Measures to rein in rorters

Commonwealth    |    3 December 2015

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New rules to better protect students in the vocational education and training sector will come into effect from 1 January 2016 with the passage of the Higher Education Amendment (VET FEE-HELP Reform) Bill 2015..

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regulatory-jigsaw5These changes include:

  • that training providers must ensure they are not signing up students for a VET FEE-HELP loan at the same time as they are being enrolled in a course
  • providers must assess the student’s capacity to undertake the course for which they are enrolling
  • stronger safeguards for under 18 year old students so that they cannot be signed up for a VET FEE-HELP loan without parental consent, and
  • it will be easier for a student to have their debt cancelled where they have been signed up for a loan inappropriately and for the Government to recoup the cost from training providers.

The legislation also includes further measures to tighten the VET FEE-HELP scheme ahead of the introduction of a new model in 2017 including:

  • freezing the total loan limit for existing  VET FEE-HELP providers to 2015 levels
  • introducing new entry requirements for registered training organisations seeking to become a VET FEE-HELP provider
  • moving from payment in advance to payment in arrears for certain training providers, and
  • pausing payments to training providers for new enrolments until concerns about poor performance are addressed.
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