Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

Guides & Guidelines as made
This instrument amends the Higher Education Support Act 2003 - Fee-Help Guidelines (03/08/2007) to update the list of professional occupations and assessing bodies required for determining FEE-HELP entitlement in relation to bridging courses for overseas trained professionals and also makes other technical amendments.
Administered by: Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education
Registered 03 Apr 2012
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR08-May-2012
Tabled Senate10-May-2012
Date of repeal 09 Aug 2013
Repealed by Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (Spent and Redundant Instruments) Repeal Regulation 2013

Issued by the authority of the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research

 

Disallowable instrument

 

made under the

 

Higher Education Support Act 2003

 

Subject: FEE-HELP Guidelines Amendment No. 1

 

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

 

Authority

 

Section 238-10 of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (the Act) provides that the Minister may, by legislative instrument, make Guidelines providing for matters required or permitted by the Act or necessary or convenient to be provided in order to carry out or give effect to the Act. 

 

In particular, Item 4 of the table in subsection 238-10(1) specifies that the Minister may make the FEE-HELP Guidelines (the Guidelines) to give effect to matters set out in Part 3-3 of the Act.

 

Purpose

 

The previous provisions listed the professional occupations and their assessing bodies required for the purposes of determining FEE-HELP entitlement in relation to bridging courses for overseas trained professionals under sections 104-55 and 104-60 of the Act.

 

Due to changes to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s (DIAC) General Skilled Migration program a review of the listed professional occupations and assessing bodies was required.

 

From 1 July 2010 DIAC withdrew the Migration Occupation in Demand list and introduced the Skilled Occupation List (SOL). The SOL identifies professions specific to Australia’s medium and long-term workforce needs and includes the relevant assessing body required for each profession. 

 

To be consistent with DIAC’s General Skilled Migration program relating to permanent visa migration, the list of professional occupations and assessing bodies published in the Guidelines has been amended to reflect those professions listed at Schedules 1 and 2 of the SOL as relevant to higher education.

 

The amendments update the list of professional occupations and assessing bodies required for determining FEE-HELP entitlement in relation to bridging courses for overseas trained professionals.

 

Technical amendments have been made to bring the FEE-HELP provisions for Open Universities Australia (OUA) in line with such provisions required of other higher education providers under the Act.

 

Amendments have also been made to terminology to reflect a change in Administrative Arrangements Order.

 

Consultation

 

The amendments to section 2.5.10 of the Guidelines were prompted by changes made in 2010 by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship to its General Skilled Migration program, in particular the introduction of the SOL.  The SOL identifies professions specific to Australia’s medium and long-term workforce needs and includes the relevant assessing body required for each occupation.

 

The amendments include updated professional occupations and assessing bodies to reflect those listed at Schedule 3 (relating to permanent Skilled Migration visas) and Schedule 4 (relating to sponsored migration by state and territory governments) of the SOL as relevant to higher education.  The Department of Immigration and Citizenship was consulted.

 

The amendments to the Guidelines relating to the FEE-HELP provisions for OUA, formerly Open Learning Australia, were minor in nature and required to bring such provisions in line with other higher education providers under the Act.  On this basis, consultation with OUA was not necessary and was not undertaken.

 

Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights

 

Prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011

 

Higher Education Support Act 2003 Amendment No. 1 to the FEE-HELP Guidelines

 

This Legislative Instrument (the Instrument) is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011.

 

Overview of the Legislative Instrument

 

The FEE-HELP Guidelines Instrument (the Instrument) is made by the Minister under section 238-10 of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (the Act).

 

The purpose of the Instrument is to give effect to matters set out in Part 3-3 of the Act.  The instrument updates the list of professional occupations and assessing bodies to reflect recent changes made by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship to the Skilled Occupation List as relevant to higher education.

 

Human rights implications

 

Right to education

 

The Instrument engages the right to education contained in Article 13 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. In particular, this Instrument has an effect on the regulation of bridging courses for overseas-trained professionals by defining the assessing bodies that may issue assessment statements for the purposes of FEE-HELP.  This then leads to an overseas trained professional’s suitability to undertake a bridging courses that if undertaken successfully would meet the requirements for entry to that occupation.

 

The objective of the requirements is to ensure that overseas-trained professional’s education qualifications are assessed by Australian industry experts as having or needing to obtain the specific skills required to enter the specific occupation in Australia.  Assessment being undertaken by the listed bodies promotes the Governments skilled migration agenda and ensures the integrity of the higher education system.

 

To the extent that the right to education is engaged, this is right is promoted by the Instrument as the Instrument aims to improve the integrity of the higher education sector.

 

Conclusion

 

This Instrument is compatible with human rights because it advances the protection of human rights.

 

Detailed explanation of the amendments made to the FEE-HELP Guidelines

 

Chapter 1            Introduction

 

The term DEST defined in paragraph 1.1.5 has been amended to Department to allow for any future changes in the Department responsible for administering the Act.   The Department has been defined as the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education, to reflect a change in Administrative Arrangements Order. 

 

Chapter 2            Bridging Courses for Overseas-trained Professionals

 

Existing paragraph 2.5.10 contains a table listing the assessing bodies and professional occupations required under sections 105-55 and 104-60 of the Act.  The table has been amended to reflect DIAC’s introduction of the SOL and the subsequent changes to the professional occupations and the respective assessing body for which an assessment statement can be issued under section 104-50 of the Act.

 

Chapter 3            Requirements for Open Universities Australia (OUA)

 

Previous paragraph 3.15.51 has been amended to reflect the change of position title of the Privacy Officer affected by the Administrative Arrangements Order. 

 

Previous paragraph 3.25.3 has been amended to reflect the requirements in the Higher Education Provider Guidelines and to remove the inconsistency of the requirement between and approved higher education provider and OUA.

 

Previous paragraph 3.25.15 has been amended to remove the specific email address and to which OUA must give a schedule and replace with an email address advised by the Department to allow for any future changes to the email address.

 

Previous subparagraph 3.25.20(c) has been amended to reflect the change to the definition of Department.

 

Previous subparagraph 3.30.35(c) has been amended to reflect the change to the definition of Department.