JobReady Higher Education Legislative Package Review

Date —

11 September 2020

Education Sector/s —
Higher Education

Summary —

The Australian Government has introduced into the Australian Parliament the Education Support Amendment (Job Ready Graduates and Supporting Regional and Remote Students) Bill 2020. The legislation has been referred to the a committee for review and, after member consultation, the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA) has advised the committee that it supports proposed reforms to reduce the FEE-HELP student loan tax, changes to the funding of higher education courses, enhanced student protection measures.

Key Issues —

The Bill represents a significant reform of higher education funding arrangements and it was in this context that the Senate referred it to the Standing Committee on Education and Employment for review. ITECA, as the peak body representing independent providers in the higher education, vocational education, training and skills sector, was invited by the committee to tender a response.

In a detailed submission to the Senate inquiry, ITECA has advised that it recognises the direction the Australian Government is taking to significantly reform aspects of the Australian higher education funding and policy framework. ITECA’s advice was that the direction set out in the Bill is broadly supported by ITECA. Some key issues identified by ITECA are as follows:.


ITECA Advocacy ―
Independent Provider Views On Higher Education Reforms
 



FEE-HELP Student Loan Tax: The proposed measure in the Bill to reduce the existing FEE HELP loan fee from 25% to 20% is one ITECA supports. ITECA has reiterated its position that this should only be a first step to the permanent elimination of the FEE-HELP student loan tax.

Higher Education Funding: As a broad principle, ITECA supports the approach in the Bill of more closely aligning public subsidies for higher education more closely into line with the established cost of delivery.

Student Protection: The revisions in the Bill that seek to ensure that the university sector and independent higher education providers face an identical regulatory approach to advertising marketing materials has been supported.;

ITECA has also used the opportunity to highlight the need to transition to an integrated tertiary education system, in which there is a closer alignment of the higher education sector and the vocational education and training sector, with both retaining distinctive identities.

“Overall, the legislative package contains some good outcomes for independent higher education providers thus it is supported by ITECA,” said Troy Williams, ITECA Chief Executive.

Over the past fortnight, ITECA has met with the Opposition and continues to meet with minor parties in the Senate to ensure that the support of independent higher education providers is understood.

It is expected that ITECA will be called to give evidence to the Senate Standing Committee on Education and Employment on 17 September 2020.

Independent providers support around 10% of the 1.5 million students in higher education across Australia.

Getting Involved —

ITECA’s ability to play a lead role in matters associated with this issue rests on the advice and guidance of individuals serving on the ITECA Higher Education Reference Committee.  ITECA Membership – It's a great time to get involved.

Further Information —

If you're an ITECA member and would like more information on this matter, the ITECA team would value the opportunity to talk to you.  Simply send an email to higher.education@iteca.edu.au or telephone 1300 421 017.  Stay up to date via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

 

Disclaimer & Copyright —


This information may be reproduced in limited circumstances under a Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License.  Information published on this webpage is intended for general information only and no warranty is providers as to accuracy or completeness thus any reliance you place on this material is therefore strictly at your own risk.

 

IHEA Independent Higher Education Council Australia

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