This policy outlines how Eastern College Australia (the College) will mitigate disadvantage to students who are unable to progress/continue in a course of study due to unexpected or planned changes in the College's operations.
This policy applies to all Higher Ed and VET courses the College offers as well as the enrolled students and prospective students who have accepted a place at the College.
Eastern College Australia endeavours to deliver quality education throughout the students' enrolment period. The College has a Business Continuity Plan and adequately resourced financial and tuition safeguards to mitigate disadvantage to students who are unable to progress in a course of study due to unexpected or planned changes to the College's operations, including if the College is unable to provide a course of study, ceases to operate as a higher education provider, loses professional accreditation for a course of study or is otherwise not able to offer a course of study.
The College's Business Continuity Plan co-ordinates recovery of critical business functions in the event of a primary facilities disruption or disaster to minimise disruption to the delivery of teaching and learning to students.
The College is able to discontinue or terminate a VET course through consultation with staff and students in certain circumstances as set out in the Course Management Policy - VET. In the event that the College ceases to provide a course of study in which a student is enrolled, the safeguards and options available to the student via the Course Assurance Agreement and the Course Transition and Teaching Out Policy.
Tuition Assurance - Tuition Protection Service
- Eastern offers tuition assurance which protects students in the event that a course provided by us - an approved FEE−HELP provider - ceases to be provided after it starts but before it is completed.
- The Tuition Protection Service (TPS) assists higher education students whose education providers are unable to fully deliver their course or unit of study. TPS works with higher education providers to meet their tuition protection obligations and collects levies to support this activity.
- The TPS protects higher education students at private education providers when their provider defaults, whether the students pay their tuition fees up-front or use a HELP loan. A provider defaults when they close, stop offering a course or unit of study, or fail to start a course or unit of study with enrolled students.
- The TPS helps higher education students to:
- continue their studies with a replacement provider in an equivalent or similar course; or
- receive a refund of their tuition fees paid up-front and/or receive a loan re-credit for parts of the course that the student commenced but could not complete due to a provider default.
- The TPS is sector funded and supported by the Department of Education. Providers contribute annual TPS levies according to their size and risk of defaulting.
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. Eastern College Australia also has Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreements in place with other institutions that students may consider as options for 'replacement courses'.
- 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.
Complaints and Grievances
- Students dissatisfied with outcomes under this Policy have access to the complaints and grievances process outlined in the Complaints and Grievances Prrocedures - Academic matters.
- It is suggested best practice for students to retain assessments, records of competencies or statements of attainment that they receive from their education provider.