AIP March2011

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					ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION FOR HIGHER
 EDUCATION PROVIDERS: STUDENT SUPPORT




  ISSUED BY: TERTIARY FRAMEWORKS GROUP




        EFFECTIVE FROM 14 MARCH 2011
Contents
Preface ............................................................................................................... 1

Section 1             Introduction ................................................................................ 2

Section 2      The fairness requirements .......................................................... 3
     2.1 The fairness requirements ....................................................................... 3
     2.2 Equal availability of Commonwealth benefits ............................................. 3
     2.3 Application of merit in selection of students ............................................... 3

Section 3             Grievance and review procedures ............................................... 5

Section 4     Voluntary student unionism (VSU) .............................................. 6
     4.1 What is VSU? ......................................................................................... 6
     4.2 Compliance with VSU .............................................................................. 6

Section 5     Transitional arrangements .......................................................... 8
     5.1 Pre-2005 students .................................................................................. 8
     5.2 Pre-2008 students .................................................................................. 8

Section 6     Pre-2009 students and Pre-2010 students ................................ 10
     6.1 Pre-2009 Students ................................................................................10
     6.2 Pre-2010 Students ................................................................................12

Section 7      Determining student contribution amounts for transitional and
non-transitional arrangements ......................................................................... 14

Section 8     Definition of domestic and overseas students ........................... 16
     8.1 Domestic students.................................................................................16
     8.2 Overseas students .................................................................................16

Section 9           Definition of course of study ..................................................... 17
     9.1      Definition of a course of study ................................................................17
     9.2      Definition of higher education award ........................................................17
     9.3      Specialisations or streams within a degree ...............................................17
     9.4      Combined and double degree .................................................................18
     9.5      Undergraduate course of study ...............................................................18
     9.6      Postgraduate course of study ..................................................................18
     9.7      Enabling course ....................................................................................18

Section 10            Definition of non-award studies ................................................ 20

Section 11      Census dates ............................................................................. 21
     11.1 Setting a census date ............................................................................21
     11.2 Publishing census dates .........................................................................22

Section 12      Equivalent Full-Time Student Load (EFTSL) .............................. 23
     12.1 What is EFTSL? .....................................................................................23
     12.2 Determining EFTSL values for units of study ...............................................23
     12.3 Publishing EFTSL values for units of study ................................................23

Section 13      Request for Commonwealth assistance forms ........................... 24
     13.1 Types of forms and who must complete them ...........................................24
     13.2 Issuing the forms to students .................................................................25
     13.3 Submission of forms ..............................................................................26
      13.4 Can the forms be completed and submitted electronically? .........................26
      13.5 Who is permitted to sign a form? ............................................................27
      13.6 Checking the form and correcting errors ..................................................27
      13.7 Time limit for correcting certain information supplied on the form ...............27
      13.8 Distribution of the form ..........................................................................28
      13.9 Retention of the form ............................................................................28
      13.10      Cancellation and validity of a form ..................................................29
      13.11      Completion of a new form or multiple forms .....................................29

Section 14      Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) .................................. 31
     14.1 Who must receive a CAN? ......................................................................31
     14.2 What must the CAN contain? ..................................................................31
     14.3 When must the CAN be given? ................................................................31
     14.4 Electronic issue of the CAN .....................................................................31
     14.5 What happens if the CAN is incorrect? .....................................................31

Section 15      Exempt students ....................................................................... 33
     15.1 What is an exempt student? ...................................................................33
     15.2 Who is an exempt student? ....................................................................33
     15.3 Notifying students .................................................................................33

Section 16       Exemption scholarships ............................................................ 34
     16.1 What is an exemption scholarship? ..........................................................34
     16.2 Eligibility for an exemption scholarship ....................................................34
     16.3 When may an exemption scholarship be awarded? ....................................34
     16.4 Notifying the student .............................................................................35
     16.5 Social security treatment of exemption scholarships ..................................35

