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TAFE fees to rise in NSW

The Australian    |   16 May 2014

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TAFE NSWTAFE students in NSW face fee hikes of $500 or more next year, as the state government opens public funding  to students ta private providers.

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However, NSW will continue to control fees and training place numbers. The government rejected an Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal recommendation that it take steps towards fully deregulating fees, unlike the commonwealth which is removing controls on university fees.

Education Minister Adrian Piccoli said he had no intention of deregulating fees. He said that when other states had done so, costs to students had “either gone through the roof or through the floor”.

Piccoli said Victorian students had been offered iPads to enrol in free courses of dubious quality.

You do everyone a disservice if you spend lots of taxpayers’ money and have bad quality outcomes.

From January 2015, all NSW VET providers, public and private, will charge set fees and be eligible to receive the same government subsidies for about 740 different courses. Disadvantaged students will attract a 15% loading and TAFEs will receive extra funding to meet community service obligations.

The government said most course fees would rise by up to $500. Charges for advanced and high-cost training will increase more, but diploma students will have access to HECS-style loans. Fees for apprentices will rise from about $1770 to $2000.

The NSW Teachers Federation said the higher fees would keep young people out of apprenticeships, while struggling adults hoping to break into the workforce would be reluctant to take out loans.

The Australian Council for Private Education and Training said the reforms were “modest”. CEO Claire Field said the government should fund colleges based on where students chose to study, rather than bureaucrats’ judgments of colleges’ capacity.

See
Smart & skilled – fees and charges – overview

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