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Higher Education Provider Guidelines 2012

Authoritative Version
Guides & Guidelines as amended, taking into account amendments up to Amendment No. 1 to the Higher Education Provider Guidelines 2012
Administered by: Education and Training; Prime Minister and Cabinet
Registered 17 Sep 2013
Start Date 06 Aug 2013
Table of contents.

 

Higher Education Provider Guidelines 2012

as amended

 

made under section 238-10

 

Higher Education Support Act 2003

This compilation was prepared on 16 September 2013 taking into account amendments up to Amendment No. 1 to the Higher Education Provider Guidelines 2012 (F2013L01508).

Prepared by the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Commonwealth of Australia

 

Higher Education Support Act 2003

 

HIGHER EDUCATION PROVIDER GUIDELINES 2012

 

 

 

 

 

(i)     CITATION

 

These Guidelines may be cited as the Higher Education Provider Guidelines 2012.

 

 

(ii)     AUTHORITY

 

These Guidelines are made pursuant to item 6 of the table in section 238-10 of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (the Act) for the purposes of Part 2-1 of the Act.

 

 

(iv)      TRANSITIONAL ARRANGEMENTS

 

The revocation of the Former Guidelines does not affect the validity of a payment or decision made under those guidelines. A decision made under the Former Guidelines is taken to continue to have effect as if it were made under the Higher Education Provider Guidelines 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

Higher Education Support Act 2003

 

HIGHER EDUCATION PROVIDER GUIDELINES

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

CHAPTER 1           INTRODUCTION  5

CHAPTER 2           THE TUITION ASSURANCE REQUIREMENTS  8

CHAPTER 3           PARTICULAR OBLIGATIONS ON CERTAIN PROVIDERS  16

CHAPTER 4           GRIEVANCE AND REVIEW PROCEDURES  17

CHAPTER 5           PUBLICATION AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENT CONTRIBUTION AMOUNTS AND TUITION FEES  19

CHAPTER 6           FEES IN RESPECT OF OVERSEAS STUDENTS  22

CHAPTER 7           FEES FOR GOODS AND SERVICES INCIDENTAL TO STUDIES  25

 

 


CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION

 

1.1        PURPOSE

 

1.1.1      The purpose of these Guidelines is to:

(a)  set out the tuition assurance requirements which a body corporate must fulfil to be approved by the Minister as a higher education provider under the Act and with which higher education providers other than Table A providers must comply in order to maintain their approval as higher education providers under the Act;

(b)  set out the grievance procedures which a body corporate must meet in order to be approved as a higher education provider under the Act and with which higher education providers other than Table A providers must comply in order to maintain their approval as higher education providers under the Act;

(c)   set out procedures to be followed by review officers reviewing reviewable decisions under Chapter 3 of the Act;

(d)  specify periods under subsections 19-87(1), 19-90(1) and 19-95(1) of the Act;

(e)  specify the date by which a higher education provider must publish the schedule of the student contribution amounts for places and tuition fees for a particular period under paragraph 19-95(2)(b) of the Act;

(f)   specify matters to which a higher education provider must not have regard when setting student contribution amounts or tuition fees under subsections 19‑87(2A) or 19-90(3) of the Act;

(g)  specify the date before which a variation to a:

(i)    student contribution amount must be made under subparagraph 19‑87(3)(a)(i) of the Act; and

(ii)   tuition fee must be made under subparagraph 19-90(4)(a)(i) of the Act.

(h)  specify the circumstances in which a:

(i)    student contribution amount may be varied under subparagraph 19‑87(3)(a)(ii) of the Act; and

(ii)   tuition fee may be varied under subparagraph 19‑90(4)(a)(ii) of the Act.

(i)    specify the date by which information on student contribution amounts for places in units, or tuition fees, to apply to students in student cohorts must be published and made publicly available under subsection 19‑97(2) of the Act before section 19-97 of the Act  was repealed by item 6 of Schedule 3 of the Budget and Other Measures Act;

(j)    specify the date before which, and the circumstances in which, a higher education provider may revoke a saved determination under item 13(4) or item 14(4) of the Budget and Other Measures Act;

(k)  specify in relation to the repayment of amounts where subsections 36-20(3) and 36‑20(4) of the Act apply:

(i)    the amount (if any) that is to be paid to the person; and

(ii)    the amount (if any) that is to be paid to the Commonwealth; and

(iii)  the person (if any) who is to pay the amounts.

(l)    specify in relation to the re-crediting of a person’s FEE-HELP balance in circumstances where subsections 110-5(1A) and 110-5(1B) of the Act apply:

(i)    the amount (if any) that is to be paid to the Commonwealth; and

(ii)   the person (if any) who is to pay the amounts;

(m) specify the obligations on higher education providers in their capacity as providers of course assurance to other higher education providers;

(n)  detail the requirements for fees in respect of overseas students which are the fees referred to in paragraph 19-102(3)(d) of the Act.

 

 

 

 

1.5        INTERPRETATION

 

1.5.1     Unless the contrary intention appears, the terms within these Guidelines have the same meaning as in the Act.

 

1.5.5     Terms in these Guidelines that are in italics have the meanings given in paragraph 1.5.5 of these Guidelines.

 

1.5.10   In these Guidelines, unless the contrary intention appears:

 

             academic matters includes those matters which relate to student progress, assessment, curriculum and awards in a course of study.

 

Act means the Higher Education Support Act 2003.

 

Budget and Other Measures Act means the Higher Education Legislation Amendment (2006 Budget and Other Measures) Act 2006.

 

Business Day means, in relation to the doing of an action in a place, any day other than a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday in that place.

 

course assurance option means the tuition assurance option referred to in subparagraph 2.20.15(c)(i) and more fully described in section 2.10.

 

Course Assurance TAS Operator has the meaning given in subparagraph 2.10.1(a)(i).

 

Department means the department that administers these Guidelines.

 

Exempt Provider means a higher education provider that is exempted by the Minister under subsections 19-40(2) and 19-40(3) of the Act from complying with the tuition assurance requirements.