Section 17      Work experience in industry units (WEI) .................................. 36
     17.1 What is a WEI unit? ...............................................................................36
     17.2 Do WEI units attract Commonwealth Grant Scheme (CGS) funding or consume
          a person‘s Student Learning Entitlement (SLE)? ........................................37
     17.3 Can a provider charge a student contribution or tuition fee for WEI? ............37
     17.4 When is a student enrolled in a WEI unit a Commonwealth supported student?
          37

Section 18       Enrolments in cross-institutional programs .............................. 39
     18.1 What is a cross-institutional program? .....................................................39
     18.2 Commonwealth supported students in a cross-institutional program ............39
     18.3 Fee paying students in a cross-institutional program .................................40
     18.4 Eligibility for FEE-HELP ...........................................................................40
     18.5 How are cross-institutional programs reported? ........................................40

Section 19     Exchange and study abroad students ........................................ 41
     19.1 Domestic students on a formal exchange program ....................................41
     19.2 Domestic students on a study abroad program .........................................42
     19.3 Overseas students on a formal exchange program ....................................42
     19.4 Overseas students on a study abroad program .........................................42

Section 20     Employer reserved places ......................................................... 44
     20.1 What is an employer reserved place? .......................................................44
     20.2 Funding and tuition fee arrangements ......................................................44
     20.3 Can a student be Commonwealth supported? ...........................................44

Section 21      Incidental fees .......................................................................... 45
     21.1 Fees for goods and services incidental to studies .......................................45
     21.2 Circumstances in which a provider may levy incidental fees ........................45
       21.3 Circumstances in which a provider must not levy fees................................47
       21.4 Special Admissions Tests........................................................................48

Section 22      Third party arrangements - courses in which students may be
eligible for Commonwealth assistance.............................................................. 49
      22.1 What is a third party arrangement? .........................................................49

Commonwealth Supported Places .................................................................... 50

Section 23     Overview ................................................................................... 50
     23.1 What are Commonwealth supported places? .............................................50

Section 24      Allocation of Commonwealth supported places ......................... 51
     24.1 Provider responsible for allocating Commonwealth supported places ............51
     24.2 Allocation of a Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number
          (CHESSN) ............................................................................................51
     24.3 Notification to students ..........................................................................51
     24.4 Continued support in a Commonwealth supported place .............................51

Section 25      Eligibility for Commonwealth supported places ......................... 53
     25.1 Citizenship requirements ........................................................................53
     25.2 Student Learning Entitlement and unit of study requirements .....................54
     25.3 Enrolment requirements ........................................................................55
     25.4 Requirements for the payment of student contribution amounts ..................56
     25.5 Students choosing not to be Commonwealth supported .............................56
     25.6 Courses in which students must not be Commonwealth supported ..............57

Section 26     Commonwealth contribution amounts....................................... 58
     26.1 How much will the Australian Government contribute? ...............................58
     26.2 How are units of study allocated to funding clusters? .................................58

Section 27      Student contribution amounts ................................................... 59
     27.1 Student contribution requirements ..........................................................59
     27.2 Determining student contribution amounts ...............................................59
     27.3 Maximum student contribution amounts...................................................60
     27.4 Calculating the student contribution amount for a unit of study ...................60

Section 28     Payment of a student contribution amount ............................... 62
     28.1 How do students pay their student contribution amounts? ..........................62
     28.2 Which students are exempt from making a student contribution? ................62
     28.3 Tax deductibility of student contribution amounts ......................................63
     28.4 What happens if a student withdraws on or before the census date? ............63
     28.5 What happens if a student withdraws after the census date? ......................63
     28.6 Cancellation of units of study after the census date ...................................63
     28.7 Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) ..................................................64

Student Learning Entitlement (Sle) .................................................................. 65

Section 29      Introduction .............................................................................. 65
     29.1 What is the Student Learning Entitlement (SLE)? ......................................65
     29.2 Is there a time limit for the consumption of SLE? ......................................65
     29.3 Does completion of a course of study affect a person‘s SLE? .......................65
     29.4 Is SLE transferable? ..............................................................................65

Section 30     Ordinary Student Learning Entitlement ..................................... 66
     30.1 What is ordinary SLE? ............................................................................66
     30.2 Amount of ordinary SLE .........................................................................66
       30.3 Who is eligible for ordinary SLE? .............................................................66
       30.4 When will a person receive their ordinary SLE? .........................................66
       30.5 What can ordinary SLE be used for? ........................................................66

