Tuition Protection and Provider Default

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What is tuition protection?

‘Tuition protection’ refers to the protections and assistance available to support VET Student Loans (VSL) students, in the event that their education provider defaults (ceases delivering their course or closes entirely).

The Australian Government’s Tuition Protection Service (TPS) provides tuition protection assistance for domestic students accessing a VSL, FEE‑HELP or HECS‑HELP loan at a private education provider, and international students.

Students

In the event of a provider default, VSL students will be supported to continue their studies in an equivalent or similar course. In some circumstances, students may be entitled to receive a loan re-credit for parts of the course commenced but not completed.

If you are a VSL student whose provider has closed or ceased delivering a course, you may be eligible to access tuition protection assistance. Please visit  Tuition Protection Service for more information.

If you were a VET FEE‑HELP student whose provider closed, the VET Student Loans Ombudsman (VSLO) is best placed to assist you. Please visit the Commonwealth Ombudsman for more information or call the VSLO on: 1300 362 072 (select option 2).

Support provided for other (non-loans) VET students impacted by a provider closure

Domestic students accessing state funding or subsidies: please contact your state or territory’s Department of Education.

Domestic VET students who paid up-front or gap payments to a provider: information to help you understand your next steps can be found on Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) – Provider closures.

Providers

All non-exempt VSL providers are required to participate in the VSL Tuition Protection arrangements. The VSL Tuition Protection arrangements impose obligations and requirements on providers; and provide support and protections for VSL students in the event their private education provider defaults.

The VSL Tuition Protection arrangements are sector-funded and underpinned by a sustainable provider levy framework. The levy framework - developed by the Australian Government Actuary - will cover the long-term costs of tuition protection by requiring all non-exempt VSL providers to contribute annual levies commensurate with their size and risk.

The Australian Government waived the 2020 VSL Tuition Protection Levy as a COVID-19 pandemic relief measure for providers. In lieu of the Levy collection, the Australian Government provided $2.7 million in to the VSL TPS Fund, to ensure protection for VSL students continues to be maintained.

Further information for providers is available on Tuition Protection Service or in the VET Student Loans Manual for Providers.

Exempt Providers

TAFEs and other Government-owned providers are exempt from the VSL Tuition Protection arrangements, with the exception of obligations relating to providing information about replacement courses and obligations of replacement providers. Exempt providers, with the exception of ‘Table A’ Universities, are required to provide tuition protection support and assistance to their students in the event they default.