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What’s the objection to VET FEE-HELP cap?

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The ALP’s proposal to cap VET FEE-HELP loans at $8,000 has been criticised as “arbitrary” and “too low”. People ought to read the policy before criticising it: it actually allows for an exemption when a higher fee can be justified.

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So what’s wrong with that? Providers ought to be allowed to charge unjustifiably high fees and sling the cost off to the taxpayer?

Here’s a couple of facts and figures to ponder.

Course tuition fees have increased from an average of $4,060 in 2009 to $14,018 in 2015 and average loans per student have more than doubled from $4,861 in 2009 to $10,739 in 2015. Most of this growth has occurred since 2012. For example, average tuition fees grew from $5,917 in 2012 to $14,018 in 2015

Information technology diplomas cost an average $18,735 a year, hospitality diplomas $16,982 and management diplomas $15,493.

By way of contrast, the annual domestic student fee for a university degree in law or commerce in 2016 is $10440.

The discussion paper on redesigning VET FEE-HELP released by the government also canvasses a cap as an option.

QED re a VET FEE-HELP cap?  You might query the level of the cap as TDA has done but to just oppose a cap on principle, as ACPET seems to have done flies in the face of facts and recent history.

 

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TDA cautions against capping loans for TAFE students

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TAFE Directors Australia (TDA) has welcomed the federal opposition’s plan to find savings from the poorly administered VET FEE-HELP loan scheme, with the overwhelming amount of funds flowing to private colleges.

A number of unscrupulous private colleges have taken advantage of the system, with some colleges referred to police and ASIC, after thousands of students did not complete courses and were left with large debts or qualifications of dubious quality.

However, TDA had not been consulted on Labor’s additional idea to cap VET FEE-HELP student loans at $8,000 per year. TDA expressed concern at the inflexibility this entails for varying levels of course style and scope.

 

 

VET FEE-HELP cap “unfair”

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The Australian Labor Party last week released its policy on VET FEE HELP reform.

Unfortunately, students and good quality training providers will be the victims of the unfair training loan caps announced. Labor announced it would impose a price, with no reference to market forces, of $8000 a year on the sector.

Across Australia every day when given a choice students are overwhelmingly choosing to study at private training colleges in their pursuit for innovation, flexibility and best practice.

The amount of $8,000 appears to be a totally random number and without evidence to support its selection. The release unfairly compares the cost of heavily subsidised TAFE training, where all infrastructure costs are paid by State and Territory Governments with those of private training providers.

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