 

First Provider has the meaning given in paragraph 2.1.10.

 

Guidelines means these Higher Education Provider Guidelines 2012.

            

General Manager means the person holding, occupying or performing the duties of the position of General Manager or an equivalent position in the Department responsible for the administration of access to Commonwealth supported places, HECS-HELP and FEE‑HELP assistance.

 

             non-academic matters includes those matters which do not relate to student progress, assessment, curriculum and awards in a course of study and includes complaints in relation to personal information that the provider holds in relation to the student, and about the administration of the Commonwealth Scholarships Program.

 

Registered higher education provider has the same meaning given by the TEQSA Act.

 

Repayment Guarantor has the meaning given in subparagraph 2.15.1(c).

 

Repayment TAS Operator has the meaning given in subparagraph 2.15.1(a)(i). 

 

replaced unit means a unit of study in which the student was enrolled with a First Provider that is replaced by a replacement unit.

 

replacement unit means a unit of study that a student undertakes with a Second Provider to replace a unit in which the student was enrolled with a First Provider where, whilst the student was enrolled, the First Provider ceased to provide the unit and the course of study of which the unit formed part.

 

saved determination has the meaning given to it under item 13(1) or item 14(1), as the context requires, of Schedule 3 of the Budget and Other Measures Act.

 

Second Provider has the meaning given in subparagraph 2.10.5(a).

 

student cohort has the meaning given to it under the Act before the definition was repealed under item 10 of the Budget and Other Measures Act.

 

student contribution / tuition fee repayment option means the tuition assurance option referred to in subparagraph 2.20.15(c)(ii), and more fully described in section 2.15 (and is the option referred to by this name in paragraphs 36-24A(1)(e) and 104-‑42(1)(d) of the Act).

 

TEQSA Act means the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011.

 

tuition assurance administrator means any Course Assurance TAS Operator, Second Provider referred to in paragraph 2.10.1(b), Course Assurance Guarantor (as defined in subparagraph 2.10.1(c)), Repayment TAS Operator or Repayment Guarantor

 

tuition assurance scheme means a scheme that complies with the requirements of paragraph 2.10.1(a) and the main object of which is to provide tuition assurance to meet the tuition assurance requirements as set out in these Guidelines for the benefit of students of the scheme members.

 

victimise means to act or omit to act towards a person in a way which is intended to cause disadvantage to that person because they have made a complaint, or may make a complaint, or may be or are the subject of a complaint.

 


CHAPTER 2 THE TUITION ASSURANCE REQUIREMENTS

 

2.1        INTRODUCTION

 

2.1.1     This Chapter 2 of the Guidelines sets out the requirements for tuition assurance for the purposes of section 16-30 of the Act (the "tuition assurance requirements").

 

2.1.5     The tuition assurance requirements have four parts:

·         Part 1: General Requirements

·         Part 2: Course Assurance Requirements;

·         Part 3: Student Contribution or Tuition Fee Repayment Requirements (which is the student contribution / tuition fee repayment option referred to in paragraphs 36‑24A(1)(e) and 104-42(1)(d) of the Act); and 

·         Part 4: Administrative and Other Requirements.

 

2.1.10   A higher education provider, other than a Table A provider or an Exempt Provider, (the “First Provider”) must satisfy the Secretary that it complies with all four parts of the tuition assurance requirements.

 

2.1.15   A First Provider that is a registered provider is not required to comply with the tuition assurance requirements in respect of overseas students enrolled in a course with the First Provider.  For the purposes of this paragraph, the terms:

·         course;

·         overseas student; and

·         registered provider;

have the meanings given to them in the Education Services for Overseas Student Act 2000.

 

2.1.20   If a First Provider ceases to provide a course of study, a person who is currently enrolled in that course of study may choose to access either the arrangements described in Part 2 (Course Assurance) or those described in Part 3 (Student Contribution or Tuition Fee Repayments).  If a person chooses to access Part 2 (Course Assurance), the person may access Part 3 (Student Contribution or Tuition Fee Repayments) in respect of replaced units, but only under the circumstances described in section 2.15, Part 3.2, below.

 

Meaning of “ceases to provide a course of study”

 

2.1.25   For the purposes of this Chapter 2 of the Guidelines, a First Provider "ceases to provide a course of study” if:

(a)  the course does not start on:

(i)   the date the course was scheduled to start; or

(ii)  a later date that has been agreed between the First Provider and the person enrolled in the course; or

(b)  the First Provider commences providing the course to a person and then, before the person has completed the course, ceases to provide that course (for any reason); or

(c)  the Minister has suspended or revoked approval of the First Provider as a higher education provider under the Act and has not made a determination pursuant to paragraph 22-25(1)(b) of the Act in respect of that course; or

(d)  notice is served on the First Provider or proceedings are taken to cancel the First Provider’s incorporation or registration or to dissolve the First Provider as a legal entity; or

(e)  the First Provider comes under one of the forms of external administration referred to in Chapter 5 of the Corporations Act 2001 or equivalent provisions in other legislation, or an order has been made to place the First Provider under external administration; or

(f)   in the case of a non self-accrediting institution, the First Provider ceases to be a registered higher education provider authorised by or under the TEQSA Act to issue one or more higher education awards; or

(g)  in the case of a self-accrediting institution, the First Provider ceases to be a registered higher education provider  authorised by or under the TEQSA Act to self-accredit one or more courses of study that lead to a higher education award; or

(h)  the Secretary makes a declaration under paragraph 2.1.35(b) that the First Provider has ceased to provide the course.

 

Other circumstances that may amount to ceasing to provide a course of study

 

2.1.30   If:

(a)  a First Provider fails to comply with a statutory demand within the meaning of section 459F of the Corporations Act 2001; or

(b)  a First Provider is unable to pay all of its debts when they become due; or

(c)  proceedings are initiated to obtain an order for a First Provider’s winding up or any shareholder, member or director convenes a meeting to consider a resolution for the winding up of the First Provider

then the First Provider must immediately notify the First Provider’s tuition assurance administrators and the Secretary to that effect.

