Media Release: Ahn Highly Commended In Latest Senate Inquiry

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18th May 2010, 05:39pm - Views: 668





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Press Release from the Office Of The Australian Homestay Network

For Immediate Release

18/05/10

AHN Highly Commended In Latest Senate Inquiry

The findings of a senate inquiry into the welfare of international students have commended

the Australian Homestay Network (AHN) on its dedication to ensuring appropriate industry

standards are met. 


AHN is be the only national network of homestay and is responsible for the largest trained

homestay host pool and homestay placements in Australia. 


The Inquiry also ran in conjunction with an Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS)

legislation review released in February.

The industry was found as requiring higher regulation of benchmarks in fields including

accommodation, safety, insurance, orientation and induction.

The push for these types of reviews and inquiries has come after numerous incidents,

including recent raids by the Brisbane City Council in which police discovered numerous

international students living in overcrowded and sub-standard conditions.

In one such instance, 37 students were found living in a single Sunnybank house in Brisbane

during a raid by the Brisbane City Council.

CEO of AHN, Bryan Vadas said he was not surprised by the find, as AHN has been made

aware of numerous situations of this kind.

“We are in a period of great change, whereby a largely unregulated and traditionally cottage

industry allowed operators to conduct business with little requirement for compliance to

standards of Student welfare. 

“Homestay providers were allowed to post details of Host families for students to contact

directly with little regard for their safety and general welfare,” said Vadas

Groups such as AHN have been working closely with education institutions and industry

networks in order to improve these benchmarks and tighten industry standards.

Damian Haber, owner of The Pad Management, one of the largest student accommodation

service providers in Brisbane, Queensland, feels that the key concern is that whilst much of

the focus to date has been on attracting students to our educational institutions to

undertake study, there has been a corresponding marked increase in the demand for

suitable accommodation.

This has lead to undesirable outcomes in some cases for the industry due mainly to a lack of

adequate tailored management services as well as anomalies that exist in the current

regulatory framework.

“Our market research shows that the cost of accommodation is typically the next largest

component to a student’s overall budget behind tuition fees and affordability or value for

money as well as diversity of housing choice is something that students are demanding

more of to better experience the Australian culture,” said Haber

“In this regard, whilst location, standard and facilities are important to a prospective

student tenant, the rental cost remains a high priority.”

The AHN system has successfully bridged the gap in communication and processes for hosts,

students and education institutions by providing a professional, fully accountable and

auditable system for all involved, as per the ESOS requirements.

“Our program is one in which hosts are interviewed and thoroughly checked out prior to

going live on our system,” said Vadas.

“The on line system is a state of the art tool which allows full auditing for the protection and

well being of both Hosts and Students. 

“All of this is provided with full 24/7 telephone support and comprehensive insurances to

cover the concerns and possible incidents that may arise from time to time.”


ENDS


For more information, contact

Bryan Vadas

AHN CEO

bvadas@homestaynetwork.org

07 5591 3322






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