Section 31     Additional Student Learning Entitlement ................................... 67
     31.1 What is additional SLE? ..........................................................................67
     31.2 Who is eligible for additional SLE? ...........................................................67
     31.3 When will a person receive their additional SLE? .......................................67
     31.4 What can additional SLE be used for? ......................................................68
     31.5 How much additional SLE may a person be granted? .................................68

Section 32     Lifelong Student Learning Entitlement ...................................... 70
     32.1 What is Lifelong SLE? ............................................................................70
     32.2 When will a person receive Lifelong SLE? .................................................70
     32.3 How much Lifelong SLE will a person receive? ...........................................70
     32.4 What can Lifelong SLE be used for? .........................................................70

Section 33     Consumption of Student Learning Entitlement .......................... 71
     33.1 When is SLE consumed? ........................................................................71
     33.2 How much SLE is consumed? ..................................................................71
     33.3 Which type of SLE is consumed first? .......................................................71
     33.4 When is a unit of study covered by a person‘s SLE? ...................................72
     33.5 How will a provider know the amount of a person‘s available SLE? ..............73
     33.6 Simultaneous enrolments that exceed a person‘s available SLE ...................73
     33.7 What happens if a student withdraws on or before the census date? ............74
     33.8 What happens if a student withdraws after the census date? ......................74

Domestic Fee Paying Students.......................................................................... 75

Section 34     Students who are not Commonwealth supported (ie fee paying
students)      75
     34.1 General provisions ................................................................................75
     34.2 Fee paying summer school units .............................................................75
     34.3 Fee paying winter school units ................................................................76

Section 35      Tuition fees ............................................................................... 77
     35.1 Tuition fee requirements ........................................................................77
     35.2 Determining tuition fees .........................................................................77
     35.3 Minimum tuition fee requirements ...........................................................78
     35.4 Withdrawals on or before the census date ................................................78

Section 36    Undergraduate fee paying students .......................................... 79
     36.1 When can a provider offer fee paying undergraduate places? ......................79

Section 37     Waiving tuition fees .................................................................. 81
     37.1 Fee Scholarships ...................................................................................81

Overseas Students ............................................................................................ 82

Section 38           Who is an overseas student? ..................................................... 82

Section 39      Fees for overseas students ....................................................... 83
     39.1 Fee requirements ..................................................................................83

Section 40     Registration of courses for overseas students .......................... 85
     40.1 Courses offered onshore ........................................................................85
     40.2 Courses offered offshore ........................................................................85
Section 41           Reporting requirements for third party arrangements .............. 86

Higher Education Loan Program (Help) ............................................................ 87

Section 42     HELP ......................................................................................... 87
     42.1 What is HELP? ......................................................................................87
     42.2 Determining eligibility for HELP ...............................................................87

Section 43      HECS-HELP ................................................................................ 88
     43.1 What is HECS-HELP? .............................................................................88
     43.2 Who is eligible for HECS-HELP? ...............................................................88
     43.3 Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP .................................89
     43.4 Student contribution payment options .....................................................89
     43.5 Full up-front payments for HECS-HELP eligible students .............................90
     43.6 Partial up-front payments.......................................................................90
     43.7 Deadline for up-front payments ..............................................................92
     43.8 Payment of the HECS-HELP discount .......................................................92
     43.9 HECS-HELP loans ..................................................................................92
     43.10      Withdrawal on or before the census date..........................................93
     43.11      Refunding excess payments ...........................................................93
     43.12      Withdrawal after the census date ....................................................93
     43.13      Cancellation of units of study after the census date ...........................93
     43.14      Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) ..........................................93
     43.15      How are HECS-HELP debts repaid? ..................................................94
     43.16      Tax deductibility of student contribution amounts ..............................94