 

2.1.35   If the Secretary becomes aware (whether by notice under paragraph 2.1.30 or otherwise) that any of the events described in paragraphs 2.1.30(a), 2.1.30(b) or 2.1.30(c) apply, or may apply, to a First Provider, then:

(a)  the First Provider must, within a period specified by the Secretary, provide the Secretary with such information that the Secretary may reasonably request in relation to that event;

(b)  the Secretary may, after considering any information provided by the First Provider under paragraph 2.1.35(a), declare in writing that, for the purposes of this Chapter 2 of the Guidelines, the First Provider has ceased to provide one or more courses of study specified in the declaration; and

(c)  the Secretary must give a copy of the declaration to the First Provider and the First Provider’s tuition assurance administrators.

 

2.5        PART 1: GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

 

Corporate separation

2.5.1     Subject to paragraph 2.5.5, the relationship between a First Provider and each of its tuition assurance administrators must be such that at all times: 

(a)  they are legally separate entities;

(b)  they are not related to each other within the meaning of section 50 of the Corporations Act 2001;

(c)  they are not associated entities within the meaning of section 50AAA of the Corporations Act 2001;

(d)  they are not in a position where one is able to control the other within the meaning of section 50AA of the Corporations Act 2001; and

(e)  they do not have in common one half or more of the persons who are directors or officers of either entity, where the terms “director” and “officer” have the meanings given to them in section 9 of the Corporations Act 2001.

 

2.5.5      If at any time the relationship between a First Provider and any of its tuition assurance administrators ceases to meet the requirements of paragraph 2.5.1, then the First Provider must immediately notify the Secretary to that effect in writing, and include with that notification an alternative proposal for the Secretary’s approval (which may be subject to such conditions as the Secretary in his or her sole discretion, may impose) that includes:

(a)  detailed reasons for the non-compliance with paragraph 2.5.1;

(b)  detailed reasons explaining why the First Provider and the tuition assurance administrator are prevented from changing the relationship between them so as to comply with paragraph 2.5.1; and

(c)  details of any alternative arrangements proposed to apply as between the First Provider and the tuition assurance administrator which, while they will not result in a relationship that  meets the requirements of paragraph 2.5.1, the First Provider reasonably believes meet the remainder of the tuition assurance requirements.

By way of example only, and without prejudice to the Department’s and the Secretary’s consideration of the proposal, the alternative arrangements may include any one or more of the following:

(i)     a separate unconditional financial guarantee from a third person (who may be a natural person or a body corporate);

(ii)    a trust arrangement with an independent, third party trustee;

(iii)    a specifically established trust account with a bank or other financial institution.

 

2.10      PART 2: COURSE ASSURANCE REQUIREMENTS

 

2.10.1   The First Provider must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Secretary that it complies with the requirements in paragraph 2.10.5, by having in place, for each higher education course of study it provides, one or more of these arrangements:

(a)  membership of a tuition assurance scheme that is:

(i)      operated by a legal entity (“Course Assurance TAS Operator”); and

(ii)     approved by the Minister for this purpose;

(b)  a legally-binding agreement with one or more Second Providers (subject to paragraph 2.10.10);

(c)  a legally-binding guarantee provided by a legal entity (“Course Assurance Guarantor”) that is a body corporate incorporated under or in accordance with a law of the Commonwealth or of any Australian State or Territory (not necessarily a higher education provider) and which has the necessary financial and administrative resources to fulfil such a guarantee, including resources that, should the First Provider cease to provide a course of study, will be available for use by the Course Assurance Guarantor, if requested by persons enrolled in that course of study, to make all the arrangements necessary to ensure that those persons are enrolled in a similar course of study with another higher education provider.

 

2.10.5   If the First Provider ceases to provide a unit as a result of ceasing to provide the course of study of which the unit formed part, and if a student who is enrolled in the unit at that time chooses this course assurance option and not the student contribution / tuition fee repayment option in respect of the unit, that student:

(a)  must be able to enrol in a similar course of study leading to the same or a comparable qualification with another higher education provider (the “Second Provider”);

(b)  must receive from the Second Provider for any successfully completed units of study undertaken as part of that course of study:

(i)      full recognition (that is, full credit towards the same or a comparable qualification); or

(ii)     if the Secretary agrees that a course of study that the First Provider provides is of such a specialised nature, or contains components of such a specialised nature, that full credit transfer cannot be arranged - as much credit as possible towards a similar course of study;

(c)  must not be required to:

 (i)     pay the Second Provider a student contribution amount or tuition fee for any replacement unit; nor

 (ii)    give an appropriate officer of the Second Provider (or any other person) a request for Commonwealth assistance in relation to any replacement unit

 

2.10.10  If a Second Provider is not approved as a higher education provider at the time of entering a legally-binding agreement referred to in paragraph 2.10.1(b), it must obtain approval as a higher education provider within six calendar months after the First Provider is approved as a higher education provider, or, where the First Provider is a listed provider, within six months after the date of the agreement.

 

2.15      PART 3: STUDENT CONTRIBUTION OR TUITION FEE REPAYMENT REQUIREMENTS

 

Part 3.1: Students choosing student contribution / tuition fee repayment option for units that First Provider has ceased to provide

 

2.15.1   The First Provider must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Secretary that it complies with the requirements in paragraphs 2.15.5 to 2.15.30, by having in place, for each higher education course of study it provides, one or more of these arrangements: 

(a)  membership of a tuition assurance scheme that is:

(i)      operated by a legal entity (“Repayment TAS Operator”); and

(ii)     approved by the Minister for this purpose;

(b)  a ‘tuition fees in arrears’ agreement is offered by the First Provider to students under which students enrol on the basis that student contributions or tuition fees for each unit of their course of study are paid in arrears;

(c)  a legally binding guarantee provided by a legal entity (“Repayment Guarantor”) that is a body corporate incorporated under or in accordance with a law of the Commonwealth or of any Australian State or Territory (not necessarily a higher education provider) which has the necessary financial and administrative resources to fulfil such a guarantee.

