Tuition Protection Service - International

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Student TPS Overview

COVID-19 Information

The TPS understands that the current COVID-19 situation may be concerning for some students and providers. Providers and students are encouraged to stay up-to-date on current advice, and consider flexible approaches to support the continuity of education and training delivery.

Information for students and providers about COVID-19 is available on the Department of Education, Skills and Employment's website.

Summary of the TPS

The Tuition Protection Service (TPS) is an initiative of the Australian Government to assist international students whose education providers are unable to fully deliver their course of study. The TPS ensures that international students are able to either:

  • complete their studies in another course or with another education provider or
  • receive a refund of their unspent tuition fees.

Australia has a well established international education sector with over 1200 education providers delivering a high quality education to international students. For many years now Australia has been a world leader in protecting the tuition fees of international students studying in Australia on a student visa. Recent changes to the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act have further strengthened protections for international students through the introduction of the Tuition Protection Service (TPS).

In the unlikely event your education provider is unable to deliver a course you have paid for and does not meet their obligations to either offer you an alternative course that you accept or pay you a refund of your unspent prepaid tuition fees (this is called a provider's 'default obligations'), the TPS will assist you in finding an alternative course or to get a refund if a suitable alternative is not found.

How does it work?

How does it work for international students

Download the PDF version: TPS process overview for students

Step 1

  • Your education provider stops providing or does not start providing your course as agreed and does not meet their default obligations.
  • The TPS contacts you and creates an account for you.

Step 2

  • Register with or log-on to the TPS and provide proof of identity.

Step 3

  • The TPS online system will assist you to find options for completing your study in Australia.

Step 4

  • Accept preferred suitable offer.
  • You commence study as agreed.
  • TPS transfers any unspent pre-paid tuition fees to your new provider.


  • If there are no suitable alternative courses or offers, you may apply for a refund of the amount of any unspent pre-paid tuition fees you have paid the provider. These are any tuition fees you have already paid that are directly related to the course which you haven't yet received. Any remaining unspent tuition fees are refunded to you. Note: Ceasing study may affect your visa. Contact the Department of Home Affairs on 131 881 for assistance.

Note: The step by step process described above is for guidance purposes only and to the extent that it is inconsistent with the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (the ESOS Act) the ESOS Act prevails. Providers should not rely on this step by step process description alone and must read the requirements in the ESOS Act.

For more comprehensive information see the printable version of the brochure: Are you an international student studying in Australia on a student visa?