Section 44       FEE-HELP .................................................................................. 95
     44.1 What is FEE-HELP? ................................................................................95
     44.2 At which higher education providers are students eligible for FEE-HELP? ......95
     44.3 What can FEE-HELP cover? .....................................................................95
     44.4 Eligibility requirements ..........................................................................95
     44.5 What is a bridging course for overseas-trained professionals? .....................97
     44.6 FEE-HELP limit and balance ....................................................................99
     44.7 How will a provider know the amount of a person‘s FEE-HELP balance ....... 100
     44.8 Allocation of a Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number
          (CHESSN) .......................................................................................... 101
     44.9 Calculating the amount of FEE-HELP assistance....................................... 101
     44.10       Loan fee and amount of FEE-HELP debt ......................................... 101
     44.11       Request for FEE-HELP assistance................................................... 102
     44.12       Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) ........................................ 102
     44.13       What happens if a student withdraws on or before the census date? .. 103
     44.14       What happens if a student withdraws after the census date? ............ 103
     44.15       Cancellation of units of study after the census date ......................... 103
     44.16       How are FEE-HELP debts repaid? ................................................... 103
     44.17       Tax deductibility of tuition fees paid through FEE-HELP .................... 104

Section 45     OS-HELP .................................................................................. 105
     45.1 What is OS-HELP? ............................................................................... 105
     45.2 How does OS-HELP work? .................................................................... 105
     45.3 How are OS-HELP loans allocated to providers? ...................................... 105
     45.4 Who is eligible for OS-HELP?................................................................. 106
     45.5 Assessing a student‘s eligibility for OS-HELP ........................................... 108
     45.6 What is a 6-month study period? .......................................................... 109
     45.7 Overseas higher education institutions and overseas campuses of a higher
          education provider .............................................................................. 110
     45.8 What is regarded as full-time study under OS-HELP? ............................... 110
       45.9 How will a provider know if a student has previously received or applied for
            OS-HELP? .......................................................................................... 112
       45.10    Selection of students for OS-HELP ................................................. 112
       45.11    Provision of OS-HELP information to students ................................. 113
       45.12    Notifying students of their OS-HELP application outcome ................. 113
       45.13    OS-HELP debt confirmation form ................................................... 113
       45.14    What information needs to be collected from students? .................... 114
       45.15    Calculating the amount of OS-HELP assistance................................ 114
       45.16    Can a provider set a minimum OS-HELP amount? ........................... 114
       45.17    Amount of OS-HELP debt ............................................................. 115
       45.18    What is the loan fee? ................................................................... 115
       45.19    How is OS-HELP paid to the student? ............................................. 115
       45.20    When are OS-HELP payments to be made to a student? ................... 115
       45.21    Issuing a Commonwealth Assistance Notice .................................... 115
       45.22    When is an OS-HELP debt incurred? .............................................. 115
       45.23    Change in student‘s circumstances ................................................ 116
       45.24    Provision of false or misleading information by a student ................. 116
       45.25    What happens if a student does not undertake their overseas study? 117
       45.26    Can an OS-HELP debt be remitted? ............................................... 117
       45.27    How are OS-HELP debts repaid? .................................................... 117
       45.28    Voluntary repayments ................................................................. 117

Section 46      Tax File Number (TFN) requirements ...................................... 118
     46.1 Who is required to provide a TFN? ......................................................... 118
     46.2 By when must a TFN be provided? ........................................................ 118
     46.3 How does a student provide a TFN? ....................................................... 118
     46.4 Notification if a student does not provide a TFN ...................................... 119
     46.5 What happens if a student does not have a TFN? .................................... 119
     46.6 What if a student has provided a Certificate of Application for a TFN but has
          failed to quote their TFN within 21 days of issue by the ATO? ................... 119
     46.7 What happens if a student fails to provide a TFN? ................................... 120
     46.8 Validation of TFNs ............................................................................... 121
     46.9 What happens if a student has not provided a valid TFN? ......................... 121
     46.10      TFNs and the electronic submission of forms .................................. 121
     46.11      Australian Tax Office (ATO) to provide information on TFNs .............. 122
     46.12      What happens if the ATO notifies a provider that a student does not
          have a TFN? ....................................................................................... 122
     46.13      Retention and disposal of TFNs ..................................................... 123
     46.14      Confidentiality ............................................................................ 123
     46.15      Provision of TFN if student enrols in a new course of study ............... 124

