AAET logo

WARNING ISSUED TO INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

The Hon. Andrew Stoner MP
Deputy Premier of NSW Minister for Trade and Investment 
Minister for Regional Infrastructure and Services 
 
 
MEDIA RELEASE 
 
WARNING ISSUED TO INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
 
The NSW Government and the education sector have issued a warning to international students in relation to the activities of the Overseas Students Association (OSA), a subsidiary of the National Liaison Committee (NLC). 
 
Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade & Investment Andrew Stoner said the NSW Government, through a strong partnership with the education sector, was determined to ensure the safety and welfare of international students. 
 
“The OSA is purporting to represent international students in NSW, however, it is not supported or recognised by the NSW Government, education providers,industry peak bodies or international student organisations,” Mr Stoner said. 
 
“We have acted swiftly to protect our international students with a co-ordinated response across Government and the education sector to the activities of the OSA which have raised some serious concerns. 
 
“This warning offers sound advice to international students regarding the OSA and confirms that the Council of International Students Australia (CISA) is recognised as the representative body for international students in NSW. 
 
“NSW values international students and we are honoured that they opt to study in our state at our fine educational institutions. 
 
“We are determined to ensure they can study, work and play in a safe and friendly environment.” 
 
Convenor of the Vice-Chancellors' Committee, Professor Caroline McMillen, said the 11 universities in NSW have come together to tackle shared concerns about the activities of the OSA on their campuses. 
 
“We do not recognise the OSA as an organisation operating in the best interests of international students,” Professor McMillen said. 
 
“The OSA has disrupted student elections, there have been many reports of threatening and bullying behaviour, and some OSA representatives have been banned from campuses. 
 
“We welcome coordinated action across Government and the education sector to protect the interests of our international students.”
 
CISA National President Thomson Ch’ng said the international education sector recognised that CISA was the national peak body for international students. 
 
“CISA has contributed enormously to the international student community over the past three years,” Mr Ch’ng said.
 
“Universities, colleges and TAFE know that the OSA and NLC do not serve the interests of international students. I hear reports from students about the intimidating behaviour of NLC representatives. I personally have received intimidating calls. 
 
“Unfortunately many international students do not know that the OSA is not a genuine international student body. 
 
“That's why this statement is so important. It's brought the whole sector together to warn international students that the OSA is not recognised or supported by Government, CISA or education providers.” 
 
STUDENT WARNING ATTACHED 
 
Other Trade & Investment media releases can be found 
 
Warning to international students: Overseas Students Association 
 
 
The NSW Government and the international education sector have issued a warning to international students in relation to the activities of the Overseas Students Association (OSA), a subsidiary of the National Liaison Committee (NLC). 
 
The OSA purports to be the national peak body for international students in Australia. However, its practices raise serious concerns. 
 
The NSW Government, education providers, industry peak bodies and international student organisations do not support the OSA and NLC and they are not recognised as bodies representing international students in NSW. 
 
International students are advised of the following: 
 
• The Council of International Students Australia (CISA) is recognised as the representative body for international students in NSW. CISA is in no way associated with the OSA and NLC. 
 
• CISA has received numerous reports from students who allege they have been harassed and intimidated by OSA representatives. 
 
• The NLC and OSA do not have the support of any NSW university or their student associations. The use of NSW universities’ logos on the OSA website is not approved and infringes trademark rights. 
 
• The collection of student visa and passport information on NSW university campuses to obtain the OSA Safety Card is strongly discouraged, and in most cases prohibited
 
• The OSA Safety Card is promoted on the OSA website as a program that supports international students who experience a threat to their safety. Holding an OSA Safety Card does not deliver any immediate additional benefits for international students when dealing with NSW Police. International students should ring Police directly to report crimes and if it is urgent, call 000. 
 
• Students concerned about requests for visa or passport information should report their concerns immediately to their international student support centre. 
 
• The OSA website carries the NSW Government logo without approval. This infringes the Government's trademark rights and implies that the OSA Safety Card is endorsed by the NSW Government. The NSW Government does not provide any support, 
either financial or in-kind, to the OSA. 
 
• The OSA website carries false information about discounts for OSA Safety Card holders to NSW cultural institutions. The Art Gallery of NSW, the Powerhouse Museum, the Australian Museum and Sydney Living Museum expressly refused requests from the OSA for these discounts and therefore they are not available to Safety 
Card holders. 
 
• NSW Fair Trading is carrying out a comprehensive investigation into this and other possible breaches of Australian consumer laws by the OSA. 
 
Any international student seeking assistance should contact their 
education provider or CISA - secretariat@cisa.edu.au.
 
This statement is issued and supported by the following organisations: 
 
 
Council of International Students 
Australia 
NSWGovernment 
National Union of Students 
NSW Police Force 
 
University of Sydney
NSW Department of Educationand Communities 
 
University of New South Wales 
 
 
Powerhouse Museum 
 
University of Technology, Sydney Australian Museum
University of Western Sydney
Historic Houses Trust 
 
University of Wollongong Art Gallery of NSW
University of Newcastle 
English Australia
University of New England 
Australian Council of Private Education & Training
Macquarie University
 
Universities Australia 
 
Charles Sturt University
Council of Australian Postgraduate 
Associations 
 
Southern Cross University 
 
ISANA
Australian Catholic University
International Education Association of Australia

 

 

Go Back

For more information on how you can register with AAET, click here

Australian Agency for Education & Training | Ph: +61 3 9629 2677 | PO BOX 180 Melbourne, Victoria 8007 Australia
English Arabic www.iliadint.com