The Tuition Protection Service (TPS) assists higher education students whose education providers are unable to fully deliver their course of study.
On this page:
Closures and defaults
Australia has an excellent reputation for quality education. However, sometimes an education provider may close unexpectedly, fail to start a unit or course that students are enrolled in or stop offering a unit or course part-way through your higher education studies. Closing, failing to start, or stopping a unit or course part way through is called a default.
If your education provider defaults, the TPS may be able to help you. If your education provider has recently closed, please check our closures and defaults listings for specific information about the next steps you need to take.
Support for students
Your education provider is obliged to help you, even if it is closing.
Your provider must either:
- give you a refund of any up-front payments you made against the affected unit or re‑credit your HELP balance and cancel your HELP debt for any HECS‑HELP or FEE‑HELP loan(s) you used to pay for the affected unit(s)
- arrange for you to be offered a place in a suitable replacement unit or course.
If your provider does not offer you these options, the TPS can help you. The TPS can either help you continue your studies in a suitable replacement course or arrange a refund or a HELP balance re-credit.
When a providers defaults, the TPS contacts affected students and invites them to an information session where they can learn more about the assistance available from the TPS.
If you do not hear from us, you should first check your email spam/ junk folders. If you have not received an email you should contact us as soon as possible.
Contact the TPS
Things to request and gather
If your provider is open but will soon close or end your unit or course, you should discuss the situation directly with them, and request copies of:
- your academic transcript
- any completed units, competencies, modules, or assessments
- completed assessments, assignments, and work placements
- any other documents or emails that show parts of the course you were studying and had completed
- any invoices, receipts or correspondence relating to payments you made for your unit or course.
What to expect from your provider
Within 24 hours of the default you should receive written information containing:
- the date of their default
- the name of the course and units of study you were enrolled in
- a copy of your student transcript which includes units you already completed
- evidence of any payments the provider has received from you.
Continuing your studies with a replacement provider
If your current provider or the TPS finds a replacement course for you, you will need to contact the new provider. In your discussion with the replacement provider(s), you will need to talk about the suitability of the provider and the course. You will also need to take your academic transcript along with you.
Talking to your replacement provider
When talking to potential replacement providers, you should discuss:
- your current course progression
- which parts of the course you will receive credit for
- which parts of the course you will need to pay for (including additional costs, if any)
- the mode of delivery (on-campus, online, or blended delivery)
- the requirements and prerequisites for the course
- the expected timeframe to complete your studies with the replacement provider.
A replacement provider is required to grant you course credits for units of study you have successfully completed.
The academic and fee requirements of your replacement course may be higher than those of your original course. If this is the case, you may need to meet these requirements.
Getting a refund
The refund is the amount equal to the sum of any up-front payments made for the affected unit(s). To help determine the amount of pre-paid tuition fees which should be refunded to you, you should have:
- invoices/receipts of tuition fee payments
- bank statements displaying the payment of tuition fees.
Any other relevant correspondence which identifies the amount paid (e.g. an email or SMS between you and the provider).
Getting a HELP loan re-credit
The re-credited amount is equal to the amount of FEE-HELP or HECS‑HELP loan assistance you received for the affected unit(s). The amount is re‑credited to your HELP balance and your corresponding HELP debt will be cancelled for units you were unable to complete due to your provider’s default.
Health and wellbeing services
Closures can cause disruption and uncertainty for students. The Department of Health maintains a list of organisations, websites and services that offer support.
Making a complaint about your provider
If you have a complaint about your provider, we recommend contacting the provider first. All providers will have an internal complaints process.