Australian Vocational Education and Training students who successfully obtain a VET Student Loan are now automatically covered by the Australian Government’s Tuition Protection Service.
The Tuition Protection Service (TPS) assists students whose education providers are unable to deliver their course of study. It was initially established in 2012 as a service for international students. From 1 January 2020, the service was expanded to include eligible domestic students accessing a VET Student Loan at a private education provider. The tuition protection arrangements are sector-funded and underpinned by a sustainable provider levy framework. The levy framework covers the long term costs of tuition protection by requiring all non-exempt VSL providers to pay levies, commensurate with their size and risk.
Information for affected students
Skills Lab will notify affected students in writing that an approved course of study is no longer provided within 2 business days after Skills Lab ceases to provide the course after it starts but before it is completed.
As soon as practicable, Skills Lab will also update its website to reflect that the course is no longer being delivered and to give students information about the tuition assurance arrangements.
The Commonwealth Department of Education and Training (the Department) (or a consultant engaged by the Department) will work with affected students to identify a replacement course and arrange for students to be placed with replacement providers.
Replacement courses must meet the following requirements:
Affected students will be offered a replacement course and may seek a review about whether the course offered to them meets the requirements for replacement courses.
A student who accepts the replacement course offered will not be required to pay the replacement provider for the replacement components of the replacement course. However, the fees payable for the remainder of the replacement course may be different from the fees payable for the original course.
A student who accepts the replacement course offered will also receive course credits for parts of the original course successfully completed by the student, as evidenced by:
Each affected student will have a period of six (6) months in which to accept the replacement course offer. The Department may extend that period in circumstances that justify an extension.
If an affected student enrols in a course that is not a replacement course, the student may be required to pay additional tuition fees, and might not receive the course credits the student would have received if the student had enrolled in a replacement course.
Re-crediting of students’ VET Student Loan balances
Where there is no suitable replacement course for a student, the Department (or a consultant engaged by the Department) will notify the student that he or she may apply to Skills Lab to have their VET Student Loan balance re-credited for the affected parts of the original course. The student may nominate the Department (or a consultant engaged by the Department) to make the application on the student’s behalf.
Skills Lab will consider students’ applications as soon as practicable and notify them of the decision about the application, together with a statement of reasons for the decision. If an application for a re-credit is accepted, the amount re-credited will be equal to the amount of VET Student Loan assistance received by the student for the affected VET units of study.
It is suggested best practice for students to retain assessments, records of competencies or statements of attainment that they receive from their education provider.