As an approved VET Student Loan provider, TAFE Gippsland is required to have tuition assurance arrangements in place to protect enrolled students in the event that the Institute ceases the delivery of an approved VET Student Loan course before it is completed.
TAFE Gippsland’s Tuition Assurance Scheme Operator (TAS Operator) is TAFE Directors Australia:
In the event that TAFE Gippsland ceases to provide a course of study in which a student is enrolled and alternative arrangements cannot be made, the TAS Operator will offer affected students a replacement course with another provider which meets the relevant tuition assurance arrangements to be offered as a replacement course. The TAS Operator will provide this offer within twenty business days after it knows, or should know by reasonable enquiries, that TAFE Gippsland has ceased to provide the course of study.
A student in this circumstance may seek review of a decision about whether or not a course is a replacement course that meets the tuition assurance requirements.
A student who accepts the offer of a replacement course:
- will not be required to pay the Second Provider for the replacement components (that is, units that the student had commenced but not completed because the course ceased to be offered) of the replacement course; and
- will receive course credits for parts of the original course successfully completed with TAFE Gippsland.
It is important to note that the tuition fees for the remainder of the replacement course with the Second Provider may be different from the fees payable for the original course.
Students will have a period of 6 months in which to accept the offer for a replacement course. The TAS Operator may extend that period of 6 months in circumstances that justify an extension.
If there is no suitable replacement course for a student, the student’s FEE-HELP balance will be re-credited for the affected parts of the original course with TAFE Gippsland.
If the 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.
Tuition assurance protects students in the event a course provided by an approved VSL provider ceases to be provided after it starts but before it is completed. Affected students are offered a replacement course, sometimes with another provider, and where this is not possible, the students’ FEE‑HELP balance for the affected part of the course will be re-credited.
As an approved provider under the VET Student Loans Act 2016, TAFE Gippsland ABN: 42624574808 must be a party to an approved tuition assurance arrangement or have an approved exemption in place.
It is intended that, from 1 January 2018, TAFE Gippsland will be exempted from the requirement to be a party to an approved tuition assurance arrangement. Instead, TAFE Gippsland is required to comply with interim arrangements which ensure similar tuition assurance protection is provided to students.
This statement sets out the interim arrangements for tuition assurance that will apply from 1 January 2018 and TAFE Gippsland’s obligations from that date.
If any changes occur to the proposed arrangements outlined below, a revised statement will be provided on TAFE Gippsland’s website and advised to all students that have enrolled in the intervening period.
What happens if TAFE Gippsland ceases to provide a course after it starts but before it is completed?
TAFE Gippsland will notify affected students in writing that an approved course is no longer provided within two business days after TAFE Gippsland ceases to provide the course after it starts but before it is completed.
As soon as practicable, TAFE Gippsland will also update its website to reflect that the course is no longer being delivered and to give students information about the relevant tuition assurance arrangements.
TAFE Gippsland 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:
- The course must lead to the same or comparable qualification as the original course.
- The mode of delivery of the replacement course must be the same as or, with the student’s consent, similar to the mode of delivery for the original course;
- The location of the replacement course must be reasonable, having regard to the costs of, and the time required for, a student’s travel; and
- The student will not incur additional fees that are unreasonable and will be able to attend the replacement course without unreasonable impacts on the student’s prior commitments.
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:
- a copy of a statement of attainment or other Australian Qualifications Framework certification document issued by the course provider or an authorised issuing organisation in accordance with the Australian Qualifications Framework; or
- a copy of an authenticated VET transcript issued by the Student Identifiers registrar.
- Each affected student will have a period of six 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.
Where there is no suitable replacement course for a student, TAFE Gippsland will re-credit the student’s FEE-HELP balance for the affected parts of the original course. The amount re-credited will be equal to the amount of VET student loan used to pay tuition fees for the student for the course, or parts of the course.
For tuition fees paid up-front greater than $1500, TAFE Gippsland is a member of the TAFE Directors Australia (TDA) Tuition Assurance Scheme (TAS). Under the TDA TAS students may take up the option detailed under “Replacement courses” or be paid a refund of any prepaid fees for services yet to be delivered.
For tuition fees paid up-front below $1500, students should be aware that there is no formal protection in place and students will be responsible to seek a refund for these fees directly from TAFE Gippsland if TAFE Gippsland fails to provide the agreed services.
TAFE Gippsland has in place a withdrawal and refund policy. If the provider is under external administration, this may require the student submitting a proof of debt with the external administrator.
It is suggested best practice for students to retain assessments, records of competencies or statements of attainment that they receive from their education provider.