site).
4. Protocol principles
The following principles apply:
4.1. UTS is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all students under the age of 18 who interact with or who may be impacted by UTS activities.
4.2. Regardless of whether the student has selected UTS as their accommodation and welfare provider, where UTS is unable to contact a student and/or has concerns for the student’s welfare it will make all reasonable efforts to locate the student, including notifying the parent/ legal guardian, police and any other relevant Commonwealth, state or territory agencies as soon as is practicable and as required.
4.3. Where UTS utilises a third party provider for the provision of welfare and/or accommodation arrangements it will ensure it has documented processes for selecting, screening and monitoring third party providers and their services.
4.4. UTS will regularly monitor its internal framework for the management of students under 18 years of age to ensure best practice and identify opportunities for continuous improvement.
5. Protocol statements
5.1.1 UTS will ensure that any agreements or requests related to a student under 18 years of age are authorised and co-signed by a parent/legal guardian, including but not limited to:
a) Application form
b) Acceptance form
c) Course transfer/Deferral/Release/Withdrawal requests
d) Field trips/activities occurring off campus
e) Changes to accommodation and welfare arrangements.
5.2. Acceptance criteria
5.2.1. Students under the age of 18 who intend to study at UTS must show evidence of adequate welfare and accommodation arrangements in Australia.
5.2.2. UTS will not issue a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) unless one of the following conditions are met:
a) Evidence that the Department of Home Affairs will be approving their chosen accommodation and welfare arrangement or
b) UTS has agreed to accept responsibility to provide welfare, support and accommodation arrangements by issuing a CAAW letter.
Note: the CAAW and CoE will be created together as the details of the CoE appear in the CAAW and vice versa.
5.3. UTS Provision of Welfare and Accommodation arrangements
5.3.1. Where UTS accepts responsibility for approving the accommodation, support and general welfare arrangements for a student who is under 18 years of age, UTS will:
a) Nominate the dates for which responsibility is accepted for providing accommodation, support and welfare arrangements.
b) Advise the Department of Home Affairs by issuing a CAAW letter via PRISMS.
c) Ensure any adults involved in or providing accommodation and welfare arrangements to the student all have working with children clearances (or equivalent).
d) Monitor and check the suitability of accommodation, support and welfare arrangements to the student’s age and needs prior to the accommodation being approved and at least every six months thereafter.
e) Have a process for managing critical incidents, emergency situations and when welfare arrangements are disrupted.
f) Maintain up-to-date records of the student’s contact details including details of the student’s parent(s), legal guardian or any adult responsible for the student’s welfare.
g) Advise the Department of Home Affairs via PRISMS of any change in accommodation arrangements, such as if the student will be cared for by a parent or nominated relative approved by the Department of Home Affairs.
h) Notify the Department of Home Affairs within 24 hours if it is no longer able to approve the student’s welfare arrangements.
i) Make reasonable effort to notify the student’s parents or legal guardians as soon as is practicable if UTS is no longer able to approve the welfare arrangements of a student.
j) Continue welfare responsibility where a student’s enrolment is terminated, suspended or cancelled until the student leaves Australia or is accepted by another provider who will issue a new CAAW letter.
5.3.2. By issuing a CAAW letter UTS does not take over legal responsibility for the student. The parent/legal guardian remains at all times legally responsible for the student.
5.4. Obligations for students under 18 on a CAAW
5.4.1. Where UTS issues a CAAW to a student, the student must:
a) Not arrive in Australia prior to the commencement date listed on the CAAW. Arriving prior to this date would be in breach of the student’s visa conditions and may result in visa cancellation by the Department of Home Affairs.
b) Advise UTS of their arrival details in Sydney.
c) Use UTS-approved airport transfer to their booked accommodation.
d) Remain in UTS-approved accommodation until they turn 18 years of age.
e) Update current contact details including those of their parent/legal guardian.
f) Comply with applicable UTS policies and procedures, as well as any applicable third party policies and procedures.
g) Attend all appropriate orientation relating to their accommodation and welfare services.
h) Not change their accommodation and welfare arrangements without approval from UTS and their parent/legal guardian.
i) Ensure all fees relating to accommodation and welfare services are paid on time.
j) Comply with curfew requirements.
k) Not stay overnight outside their approved accommodation without prior approval.