Section 47     Repayment of HELP loans and indexation arrangements ........ 125
     47.1 Compulsory repayments ...................................................................... 125
     47.2 Voluntary repayments ......................................................................... 125
     47.3 Tax deductibility of repayments ............................................................ 126
     47.4 Indexation of outstanding HELP debts .................................................... 126
     47.5 HECS-HELP Benefit .............................................................................. 126

Reporting & Publishing ................................................................................... 129

Section 48      Reporting requirements .......................................................... 129
     48.1 The Higher Education Data Collection .................................................... 129
     48.2 Validation of data ................................................................................ 129
     48.3 Variations .......................................................................................... 129
     48.4 Process for assisting students who have a revised Higher Education Loan
          Program (HELP) debt that is yet to be advised to the ATO. ....................... 130
Section 49      Publishing requirements ......................................................... 131
     49.1 Schedule of student contribution amounts and tuition fees ....................... 131
     49.2 Census dates and EFTSL values ............................................................ 133
     49.3 Changes to published unit of study information ....................................... 133
     49.4 Changes to published unit of study information that do not require Ministerial
          approval ............................................................................................ 133
     49.5 Changes to published unit of study information that require Ministerial
          approval ............................................................................................ 134
     49.6 Circumstances where students may be disadvantaged ............................. 135
     49.7 Revoking saved determinations with regard to student cohorts ................. 135
     49.8 How can a saved determination relating to a student cohort be revoked –
          without Ministerial approval? ................................................................ 135
     49.9 How can a saved determination relating to a student cohort be revoked – with
          Ministerial approval ............................................................................. 136
     49.10      What student contribution amount or tuition fee will apply after a saved
          determination is revoked? .................................................................... 137

Help Payments To Providers ........................................................................... 138

Section 50     Payment and reconciliation arrangements .............................. 138
     50.1 HECS-HELP payment cycle ................................................................... 138
     50.2 FEE-HELP payment cycle ...................................................................... 138
     50.3 OS-HELP payment cycle ....................................................................... 139

Privacy Requirements ..................................................................................... 140

Section 51           Obligations under the Privacy Act 1988 .................................. 140

Section 52           Applicants to give informed consent ....................................... 141

Section 53           Privacy complaints and advice ................................................ 142

HEIMS ............................................................................................................ 143

Section 54           What is HEIMS? ....................................................................... 143

Section 55           The Going to Uni website ........................................................ 144

Section 56    Managing entitlement to SLE and FEE-HELP ............................ 145
     56.1 HEIMS order of precedence for entitlement consumption .......................... 145
     56.2 HEIMS outputs for entitlement management .......................................... 146

Section 57     Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number
(CHESSN)       147
     57.1 What is a CHESSN? ............................................................................. 147

Section 58     CHESSN allocation ................................................................... 149
     58.1 Who must be allocated a CHESSN? ........................................................ 149
     58.2 CHESSN for tertiary admission centre applicants ..................................... 149
     58.3 CHESSN for direct applicants ................................................................ 149
     58.4 Process for managing CHESSN duplicates ............................................... 150
     58.5 How are students notified of their CHESSN? ........................................... 151

Electronic Communications ............................................................................ 152

Section 59     Overview ................................................................................. 152
     59.1 What can be communicated electronically? ............................................. 152
       59.2 What are specific requirements for the electronic communication of
            information from a student to a provider? .............................................. 153
       59.3 Further details for the electronic submission of a request for Commonwealth
            assistance and other documents required to be signed ............................ 154
       59.4 Issuing unique identifiers to students .................................................... 154
       59.5 Verifying a student‘s identity ................................................................ 155
       59.6 Requirements for electronic forms ......................................................... 155
       59.7 TFN requirements for electronic forms ................................................... 156
       59.8 Retrieval of information ....................................................................... 156
       59.9 Storage of data ................................................................................... 156
       59.10      What are specific requirements for the electronic communication of
            information from a provider to a student? .............................................. 157

Re-Crediting And Remission ........................................................................... 158

