The Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 include clause 4 of standard 5 requiring that “Where there are any changes to agreed services, the RTO advises the learner as soon as practicable, including in relation to any new third party arrangements or a change in ownership or changes to existing third party arrangements”.
The Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA) requires a tuition assurance scheme for Australian citizens or holders of an Australian permanent humanitarian visa.
This policy mandates the provision of a course assurance scheme. Furthermore, it mandates timely communication with effected learners and students about their options including third party arrangements.
This policy applies to all Higher Ed and VET courses the College offers.
- Tuition assurance protects students in the event a course provided by an approved FEE−HELP provider ceases to be provided after it starts but before it is completed.
- As an approved higher education provider under the Higher Education Support Act 2003, Eastern College Australia ABN: 61 551 855 405 must meet the higher education tuition assurance requirements or be exempt from those requirements.
- It is intended that, from 1 January 2018, Eastern College Australia will be exempted from the requirement to meet the higher education tuition assurance requirements. Instead, Eastern College Australia is required to comply with interim arrangements which ensure similar tuition assurance protection is provided to students.
- This statement sets out the interim arrangements for tuition assurance that will apply from 1 January 2018 and Eastern College Australia's obligations from that date.
- If any changes occur to the proposed arrangements outlined below, a revised statement will be provided on Eastern College Australia's website and advised to all students that have enrolled in the intervening period.
What happens if Eastern College Australia ceases to provide an eligible higher education course of study?
Information for affected students
- Eastern College Australia will notify affected students in writing that an eligible higher education course of study is no longer provided within 2 business days after Eastern College Australia ceases to provide the course.
- As soon as practicable, Eastern College Australia will also update its website to reflect that the course is no longer being delivered and to give students information about the tuition assurance arrangements.
- Affected students may choose either course assurance arrangements or a re−credit of their FEE HELP balance.
The Commonwealth Department of Education and Training (the Department) (or a consultant engaged by the Department) will work with affected students to identify a replacement course and arrange for students to be placed with a second provider.
- Replacement courses must meet the following requirements:
- the course must lead to the same or comparable qualification as the original course;
- the mode of delivery of the replacement course must be the same as or, with the student's consent, similar to the mode of delivery for the original course;
- the location of the replacement course must be reasonable, having regard to the costs of, and the time required for, a student's travel; and
- the student will not incur additional fees that are unreasonable and will be able to attend the replacement course without unreasonable impacts on the student's prior commitments.
- Affected students will be offered a replacement course and may seek a review about whether the course offered to them meets the requirements for replacement courses.
- A student who accepts the replacement course offered will not be required to pay the second provider for the replacement components of the replacement course. However, the fees payable for the remainder of the replacement course may be different from the fees payable for the original course.
- The student will also receive course credits for parts of the original course successfully completed by the student, as evidenced by a copy of a statement of attainment or other Australian Qualifications Framework certification document issued by the course provider or an authorised issuing organisation in accordance with the Australian Qualifications Framework.
- Each affected student will have a period of six (6) months in which to accept the replacement course offer. The Department may extend that period in circumstances that justify an extension.
- If an affected student enrols in a course that is not a replacement course, the student may be required to pay additional tuition fees, and might not receive the course credits the student would have received if the student had enrolled in a replacement course.
Re−credit of FEE−HELP balance
- Where the student chooses the re−credit of FEE−HELP balance option, the Department (or a consultant engaged by the Department) will notify the student that he or she may apply to Eastern College Australia to have their FEE−HELP balance re−credited for the affected parts of the original course. The student may nominate the Department (or a consultant engaged by the Department) to make the application on the student's behalf.
- Eastern College Australia will consider students' applications as soon as practicable and notify them of the decision about the application, together with a statement of reasons for the decision. If an application for a re−credit is accepted, the amount re−credited will be equal to the amount of FEE−HELP assistance received by the student for the affected units of study.
- It is suggested best practice for students to retain assessments, records of competencies or statements of attainment that they receive from their education provider.