 

2.15.5   If a First Provider ceases to provide a unit as a result of ceasing to provide the course of study of which the unit formed part, and if a student who is enrolled in the unit at that time chooses this student contribution / tuition fee repayment option and not the course assurance option in respect of the unit, then, within one month (or longer period agreed in writing by the Secretary after receiving notification of that choice, the First Provider must:

(a)    determine that section 36-24A of the Act applies to the student in respect of the unit (if the requirements of subsection 36-24A(e) of the Act are met); or

(b)    re-credit the student’s FEE-HELP balance in respect of the unit (if the requirements of subsection 104-42(1) of the Act are met); and

(c)    immediately after making the determination or effecting the re-crediting under paragraph 2.15.5(a) or 2.15.5(b) as the case may be, notify its Repayment TAS Operator or Repayment Guarantor (whichever is applicable) to that effect.

             (Under subsections 36-24C and 104-42(2) of the Act, the Secretary may make the determination or effect the re-crediting if the First Provider is unable to do so, in which case the Secretary may give the notice referred to in paragraph 2.15.5(c)).

 

2.15.10 Within ten Business Days after receiving notification from the First Provider or the Secretary under paragraph 2.15.5, the Repayment TAS Operator or Repayment Guarantor (whichever is applicable) must:

(a)  pay the student the total of any up-front payments paid for that unit of study to the First Provider by the student (or on behalf of the student by any party other than the Commonwealth); and

(b)  pay the Commonwealth any amounts paid for that unit of study by the Commonwealth to the First Provider in discharge of the student’s liability to pay his or her student contribution amount or tuition fee for the unit.

 

Part 3.2: Students withdrawing from replacement units under special circumstances

 

2.15.15 If the Second Provider receives an application from any person under paragraph 36‑20(1)(e) or 104-25(1)(d) of the Act in relation to a replacement unit in which the person is enrolled with a Second Provider, the Second Provider must:

(a)  immediately notify the First Provider and the General Manager of the application;

(b)  ensure that the up-to-date information kept by it under paragraph 2.20.1 can be accessed by the Commonwealth and, in order to effectively meet their obligations under the arrangements, the First Provider’s tuition assurance administrators;

(c)  deal with the application in accordance with subsection 36-23(1) or subsection 104‑40(1) of the Act (as the case may be); and

(d)  immediately after having dealt with the application, notify the persons referred to in subparagraph 2.15.15(a) as to whether, in respect of the replacement unit:

(i)     it has determined that section 36-20 of the Act applies to the student; or

(ii)    it is satisfied that the requirements of subsection 104-25(1) of the Act are met.

             (Under subsections 36-24C and 104-25(3) of the Act, the Secretary may act for certain purposes where the relevant provider is unable to do so, in which case the Secretary may give the notice referred to in this subparagraph 2.15.15(d)).

 

2.15.20 If the notice under subparagraph 2.15.15(d)(i) states that the Second Provider has determined that section 36-20 of the Act applies to the student, the First Provider must immediately notify its Repayment TAS Operator or Repayment Guarantor (whichever is applicable) to that effect.

             (The Secretary may give this notice if the First Provider is unable to do so.)

 

 

 

 

 

2.15.25 If a notice under subparagraph 2.15.15(d)(ii) states that the Second Provider is satisfied that the requirements of subsection 104-25(1) of the Act are met:

(a)  the Second Provider and the persons referred to in sub-paragraph 2.15.15(a) will liaise and do all things reasonably necessary to effect re-crediting of the student’s FEE‑HELP balance in relation to the replaced unit within one month after the First Provider receives the notice; and

(b)  the First Provider must immediately after the re-crediting has been effected, notify its Repayment TAS Operator or Repayment Guarantor (whichever is applicable) to that effect.

             (Under subsection 104-25(3), the Secretary may effect the re-crediting or if the relevant provider is unable to do so, in which case the Secretary may give the notice referred to in subparagraph 2.15.25(b)).

 

2.15.30 Within five Business Days after receiving notification from the First Provider or the Secretary under paragraph 2.15.20, the Repayment TAS Operator or Repayment Guarantor (whichever is applicable) must, for the purposes of subsections 36-20(4) and 110-5(1B) of the Act, and in consequence of the remission of any HECS-HELP debt or FEE-HELP debt under subsections 137-5(4) or 137-10(4) of the Act:

(a)  pay the student the total amount of any up-front-payments paid for the replaced unit to the First Provider by the student (or on behalf of the student by any party other than the Commonwealth); and

(b)  pay the Commonwealth any amounts paid for the replaced unit by the Commonwealth to the First Provider in discharge of the student’s liability to pay his or her student contribution amount or tuition fee for the replaced unit.

 

2.20     PART 4: ADMINISTRATIVE AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS

 

Statement of Tuition Assurance

 

2.20.1   A First Provider must publish to all enrolling students a complete and unambiguous “Statement of Tuition Assurance” explaining the tuition assurance requirements and the tuition assurance scheme that is in place to meet the tuition assurance requirements for each of its higher education courses of study.

 

2.20.5   Exempt providers must publish to all enrolling students a “Statement of Tuition Assurance Exemption” explaining the exemption/s they have been granted from complying with the tuition assurance requirements and what this means in the event the Exempt Provider ceases to provide the course(s) concerned.

 

2.20.10 The method of publication to be used for both the Statement of Tuition Assurance and the Statement of Tuition Assurance Exemption is to be determined by the First Provider and may include printed handbooks, publication on the First Provider's web site, or any other method determined by the First Provider which would bring the information to the attention of students and prospective students.  The First Provider must also ensure that at enrolment each enrolling student is provided with clear information about where either the Statement of Tuition Assurance or the Statement of Tuition Assurance Exemption (whichever is applicable) may be obtained.

