- Removal of Student Learning Entitlement in 2012
- Reduction to the HECS-HELP discount and HELP voluntary repayment bonus in 2012
- Changes to FEE-HELP loan fee for Commonwealth Supported student in 2011
- Post 2005 changes to HESA arrangements
Student Learning Entitlement (SLE) was introduced to Australia on 1 January 2005. The system allocated eligible students an Equivalent Full Time Study Load (EFTSL) value of 7.0, which entitled them to 7 years of equivalent full time study as Commonwealth Supported students. A student's SLE was reduced by the EFTSL value of their unit(s) of study.
On 14 September 2011 Parliament passed legislation which abolished SLE from 1 January 2012. Under the provisions of the Bill, higher education students will no longer have a limit placed on how much study they can undertake as a Commonwealth Supported student.
Continuing students need not be concerned by any limits formally placed on them by the operation of SLE. Students who have used up their SLE will now be able to re-enrol from 1 January 2012 to complete their studies as a Commonwealth Supported student or to undertake further study in a Commonwealth Supported place.
Further information about the abolition of the SLE system is available via the Australian Government's Study Assist website's glossary.
Please refer to the table below to see how SLE was previously converted to an EFTSL value based on Curtin credit points.
From 1st January 2012 the up-front HECS-HELP discount, which is provided to eligible students (Australian citizens and Permanent Humanitarian visa holders) by the Commonwealth when they make an up-front payment of their student contribution totalling $500 or more will now attract a 10% discount instead of the 20% discount offered pre-2012. This is in accordance with Federal legislation (the Higher Education Support Act 2003).
Please Note: the reduced discount is determined on the study period census date, not the date on which payment is made.
Therefore if you are enrolled in a study period with census dates in 2012 you will now attract the 10% discount if you wish to pay your student contribution up-front, and will be required to pay 90% of your student contribution amount.
The new amounts will be reflected in your Student eInvoice and within your eStudent My Finance tab.
In addition the HELP voluntary repayment bonus, applied to voluntary up-front payments of $500 or more made to the Australian Taxation Office, has been reduced from 10% to 5%.
The “Higher Education Support Amendment (FEE-HELP Loan Fee) Bill 2010” was passed in Parliament by the House of Representatives on 16th November and by the Senate on 18th November 2010. The affect of the change in legislation means that the loan fee for FEE-HELP increased from 20% to 25% for undergraduate units of study with census dates on or after the 1st January 2011.
Further information can be found in the FEE-HELP section of the Study Assist website.
From the 1st January 2005, the Commonwealth Government implemented a system of funding and administration for Higher Education. The reforms affect how the Government provides funding for universities and financially supports students, including the introduction of Commonwealth Learning Scholarships and the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP).
Transitional provisions are for students who began their course of study before 1st January 2005 and were under the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) or Postgraduate Education Loan Scheme (PELS). These transitional arrangements end on the 31st December 2008 and this means:
- Students who are in the transitional arrangement (Pre-97 and Pre-2005) will no longer be entitled to the lower fees; and
- New Zealand citizens or the holders of a permanent visa (other than a permanent humanitarian visa) will no longer be eligible for HELP loans for units of study that end after 31st December 2008.
In the 2007 Federal Budget, changes were made to increase the maximum student contribution amount for units of study in accounting, administration, economics and commerce.
These increases do not apply to pre-2008 students until the end of 2012.
In the 2008 Federal Budget, changes were made to reduce the maximum student contribution amount for units of study in mathematics, statistics and science.
The lower contribution amount will apply to students who commence their course on or after 1st January 2009 and some existing students who transfer from a course of study that is not in the natural and physical sciences to one that is. Current students (other than the transferring students described above) will continue under existing arrangements.
Pre-2008 students (see above) who transfer from a course of study that is not in the natural and physical sciences to one that is on or after 1 January 2009 are eligible to retain their Pre-2008 status for units of study in accounting, administration, economics and commerce as well as their Post-2008 status for mathematics, statistics and science units of study.
Please note: transitional arrangements for Pre-2008 students end in 2012.
For further information on the student contribution amount, please refer to the Unit Fees Calculator.