Choosing the agent that's right for you
If you’ve decided to use an education agent to help with the process of organising your studies in Australia, it is important that you choose the education agent that is right for you.
Speak to more than one agent – collect and compare information.
Use an agent who specialises in Australia, if possible – they will have a good knowledge of the Australian education system, visas and life in Australia.
Go to the Pier Online website – it has a list of qualified agents in your country. See if the agent has completed the Education Agents Training Course: http://www.pieronline.org/qeac/. Sometimes, however, agents may not have done the course but they are well established and have a lot of experience as an education agent. You can always ask them for references.
Ask for a summary of the costs – make sure you know what you are paying for. If an agent doesn’t charge you a fee they will receive a commission from the education institution and may recommend only this institution when advising you.
Signing up to study
You must sign a written agreement** with the education provider before you pay any course money.
The written agreement is a contract between you and the education provider which sets out the course you will be enrolled in; enrolment conditions; the fees you need to pay, and the refund payable if you don’t complete your course with that provider.
**The written agreement is very important –if you don’t start your course, or finish your course, this written agreement will be used to determine if you will receive a refund.
- Read the written agreement carefully before you sign it.
- Make sure that you understand all your rights, including the refund arrangements.
- DO NOT sign the written agreement or pay the agent any money if you are not happy with any of the terms of the agreement.
- DO NOT sign the agreement just because the agent tells you to sign it.
- DO NOT use an education agent who asks you to sign the agreement without reading it.
- DO obtain a copy of the written agreement and any other papers you sign. You will need this copy so that you are aware of your rights. You will also need the written agreement if you have to make a claim against the provider.
DO NOT make any payments to the agent until you have read and signed the written agreement. Avoiding unreliable agents Sometimes, in order to increase their business, agents may give false information about how you can obtain permanent residency in Australia, and the availability of well paid jobs in Australia. Avoid agents who make these claims.
Avoiding unreliable agents
DO NOT use agents who guarantee that you will obtain a student visa, or permanent residency. The Australian Government assesses all applications for student visas and permanent residence. Agents cannot make sure that you will obtain these.
DO NOT use agents who guarantee that you will obtain highly paid work in Australia. Whether or not you obtain work will depend upon the availability of work and your skills. High salaries are usually only available to highly skilled applicants.
The Ministry of Tertiary Education, Science, Research and Technology in Mauritius maintains an updated list of local education agents and you may consult their website for further information: http://tertiary.gov.mu
If you need migration advice use a migration agent who is registered in Australia. Many Registered Migration Agents are located overseas or have representatives in key international student markets. DO NOT use education agents for migration advice, unless they are also Registered Migration Agents.