By Janine Cameron - Compliance Manager PT National
on Thursday, 10 December 2015
  • Learning
  • Media Release

Media Release

10th December 2015

 

Cracking down on VET FEE-HELP!

For those that don’t know VET FEE-HELP is a loan scheme that helps eligible VET students pay their tuition fees for certain higher-level VET qualifications.

The number of students eligible for VET FEE-HELP increased by 90% between 2013 and 2014 – a jump from around 123,000 to approximately 234,100 (taken from Australian Government Department of Education VET FEE-HELP Statistical Report).

This statistic set the loans accessed in 2013 being $699 million to more than double the amount in 2014 $1,757. Since VET FEE-HELP was first introduced in 2009 a total of $3.1 billion in loans has been accessed by VET Students.

An eligible student may access VET FEE-HELP from a VET FEE Provider for VET qualifications at the following levels:

  • Diploma
  • Advanced diploma
  • Graduate certificate, and
  • Graduate diploma

 

There is a 20% loan fee which is applied to VET FEE-HELP loans for fee paying/fee for service students. The loan fee is 20 per cent of the tuition fees charged for your units of study – and it is calculated for each individual unit as you undertake your course. The loan fee is applied to each unit that is paid for with a VET FEE-HELP loan. For example, if you are undertaking a unit that costs $1,000 the loan fee is 20 per cent of $1,000 = $200. As such, your VET FEE-HELP debt for that unit will be the cost of the unit ($1,000) + the loan fee ($200) = $1,200.

This year, however, has seen the Australian Government introduce a range of reforms to improve the quality of VET industry to protect vulnerable students, taxpayers and the VET system’s reputation from a small number of unethical training providers (“Rorters”).

Because of these “rorts”, a recent Bill was passed through the House of Representatives where safeguards are now in place via auditing, monitoring and disciplinary action to ensure VET FEE-HELP Providers comply with all the new arrangements. These powers range from financial penalties and revoking a student’s unfair debt, to suspending or cancelling the Training Providers approval to offer VET FEE-HELP. This is evidence alone that the Government has had enough and is ready to crack down on the main offenders (of which there are plenty!).

At PT National, we do not offer VET FEE-HELP, nor are we going to apply in the short-term to be a Provider. These are the reasons why:-

  1. Each student is unique. We feel it is so important to screen each student’s personal situation to create the best payment solution for them. VET FEE-HELP is commonly not the best option to choose
  2. VET FEE-HELP is only being trialled for Certificate IV in particular industries. Our demographic of students mostly in the 18-25 year old market studying a Certificate III or Certificate IV, therefore they are ineligible to entertain VET FEE-HELP
  3. The new Fitness Training Package has endorsed a change to the Diploma of Fitness, this now ensures that in order to enrol in a Diploma you are required to have worked within the industry for one (1) year post completion of Certificate IV. Therefore, Diploma is ideal for those people who have years of experience and want to become more specialised. For our RTO VET FEE-HELP is a lot of administration and effort, for a small minority of students who are more than likely financial in their own right.

 

The VET as a private sector is so competitive as there are so many to choose from, therefore prices should be competitive to ensure that the student’s education is top priority, not the fees that can be generated from them.

We at PT National, want to ensure that students ask the question “Is VET FEE-HELP the right thing for their unique learning experience”? We want to ensure students know what the prices are up front and on a payment plan BEFORE they even entertain the idea of VET FEE-HELP – we want to ensure the ‘rorters’ are penalised for inflation of figures rather than Student’s becoming just another victim.

 

Media Contact

Janine Cameron
Compliance Manager PT National

0412 696 727
janine@ptnational.edu.au