Statement of Tuition Assurance for exempt VET Student Loans (VSL) Providers
- Tuition assurance protects students in the event a course provided by an approved VSL provider ceases to be provided after it starts but before it is completed. Affected students are offered a replacement course with another provider and where this is not possible, the students’ FEE HELP balance for the affected part of the course will be re-credited.
- As an approved provider under the VET Student Loans Act 2016, Avondale University College Limited (trading as Avondale University College) ABN: 53108186401 ACN: 108186401 must be a party to an approved tuition assurance arrangement or have an approved exemption in place.
- Avondale University College relieve on an Australian Student Tuition Assurance Scheme (ASTAS) policy issued by the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA) to provide fee protection to its students prior to the cessation of the ASTAS on 31 December 2019. It is our understanding that, for any student enrolled at the time the scheme was in operation, ASQA considers the RTO has complied with its obligations under Clause 7.3 of the Standards for RTOs 2015. We further understand that ASQA has agreed not to find any RTO that relied on the ASTAS non-compliant for the period 1 January 2020 to 30 June 2020 where reasonable attempts are being made to put in place alternative arrangements, noting the limited options available and the efforts of ITECA to work with providers to put in place an alternative compliance pathway. We therefore warrant that as a result of our continued membership of ITECA, we confirm that such attempts are being made, or that we are actively involved in putting in place an alternative.
- This statement sets out the interim arrangements for tuition assurance that will apply from 1 January 2018 and Avondale University College Limited’s obligations from that date.
- If any changes occur to the proposed arrangements outlined below, a revised statement will be provided on Avondale University College Limited’s website and advised to all students that have enrolled in the intervening period.
What happens if Avondale University College Limited ceases to provide a course after it starts but before it is completed?
Information for affected students
- Avondale University College Limited will notify affected students in writing that an approved course is no longer provided within 2 business days after Avondale University College Limited ceases to provide the course after it starts but before it is completed.
- As soon as practicable, Avondale University College Limited 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.
- 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 replacement providers.
- 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 replacement 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.
- A student who accepts the replacement course offered 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; or
- a copy of an authenticated VET transcript issued by the Student Identifiers registrar.
- 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-crediting of students’ FEE-HELP balances
- Where there is no suitable replacement course for a student, Avondale University College Limited will re-credit the student’s FEE-HELP balance for the affected parts of the original course. The amount re-credited will be equal to the amount of VET student loan used to pay tuition fees for the student for the course, or parts of the course.
- For tuition fees paid up-front greater than $1500, Avondale University College Limited will not enrol student in units until it has in place insurance for tuition fees with an approved provider as required under the Tuition Assurance Scheme.
- For tuition fees paid up-front below $1500, students should be aware that there is no formal protection in place and students will be responsible to seek a refund for these fees directly from Avondale University College Limited if Avondale University College Limited fails to provide the agreed services. Avondale University College Limited has in place a Refund Policy [F.03/VF.03], which shall apply. If the provider is under external administration, this may require the student submitting a proof of debt with the external administrator.
- It is suggested best practice for students to retain assessments, records of competencies or statements of attainment that they receive from their education provider.