 

2.20.15 The Statement of Tuition Assurance must explain to students, that if the First Provider ceases to provide the course of study in which they are enrolled:

(a)  the First Provider must meet the tuition assurance requirements;

(b)  the First Provider has a tuition assurance arrangement in place to meet the tuition assurance requirements and the nature of that tuition assurance arrangement;

 

(c)  students will have the choice of:

(i)     an offer of a place in a similar course of study with a Second Provider without any requirement to pay the Second Provider any student contribution or tuition fee for any replacement units (the “course assurance option”); or

(ii)    a refund of their up-front payments for any unit of study that the student commences but does not complete because the First Provider ceases to provide the course of study of which the unit forms part (an “Affected Unit”) (and, if the student chooses this option, a corresponding remission of the student’s HECS‑HELP debt or re‑crediting of any FEE-HELP balance relating to that unit) (the “student contribution / tuition fee repayment option”); and

(d)  if students choose the course assurance option:

(i)     the nature of the similar course of study that would be offered to students;

(ii)    the name of the Second Provider that would be providing this similar course of study;

(iii)   the qualification to which this similar course of study would lead; how much credit a student would receive for the units of study they have completed with the First Provider towards the similar course of study [Note: This will be full credit unless otherwise approved by the Secretary under subparagraph 2.10.5(b)(ii)];

(iv)   that the Second Provider might have different student contribution amounts or tuition fees for units of study in the remainder of the similar course of study, to the amounts or fees students would have paid for units of study which were part of the course of study the First Provider ceased to provide; and

(v)    that students are not obliged to enrol in the course offered with the Second Provider under the course assurance option, but that if they enrol with any other provider there is no obligation on that provider to offer full credit transfer for the units of study completed with the First Provider or to offer a replacement unit free of charge.

 

2.25      Information for tuition assurance administrators and the Commonwealth

 

2.25.1   The First Provider must keep up-to-date enrolment information on the persons enrolled with the First Provider, and the Second Provider must keep up-to-date enrolment information on the persons enrolled in replacement units with the Second Provider.  This information must include:

(a)  each person’s name and contact details;

(b)  the name of the course and the unit(s) the person is currently enrolled in;

(c)  the amount paid for each unit that the person is currently enrolled in and the nature of that payment (ie student contribution or tuition fee, amounts paid up-front versus through a HELP loan);

(d)  details of the units successfully completed with provider to date; and

(e)  for Second Providers, details of credits granted under paragraph 2.10.5(b).

 

2.25.5   The First Provider must ensure that, if its tuition assurance scheme is activated, the information described in paragraph 2.25.1 can be accessed by the Commonwealth and, in order to effectively meet their obligations under those arrangements, the First Provider’s tuition assurance administrators.

 

 

 

 

2.25.10 The tuition assurance scheme must provide that, if it is activated, each tuition assurance administrator must:

(a)  immediately seek to obtain the information described in paragraph 2.20.1 from the First Provider; and

(b)  if such information is not readily available, make all reasonable efforts to fulfil the obligations it has assumed under the tuition assurance scheme.

 

2.30     Written Tuition Assurance Offer to Students

 

2.30.1   The tuition assurance scheme must provide that:

(a)  if the First Provider ceases to provide a course of study, the tuition assurance administrator(s) for that course of study must provide a person enrolled in that course with written advice (the “Written Tuition Assurance Offer”), that he/she may choose either the course assurance option or the student contribution / tuition fee repayment option;

(b)  where the tuition assurance administrator is a Second Provider, the Written Tuition Assurance Offer must make a direct offer of enrolment as specified in subparagraph 2.20.15(d);

(c)  where the tuition assurance administrator is a Course Assurance TAS Operator or a Course Assurance Guarantor, the Written Tuition Assurance Offer must name the course(s) and Second Provider(s) that the student may choose for the purposes of enrolling as specified in subparagraph 2.20.15(d);

(d)  where the tuition assurance administrator is a Repayment TAS Operator or Repayment Guarantor, the Written Tuition Assurance Offer must make a direct offer of repayment as specified in subparagraph 2.20.15(c)(ii); 

(e)  the Written Tuition Assurance Offer must refer to and enclose a copy of the First Provider’s Statement of Tuition Assurance referred to in paragraph 2.20.1, and, in relation to the Guidelines:

(i)    refer to www.comlaw.gov.au, from which an electronic copy of the Guidelines can be obtained; and

(ii)   include contact details of the First Provider’s personnel from whom a copy of the Guidelines can be obtained;

(f)   the Written Tuition Assurance Offer must include directions that the student must follow in order to notify the First Provider, the First Provider’s tuition assurance administrator(s) and the General Manager of the choice that the student has made under paragraph 2.20.1(a) for each Affected Unit (as defined in paragraph 2.20.15(c)(ii));

(g)  the Written Tuition Assurance Offer must completely and unambiguously comply with all of the requirements specified in this section 2.30;

(h)  the tuition assurance administrator responsible for providing any Written Tuition Assurance Offer must do so within twenty Business Days after it knows, or should know by reasonable enquiries (including enquiries of the First Provider and of the Department) that the First Provider has ceased to provide the course of study.

 

2.35      EXEMPTION

 

2.35.1   Any body corporate seeking to be approved by the Minister as a higher education provider or any higher education provider other than a Table A provider which considers that adequate grounds exist for it to be exempted from complying with the tuition assurance requirements under section 19-40 of the Act, should apply to the Minister in writing setting out those grounds. 


CHAPTER 3     PARTICULAR OBLIGATIONS ON CERTAIN PROVIDERS

 

3.1        PURPOSE

 

3.1.1     The purpose of this chapter is to specify:

(a)  obligations on higher education providers in their capacity as Second Providers; and

(b)  a condition which applies to Exempt Providers, concerning information about persons enrolled with them.

 

3.5        REQUIREMENT FOR SECOND PROVIDERS UNDER LEGALLY BINDING COURSE ASSURANCE AGREEMENTS

 

3.5.1     A Second Provider must meet its obligations under the legally binding agreement referred to in paragraph 2.10.1(b) of these Guidelines and the requirements placed on a Second Provider under Chapter 2 of these Guidelines.

 

3.10      CONDITION OF EXEMPTION FROM COMPLYING WITH THE TUITION ASSURANCE REQUIREMENTS

 

3.10.1   Without limiting the conditions that may apply to an Exempt Provider or an exemption from complying with the tuition assurance requirements under subsection 19-40(2) of the Act, an exempt provider must keep, as though it were a First Provider, up-to-date enrolment information on the persons enrolled with the Exempt Provider, as specified in paragraph 2.20.1 of these Guidelines.

 


 

CHAPTER 4 GRIEVANCE AND REVIEW PROCEDURES

 

4.1        PURPOSE

 

4.1.1     The purpose of this chapter is:

(a)  to ensure that all higher education providers other than those listed on Table A of the Act have a grievance procedure in place to ensure effective and fair handling of complaints about both academic and non-academic matters. (See paragraphs 19‑45(1)(a) and (b) and subsection19-45(2) of the Act.); and

(b)  to set out procedures that review officers must follow when reviewing reviewable decisions of higher education providers under Chapter 3 of the Act. (See subsection19‑45(4) of the Act.)

 

4.5        REQUIREMENTS FOR GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES

 

4.5.1     A higher education provider other than a Table A provider must have a grievance procedure to deal with complaints:

(a)  from the provider’s students, and from persons seeking to enrol in courses of study with the provider, relating to non-academic matters; and

(b)  from the provider’s students, relating to academic matters.

 

4.5.5     These grievance procedures must contain the following elements:

(a)  an arrangement for handling complaints which is easily accessible to students; is without charge, or at reasonable cost to students; and encourages timely resolution; and

(b)  an arrangement for the internal investigation of complaints which remain unresolved by the process outlined at (a) by an independent and impartial senior officer of the provider nominated by the provider, or dedicated complaints committee or unit established by the provider; and

(c)  a provision for external review of decisions made under paragraph (b) by an independent person or body established or nominated by the higher education provider.

 

4.5.10   The higher education provider must:

(a)  have a mechanism in place to implement the grievance procedures, including implementation of recommendations arising from any external review under paragraph 4.5.5(c);

(b)  ensure that the grievance procedures are complete, unambiguous and agreed to and ratified by the provider’s governing body;

(c)  not victimise or discriminate against any complainant or respondent;

(d)  make details of the grievance procedures publicly available;

(e)  communicate the grievance procedures in writing to its staff and train its staff in their application;

(f)   specify reasonable timelines for responses to each stage of the process;

(g)  allow the complainant and/or respondent to be accompanied and assisted by a third party if desired;

(h)  give reasons and full explanation in writing for decisions and actions taken as part of the procedures, if requested by the complainant and/or respondent;

(i)    keep appropriate records of all grievances for at least five years, and allow parties to the complaint appropriate access to these records;

(j)    ensure that such records are treated as confidential.

 

4.5.15   Students or persons seeking to enrol in course of study with a provider are entitled to access the grievance procedures as set out by that provider, regardless of the location of the campus at which the grievance has arisen, the student’s place of residence or the mode in which they study.

 

4.5.20   The procedures set out in the grievance procedures document do not replace or modify procedures or any other responsibilities which may arise under other higher education provider policies or under statute or any other law.

 

4.10      REQUIREMENTS FOR REVIEWING DECISIONS OF A HIGHER EDUCATION PROVIDER IN RELATION TO ASSISTANCE UNDER CHAPTER 3 OF THE ACT

 

4.10.1       In reviewing reviewable decisions made under Chapter 3 of the Act, providers must comply with the requirements of this section 4.10 and of Division 209 of the Act.

 

4.10.5       The higher education provider must acknowledge receipt of an application for review of a reviewable decision in writing and inform the applicant that, if the reviewer has not advised the applicant of a decision within 45 days of receiving the application for review, the reviewer is taken to have confirmed the original decision.

 

4.10.10    The reviewer of a reviewable decision must inform applicants of their right to apply to        the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of the reviewable decision that has been confirmed, varied or set aside under section 209-5 or 209-10 of the Act, and provide the contact details of the closest Administrative Appeals Registry and the approximate costs of lodging an appeal with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. 

 

 

 

 

 


CHAPTER 5     PUBLICATION AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENT CONTRIBUTION AMOUNTS AND TUITION FEES

 

5.1        PURPOSE

 

5.1.1     The purpose of this chapter is to specify the:

(a)  periods under subsections 19-87(1), 19-90(1) and 19-95(1) of the Act;

(b)  date by which a higher education provider must publish the schedule of student contribution amounts for places and tuition fees for a particular period under paragraph 19‑95(2)(b) of the Act;

(c)  matters to which a provider must not have regard when setting student contribution amounts or tuition fees under subsections 19-87(2A) and 19-90(3) of the Act;

(d)  date before which a variation to a:

(i)    student contribution amount must be made under subparagraph 19‑87(3)(a)(i) of the Act; and

(ii)   tuition fee must be made under subparagraph 19-90(4)(a)(i) of the Act;

(e)  circumstances in which a:

(i)    student contribution amount may be varied under subparagraph 19‑87(3)(a)(ii) of the Act; and

(ii)   tuition fee may be varied under subparagraph 19‑90(4)(a)(ii) of the Act;

(f)   date by which information on student contribution amounts for places in units, or tuition fees, to apply to students in student cohorts must be published and made publicly available under subsection 19-97(2) of the Act before section 19-97 of the Act was repealed by item 6 of Schedule 3 of the Budget and Other Measures Act;

(g)  date before which a higher education provider may revoke a saved determination under item 13(4) or item 14(4), as the context requires, of Schedule 3 of  the Budget and Other Measures Act; and

(h)  circumstances in which a higher education provider may revoke a saved determination under item 13(4) or item 14(4), as the context requires, of Schedule 3 of the Budget and Other Measures Act.

(i)    the form in which a higher education provider must give the Minister a schedule of student contribution amounts for places and tuition fees under paragraph 19-95(1)(a) to the Act

 

5.5         PERIOD

 

5.5.1      For the purposes of subsections 19-87(1), 19-90(1) and 19-95(1) of the Act, the period commences on the earliest enrolment date for the unit of study as determined by the higher education provider and ends on the completion date for the unit of study as determined by the higher education provider.

