International Student Program

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Purpose of this policy

To ensure all international students receive a high quality education in a safe learning environment within government schools accredited to provide education services to international students.

There are five categories of international students who may enrol in a government school.

  • Standard: full fee paying students
  • Study Abroad: shorter term study option
  • Temporary: students who are visiting Australia on a temporary basis, e.g. as tourists
  • Dependent: children of persons, usually as tertiary students, who are in Australia
  • Exempt: these students are exempt from paying tuition and related fees. The categories for exemption are identified in the Ministerial Order based on their purpose of stay and contribution to Victoria. This includes AusAid or Defence Sponsored Scholarship holders.


This table describes policies for the International Student Program (ISP).



Victorian Government schools

  • be accredited to enrol standard and study abroad international students
  • be audited at least once during each four year accreditation period.

Accreditation is not required to enrol Temporary or Dependent students. Exempt students may be enrolled directly. 

For the accreditation policy and registration requirements see: Department resources

International students

  • submit a complete application form
  • receive an offer of a place in a Victorian Government school
  • pay relevant, published fees (as specified by Ministerial Order)
  • comply with their student visa conditions.

International Student Program Quality Standards

Schools should refer to the Quality Standards for comprehensive information on the legislative framework, policies, procedures and guidelines relating to the International Student Program. The Quality Standards have been developed to support government schools accredited to provide education services to overseas students.

See: ISP Quality Standards 

Intensive English Language Program (IELP) Guide and Guidelines

The IELP Guide provides comprehensive and useful information to support government schools in effectively delivering Intensive English Language Programs to international students.

The IELP Guidelines provide guidance to accredited government schools so that they can provide a high quality Intensive English Language Programs to international students.

The IELP Guidelines and Guide provide advice to schools seeking to establish a new Intensive English Language Program for international students.

Training for International Student Coordinators (ISC)

The International Student Coordinator Mentoring Program aims to increase the capacity of ISCs in government schools. The ISCs play a critical role in influencing the quality of the International Student Program. Accordingly, the potential and ability to perform this role at a high level of capability is a planning and professional learning priority.

See: ISC Mentoring Program

Related policies

Related legislation

  • Education, Training and Reform Act 2006
  • Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000
  • Migration Act 1958
  • National Code 2007

Department resources

For full details see: