The Australian Government is committed to increasing productivity, addressing skills shortages and assisting with the cost of studying. One of the measures that achieves these goals is the availability of the VET FEE-HELP student loan scheme.
VET FEE-HELP is a student loan scheme for the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector that is part of the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP). VET FEE-HELP assists eligible students undertaking certain VET courses of study (diploma, advanced diploma, graduate certificate and graduate diploma courses) with an approved VET provider, to pay for all or part of their tuition costs. A VET provider is a registered training organisation who has been approved by the Australian Government to offer VET FEE-HELP assistance to their students.
National Extension of VET FEE-HELP
Under the National Partnership Agreement on Skills Reform, VET FEE-HELP will be extended to subsidised students across all States and Territories over the next few years.
Following agreement reached between the Commonwealth and States and Territories at the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting on 13 April 2012, all States and Territories that have an agreed implementation plan in place will be an eligible State or Territory for the purposes of enabling access to income contingent loans for state government subsidised students. This will mean that approved VET FEE HELP providers in eligible States and Territories will be able to offer VET FEE-HELP to their subsidised students.
The Commonwealth will work closely with officials from States and Territories to develop their Implementation Plans by 2014.
What do these changes mean for students?
- The extension of VET FEE-HELP to State and Territory subsidised students will mean greater access to education for students who cannot pay their tuition fees up front.
- Subsidised students studying in an eligible State or Territory will not be required to pay the 20% loan fee that applies to full fee paying / fee for service students.
Note: Full fee paying / fee for service students are still required to pay the 20% loan fee.
What do these changes mean for RTOs?
- Greater access to VET FEE-HELP, removing the financial barriers to study is intended to increase enrolments and completions in diploma and advanced diploma qualifications.
If you would like to find out more about the VET FEE-HELP extension in your State or Territory, contact the Department of Education in your State or Territory.
Note: this information is subject to change. Please refer to TSEnquiries@innovation.gov.au if more updated information is required.
HELP IT system (HITS)
The Department has embarked on the development of an integrated IT system for VET and higher education sectors. The new HELP IT system (HITS) will replace the current VET IT System (VITS) from late May 2013. HITS will cater for HELP provider applications from higher education and VET providers and on-going compliance requirements for those providers approved to offer HELP under the Higher Education Support Act 2003. [Note: HITS does not change any current HEIMS collections].
Some of the enhancements to the new system include:
- Inpidual user accounts;
- Provider notifications;
- On-going provider milestone reporting; and the
- Functionality to order HELP publications.
For further information about HITS, please find below the monthly HITS newsletters and security cover letter. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the department at TSEnquiries@innovation.gov.au.
Discussion Paper: Redesign of the VET FEE-HELP Scheme
Submissions to the discussion paper are closed
The department released a discussion paper; 'Redesign of the VET FEE-HELP Scheme'. The discussion sought feedback from interested parties on the proposed redesign elements of the VET FEE-HELP Scheme which incorporates findings from the Post Implementation Review of the VET FEE-HELP Assistance Scheme Final Report.
Post Implementation Review of the VET FEE-HELP Assistance Scheme
The 'Post Implementation Review of the VET FEE-HELP Assistance Scheme' has been released.
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