 

5.5.5      The periods specified in paragraph 5.5.1 of these guidelines are relevant only for the purposes of subsections 19-87(1), 19-90(1) and 19-95(1) of the Act and paragraph 5.10.1 of these guidelines.

 

5.10       DATE BY WHICH, AND MANNER IN WHICH, A HIGHER EDUCATION PROVIDER MUST PUBLISH THE SCHEDULE OF STUDENT CONTRIBUTION AMOUNTS FOR PLACES AND TUITION FEES FOR A PARTICULAR PERIOD

 

5.10.1    In accordance with paragraph 19-95(2)(b), a higher education provider must publish a schedule of student contribution amounts for places and tuition fees on the higher education provider’s website on or before the earliest enrolment date for the unit of study as determined by the higher education provider.

 

5.15      MATTERS TO WHICH A PROVIDER MUST NOT HAVE REGARD WHEN DETERMINING MORE THAN ONE STUDENT CONTRIBUTION AMOUNT OR TUITION FEE

 

5.15.1   When determining a student contribution amount under subsection 19-87(2) or a tuition fee under subsection 19-90(2) of the Act for a unit, a higher education provider must not have regard to any matter related to the manner or timing of:

(a)  any student’s payment of the student contribution amount or tuition fee to the provider; or

(b)  the Commonwealth’s payment to the provider:

(i)    of any amount lent to any student in discharge of the student’s liability to pay the student contribution amount or tuition fee; or

(ii)   of any HECS-HELP discount for the unit.

 

5.25      VARYING A STUDENT CONTRIBUTION AMOUNT OR TUITION FEE

 

5.25.1   For the purposes of paragraph 19-87(3)(a) and paragraph 19-90(4)(a) of the Act, a higher education provider may only vary a published student contribution amount or tuition fee if the variation occurs prior to the published census date for the unit of study, and:

(a)  the variation does not disadvantage a student enrolled, or a person seeking to enrol; and

(b)  the variation is necessary to correct the published student contribution amount or tuition fee due to administrative error or circumstances that did not apply at the time the student contribution amount or tuition fee was determined.

5.25.5    Without limiting the generality of paragraph 5.25.1(a) of these Guidelines, a student will be disadvantaged by a variation that increases the student contribution amount or tuition fee.

 

5.25.10 In relation to replacement schedules under subsection 19-95(3) to the Act, the method by which a higher education provider must withdraw the previous schedule, inform the Minister of the variation and give the Minister a replacement schedule incorporating the variation is by publishing the replacement schedule on the higher education provider’s website as soon as practicable after making that decision.

 

5.30      DATE BY WHICH STUDENT COHORT INFORMATION MUST BE PUBLISHED

 

5.30.1   For any saved determination that has not been revoked under item 13(4) or item 14(4) of Schedule 3 of the Budget and Other Measures Act, sufficient information to enable a person in a student cohort to work out his or her student contribution amount and tuition fee for each unit of study that the provider provides or is to provide as part of the cohort’s course of study, and any conditions that are to apply in relation to the student contribution amount or tuition fee for each unit of study for each cohort, must be published and made publicly available by 1 October in the year immediately preceding the year in which the student cohort commences its course of study.

 

5.35      DATE BEFORE WHICH A SAVED DETERMINATION MAY BE REVOKED

5.35.1   A higher education provider may revoke a saved determination only if the provider has advised the Department, in writing, of its intention to revoke the saved determination and may only do so before the earlier of:

(a) two months before the date of commencement of the next unit of study to which the saved determination would otherwise apply (the “next unit”); and                   

(b) two months before the latest date on which a student can enrol in the next unit without incurring a late enrolment fee for the unit.

 

5.40      THE FORM IN WHICH A HIGHER EDUCATION PROVIDER MUST GIVE THE MINISTER A SCHEDULE OF STUDENT CONTRBUTION AMOUNTS FOR PLACES AND TUITION FEES

 

5.40.1   For the purposes of paragraph 19-95(1)(a) and paragraph 19-95(1)(b) to the Act, a higher education provider gives the Minister a schedule of student contribution amounts for places and tuition fees by publishing the schedule on the higher education provider’s website.


CHAPTER 6   FEES IN RESPECT OF OVERSEAS STUDENTS

 

6.1       PURPOSE

 

6.1.1    The purpose of this chapter is to detail the requirements for fees in respect of overseas students which are the fees referred to in paragraph 19-102(3)(d) of the Act

 

6.5       REQUIREMENTS

 

6.5.1    Subject to paragraph 6.10 of these guidelines when determining the fee for an overseas student, a higher education provider must meet the following requirements in respect of all overseas students other than those students excluded under paragraph 6.10.1:

(a)  a higher education provider must charge as a minimum, a fee sufficient to recover the full cost of providing a course to an overseas student. Without limiting the meaning of full cost, it includes:

(i)    full operating costs, including equipment costs. Account should be taken not only of directly associated staff costs, but also all overheads (including but not limited to, utilities, rent and marketing costs) and common services costs (including but not limited to, libraries and the provision of services required under the National Code of Practice for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students and the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000); and 

(ii)   full capital costs. For fee calculation purposes, the current average cost per place of providing capital facilities for the course in question should be determined by the higher education provider. A capital component of the fee will not need to be taken into account where the necessary capital facilities are provided by a third party.

(b)  The fee must be no less than those shown for the relevant category of courses in the schedule of minimum indicative course fees, which forms part of these guidelines, except where:

(i)    a course is provided wholly off-shore and students will not at any stage enter Australia for study; or

(ii)   approval has been given by the Department to charge less than the minimum indicative fee for a course.

(c)  Where the requirements of subparagraph 6.5.1(b)(i) or subparagraph 6.5(b)(ii) are satisfied in relation to a course no minimum indicative fee will apply. However the higher education provider must be able to demonstrate to the Department that the fee proposed will recover at least the full cost of providing the course in accordance with paragraph 6.5.1(a).

(d)  For the purposes of paragraph 6.5.1(b), the minimum indicative course fee for the relevant category of course is:

(i)    where, in accordance with subparagraph 6.5.1(a)(ii), the capital component of the fee is not taken into account because the necessary capital facilities are provided by a third party, the amount in the column headed Total without capital component; or

(ii)   in all other circumstances, the amount in the column headed Total with capital component.

 

 

 

 

6.10   CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH THE REQUIREMENTS FOR DETERMINING FEES FOR OVERSEAS STUDENTS MAY NOT APPLY

 

6.10.1  A higher education provider is not required to comply with the requirements of paragraph 6.5.1 when determining the fee for the following classes of overseas students:

(a)  overseas students undertaking study in Australia as part of a formal exchange program; and

(b)  overseas students undertaking study in Australia towards a research Masters degree or a research Doctoral degree who have been awarded a scholarship for that study on the basis of merit following a competitive application process.

 

6.10.5    For the purposes of paragraph 6.10.1(a), a formal exchange program is a program established under a formal agreement between an Australian higher education provider and an overseas higher education institution [“overseas institution”] that provides for:

(a)  students of the Australian higher education provider to undertake study at the overseas institution, where the study at the overseas institution contributes to the requirements of a course of study being undertaken by the students with the Australian higher education provider;

(b)  students of the overseas institution to undertake study at the Australian higher education provider , where the study at the Australian higher education provider contributes to the requirements of a course of study being undertaken by the students with the overseas institution;

(c)  the exchange of students between the Australian higher education provider and the overseas institution to be reciprocal over time;

(d)  all students of the Australian higher education provider undertaking study in accordance with paragraph 6.10.5(a) are charged student contribution amounts and tuition fees in accordance with the Act and are not charged fees at the overseas institution; and

(e)  all students of the overseas institution undertaking study in accordance with paragraph 6.10.5(b) are charged fees in accordance with the practices of that overseas institution and are not charged fees at the Australian higher education provider.

 

6.15     MINIMUM INDICATIVE COURSE FEES

 

6.15.1 The schedule of minimum indicative course fees for 2012 is as follows:

 

COURSE CATEGORIES


 

Total without capital component

Total with capital component

 

 

ON CAMPUS

                                                                                       Fees weekly

1.

ELICOS

$269

$293

                                                                                      Fees per year

                                                                                        (Equivalent Full-time)

2.

Law, Economics, Business, Humanities, Maths/Statistics, Social Science, Education, Computing, Architecture, Design, Nursing, Arts, Science (non-lab-based)

$9,242

$11,026

3.

Science (lab-based), Paramedical, Engineering, Pharmacy, Agriculture

$13,954

$16,490

4.

Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science

$19,297

$22,712

 

EXTERNAL  

                                                                                       Fees weekly

E1.

ELICOS (fees/weekly)

$269

$293

                                                                                      Fees per year

                                                                                        (Equivalent Full-time)

E2.

Law, Economics, Business, Humanities, Maths/Statistics, Social Science, Education, Computing, Architecture, Design, Nursing, Arts, Science (non-lab-based)

$9,242

$9,741

E3.

Science (lab-based), Paramedical, Engineering, Pharmacy, Agriculture

$13,954

$14,633

 

6.15.5          Amounts in paragraph 6.15.1 will be indexed each year after 2012 in accordance with the method of indexation set out in Division 198 of Part 5-6 of Chapter 5 of the Act.

 


CHAPTER 7 FEES FOR GOODS AND SERVICES INCIDENTAL TO STUDIES

 

7.1       PURPOSE

 

7.1.1    The purpose of this chapter is to specify the criteria for determining whether a fee is of a kind referred to in paragraph 19-102(3)(f) of the Act

 

7.5     FEE OF A KIND THAT IS INCIDENTAL TO STUDIES THAT MAY BE UNDERTAKEN WITH A HIGHER EDUCATION PROVIDER

 

7.5.1    Provided that its payment is in accordance with the Act, a fee is of a kind that is incidental to studies that may be undertaken with a higher education provider if it falls into any one or more of the following categories:

(a)  It is a charge for a good or service that is not essential to the course of study.

(b)  It is a charge for an alternative form, or alternative forms, of access to a good or service that is an essential component of the course of study but is otherwise made readily available at no additional fee by the higher education provider.

(c)  It is a charge for an essential good or service that the student has the choice of acquiring from a supplier other than the higher education provider and is for:

(i)    equipment or items which become the physical property of the student and are not consumed during the course of study; or

(ii)   food, transport and accommodation costs associated with the provision of field trips that form part of the course of study.

(d)  It is a fine or a penalty, provided it is imposed by the higher education provider principally as a disincentive and not in order to raise revenue or cover administrative costs. 


Note to the Higher Education Provider Guidelines 2012

Note 1

The Higher Education Provider Guidelines 2012 in force under section 238-10 of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 as shown in this compilation is amended as indicated in the Tables below.

Table of Instruments

Title

FRLI registration number

Date of FRLI registration

Date of
commencement

Application, saving or
transitional provisions

Higher Education Provider Guidelines 2012

F2012L02136

1 November 2012

2 November  2012

TRANSITIONAL ARRANGEMENTS

The revocation of the Former Guidelines does not affect the validity of a payment or decision made under those guidelines. A decision made under the Former Guidelines is taken to continue to have effect as if it were made under the Higher Education Provider Guidelines 2012.

 

Amendment No. 1 to the Higher Education Provider Guidelines 2012

F2013L01508

5 August 2013

6 August  2013

 

 

Table of Amendments

ad. = added or inserted      am. = amended      rep. = repealed      rs. = repealed and substituted

Provision affected

How affected

Paragraph (iii)

Paragraph (iv)

rep. LIA s 48D

rep. LIA s 48C

Subchapter 1.5

Paragraph 5.1.1

Subchapter 5.5

Paragraph 5.5.1

Subchapter 5.10

Subchapter 5.20

Subchapter 5.25

Subchapter 5.35

 

am. F2013L01508

am. F2013L01508

am. F2013L01508

rs. F2013L01508

rs. F2013L01508

rep. F2013L01508

rs. F2013L01508

ad. F2013L01508