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How the government will overhaul VET loans

AAP logoAAP 5/10/2016


* Existing VET FEE-HELP loans program will be shut down at end of 2016.

* New VET Student Loans program starts from 2017.

* Tougher restrictions on courses, loan caps and student engagement requirements start mid-2017.

* Compulsory review of new scheme after 12 months.

* Government loans will only be offered for courses giving qualifications for jobs listed on at least two state lists of skills shortages.


* Loans capped at $5000, $10,000 or $15,000 depending on cost of delivering course (based on NSW independent pricing regulator's baseline).

* Government says the caps should lead to lower fees.

* Require students to log-in to and engage with a VET Student Loans online portal to prove active enrolment.

* Students getting VET FEE-HELP loans and who will continue study in 2017 need to register with the education department by February to have arrangements grandfathered, otherwise they'll have to reapply for loans under the new scheme.

* Students looking to start study in 2017 will be able to check the skills lists now to see if their course is likely to be eligible for a loan.


* Providers wanting to offer loans have to show good industry relationships, student completion rates, employment outcomes and track record as education institutions.

* Government will pay providers in arrears.

* New government powers to cap total loan amounts and student numbers and limit course scope.

* Poor performing providers can be suspended from loans scheme and government can cancel payments and revoke approval.

* Ban on using recruitment brokers or directly soliciting prospective students.

* Public providers including TAFEs automatically eligible to offer loans but still face the tougher rules on enrolment numbers, loan caps and courses.

* All private providers have to reapply to offer government loans. Applications will open soon, before legislation passes parliament.

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