The Australian Government has announced changes to the VET FEE-HELP student loans scheme which provides students with loans to cover the cost of Diploma and Advanced Diploma courses.

Following some cases in which this scheme has allegedly been misused, a series of new reforms have been introduced

  • Banning inducements to students under the VET FEE-HELP scheme – from 1 April RTO’s will no longer be able to offer cash, meals, prizes, vouchers or laptops and other similar inducements to attract students.
  • Tightening VET marketing and recruitment practices – RTO’s will not be able to market training as free or government funded and clearly communicate to potential students that they are taking out a loan.
  • Improving the understanding of how VET FEE-HELP operates, and students’ rights and obligations – clearly communicating to students the information and obligations surrounding VET FEE-HELP. The Study Assist website will be updated with new information
  • Streamlining the debt waiver and revocation processes for students under VET FEE-HELP – it will be easier for students to remove a debt that was entered into inappropriately and training providers will be more accountable to repaying debt arising from poor recruitment and management practices – implemented from 1 January 2016.
  • Strengthening the assessment of criteria for, and ongoing scrutiny of, all training providers – increased emphasis on assessing compliance with the VET Guidelines.
  • Ensuring Continuous improvement in student participation and outcomes – from 1 July 2015 a minimum number of units will be introduced, student satisfaction levels and training outcomes will be reported through the MySkills website –
  • Establishing minimum pre-requisite and prior education qualifications, including demonstrated literacy and numeracy requirements – training providers will need to assess individuals against entry requirements and prove that this assessment has taken place.

Download VET FEE-HELP Fact Sheet