5.5. Third party arrangements
5.5.1. UTS has nominated its partner provider Insearch (Insearch Limited) to provide the administration, selection, allocation and monitoring of accommodation and welfare arrangements to students under 18 years of age, on behalf of UTS. Insearch may engage the services of other third parties for the arrangement and provision of accommodation and welfare services.
5.5.2. Where UTS engages third parties to organise and monitor the provision of accommodation, support and general welfare arrangements, UTS will:
a) Have an agreement in place with any third party providers outlining responsibilities and duties.
b) Regularly monitor the services and practices to ensure they are appropriate to the student’s age and needs and their practices comply with legislative requirements and UTS policies and procedures.
5.5.3. UTS will ensure that students are provided with any relevant third party policies and procedures.
5.6. Critical incident and emergency situations
5.6.1. UTS is committed to responding effectively to critical incidents and emergency situations involving students under the age of 18. Staff and students must refer to the UTS Critical Incident Plan. Critical incidents may include but are not limited to:
a) Missing students
b) Severe verbal or psychological aggression
c) Death, serious injury or any threat of these
d) Natural disaster
e) Issues such as domestic violence, sexual assault, drug or alcohol abuse
f) Non-life threatening events could still qualify as critical incidents.
g) Breach of Australian Law
5.6.2. UTS will provide students with an orientation and access to relevant information containing details on:
a) Who to contact in emergency situations, including contact numbers of a nominated staff member and/or service provider to UTS.
b) Seeking assistance and reporting any incident or allegation involving actual or alleged sexual, physical or other abuse.
5.6.3. Where students utilise Insearch accommodation and welfare services, Insearch will handle any critical incidents that occur off campus in accordance with its own critical incident policy. Where Insearch engages a third party to assist in the provision of accommodation and welfare responsibilities, it will ensure the third party’s critical incident processes are in line with Insearch’s own policy. Insearch will keep UTS informed of any critical incidents, provide ongoing updates and resolution.
5.7. Suspension, cancellation and transfer of enrolment
5.7.1. Where UTS is the appointed welfare provider and approves a release request, suspends or cancels the enrolment of a student, UTS will continue to approve the welfare arrangements for that student until any of the following applies:
a) The student has alternative welfare arrangements approved by another registered provider
b) Care of the student by a parent or nominated relative is approved by the Department of Home Affairs
c) The student leaves Australia
d) UTS has notified the Department of Home Affairs under Standard 5.3.6 of the National Code that it is no longer able to approve the student’s welfare arrangements or under Standard 5.5 that it has taken the required action after not being able to contact the student.
5.8. Students transferring to UTS
5.8.1. Where UTS receives an application from a student under 18 years of age who has welfare arrangements approved by another registered provider, UTS will:
a) Negotiate the transfer date for welfare arrangements with the releasing registered provider to ensure there is no gap
b) Inform the student of their visa obligation to maintain their current welfare arrangements until the transfer date, or have alternate welfare arrangements approved or return to their home country until the new approved welfare arrangements take effect.
5.9. Withdrawal of accommodation and welfare provisions
5.9.1 UTS reserves the right to withdraw approval for accommodation, welfare and support where the student breaches the following terms:
a) Student does not conduct themselves in accordance with UTS and any applicable third party policies and procedures
b) Student refuses to maintain UTS-approved accommodation and welfare arrangements.
5.10. Complaints and appeals
5.10.1 Students may access the UTS Complaints and Appeals Procedure for International students. UTS will continue providing welfare and accommodation arrangements to the student until the complaints and appeals process is finalised.
5.10.2 Where the complaints/appeal is related to welfare and accommodation services provided by a third party UTS will liaise with the third party to investigate and resolve any issues.
5.10.3 Students may make a complaint/appeal directly to a third party provider. In such instances, these will be handled in accordance with the third party’s policies and procedures. The third party will keep UTS informed of any complaints/appeal received.
6. Related legislation
- Migration Regulations 1994 (opens an external site)
- National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018 (opens an external site)
- Child Protection (Working With Children) Act 2012 (opens an external site)
- Child Protection (Working with Children) Regulation 2013 (opens an external site)
- ESOS Act 2000 (opens an external site)