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Student support services

Education institutions in Australia are among some of the best in the world offering modern and innovative facilities that will ensure your time as a student is positive and valuable, preparing you for a successful career in your chosen field.

Student support forms a large part of Australia’s education system. Institutions take their responsibility to student welfare seriously. They provide specialist services to help international students adjust to life and study in Australia and to achieve their goals.

This includes student services such as:

  • language tuition;
  • designated international student advisers;
  • on-arrival reception and orientation programs; and
  • health, counselling, accommodation and employment services.

Many Australian education institutions are like mini communities, so not only will you be able to undertake your studies amid world-class learning facilities, you will also be able to enjoy the social side of studying as well. You can join a club or society, improve your health and fitness in the gym, join a sports team or attend a social event.

Australian education institutions offer a range of facilities including:

  • health and counselling;
  • student accommodation;
  • child care;
  • clubs and societies;
  • prayer and worships rooms;
  • career services;
  • banking, shopping and food outlets;
  • social clubs and events; and
  • sport and fitness facilities.

Student associations

Australia has a number of student associations representing and assisting students from Australian educational institutions.

National associations include:

  • Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA) www.capa.edu.au – protecting and promoting the interests of Australia’s postgraduate students; and
  • National Union of Students (NUS) www.unistudent.com.au – peak representative body of all tertiary students in Australia; and
  • Council of International Students Australia (CISA) www.cisa.edu.au- national peak student representative body for international students studying at the postgraduate, undergraduate, private college, TAFE, ELICOS and foundation level.

Other student representative bodies include:

  • Australian Federation of International Students (AFIS) www.internationalstudents.org.au – assisting international students in maximizing the scope and potential of their experience living and studying in Australia;
  • Australian Law Students Association (ALSA) www.alsa.net.au – peak representative body for law students in Australia;
  • Australian Medical Students Association (AMSA) www.amsa.org.au – peak representative body for Australian medical students; and
  • National Australian Pharmacy Students Association (NAPSA) www.napsa.org.au – represents the interests of undergraduate and masters student members studying at 11 universities across Australia.

Most educational institutions in Australia have their own student associations. For more information visit the student services section of your education institution.

Students with a disability

Australia has laws that protect individuals from discrimination in many areas of public life, including education. A person with a disability has just as much right to study at an educational institution as any other student. This means that education providers cannot:

  • refuse admission on the basis of disability;
  • accept a student with a disability on less favourable terms than other students (for example, asking for higher fees); and
  • deny or limit access to a student with a disability (for example, not allowing access to excursions, or having inaccessible student common rooms or lecture facilities).

Many institutions offer services for students who require assistance with their studies because of a disability or chronic medical condition. There may include voice-recognition software, hearing aids or note-taking services. You should contact your institution several weeks before you arrive to make the appropriate arrangements for your specific needs.

Institutions must make every effort to accommodate a student with a disability. However, the institution is not legally required to make modifications if the changes involve major difficulties or unreasonable cost. The institution has to prove the changes are unjustified and, before making such a claim, must have direct discussions with the student and seek expert advice.

If you are experiencing a problem with your provider, your first course of action should be to discuss it with them. If informal discussions do not resolve the problem, you have the option of lodging a formal complaint. Providers are required to have a process for students to register complaints.

If you feel you have a legitimate complaint that is not being recognised by your education provider, you should approach the Australian Human Rights Commission. Confidential enquiries can be made by telephone but a formal complaint must be lodged in writing before the commission can take action.

Read more about disability rights at:

 

 
     
 
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