Section 60     What can be re-credited or remitted? ..................................... 158
     60.1 Re-crediting of a person‘s SLE .............................................................. 158
     60.2 Re-crediting of a person‘s FEE-HELP balance .......................................... 159
     60.3 Remission or refund with regards to WEI units ........................................ 159

Section 61      The re-crediting and remission process .................................. 160
     61.1 Advising students of the process ........................................................... 160
     61.2 When can a person apply for a re-credit or a remission? .......................... 160
     61.3 When must a provider re-credit or remit? ............................................... 161
     61.4 Special circumstances .......................................................................... 161
     61.5 Academic review and re-credit of SLE or FEE-HELP balance ...................... 164
     61.6 Timeframe for making decisions ............................................................ 164
     61.7 Notifying students of the decision .......................................................... 164
     61.8 Notifying DEEWR of the decision ........................................................... 164

Section 62      Review of decisions ................................................................. 165
     62.1 Provider review of decision ................................................................... 165
     62.2 Review by the AAT .............................................................................. 166

Section 63           Waiver of HELP debts .............................................................. 168

Section 64           Freedom of Information .......................................................... 170

Appendices ..................................................................................................... 171

A – Contacts and links .................................................................................... 171

B – Acronyms ................................................................................................. 181

C – Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP ............................... 183

D – Request for FEE-HELP assistance ............................................................. 184

E – Request for FEE-HELP assistance – Open Universities Australia ............... 185

F – OS-HELP debt confirmation ....................................................................... 186

G – Permanent visas ....................................................................................... 187

H – Sample Certificate of Application for a TFN .............................................. 194

I – E-CAF File transmission report .................................................................. 195
J – Wording for informed consent .................................................................. 196

K – New Zealand citizens ................................................................................ 197

L – Sample Tax File Number letters from the ATO .......................................... 198

M – To Australian Tax Office – proforma for variation of debt due to
administrative error (HECS, PELS, OLDPS, BOTPLS) ....................................... 200

N – To DEEWR – proforma for variation of debt due to an administrative error
(PELS and BOTPLS) ........................................................................................ 201

O – List of occupations and the relevant assessing authorities that are approved
for identifying bridging study for overseas-trained professionals .................. 202

P – Student cohorts ........................................................................................ 206

Q – Guide to ‘special circumstances’ decision making .................................... 209

R – HESA - Code of Practice for notification of reviewable decisions and rights
of review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (Code of Practice) ............. 215

S – Pre-2005 students .................................................................................... 220
List of Figures
Figure 1   WEI arrangements ...............................................................................38
List of Tables
Table 1   Permanent humanitarian visa subclasses .............................................. 188

Table 2   permanent visa subclasses, excluding permanent humanitarian visa
          subclasses ........................................................................................ 189
AIP March2011




Preface
The Administrative information for higher education providers: student support (AIP) has
been developed as a resource to assist higher education providers (providers) interpret
and implement Commonwealth assistance to students provided under the Higher
Education Support 2003 Act (HESA). The AIP explains, in the main, the procedures
associated with administering places for Commonwealth supported students and fee
paying students, the Student Learning Entitlement and the Higher Education Loan
Program.

This edition of the AIP (January 2011) contains minor amendments only, as follows:

    to incorporate changes resulting from Amendments to HESA from the Higher
       Education Support Amendment (FEE-HELP Loan Fee) Act 2010 Section 44;

    DEEWR contact details (below and Appendix A);

    Minor edits to correct inaccuracies, typographical errors or for simplification.

In the 2009–10 Budget the Australian Government announced that from 2012, Australian
public universities and the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education will be
funded for student places on the basis of student demand. The Government will fund a
Commonwealth supported place for all undergraduate domestic students accepted into an
eligible, accredited higher education course at a recognised public higher education
provider.

In connection with this change, the Government announced its intention to abolish the
Student Learning Entitlement (SLE). Full details around the abolition of SLE will be
subject to the passage of legislation before 2012. In the meantime, SLE
requirements continue to apply for 2011 as per legislative provisions in HESA.

For further information regarding any of the material included in the AIP, please contact
the Higher Skills Branch by email (aip@deewr.gov.au).

Queries regarding the Commonwealth Grant Scheme (CGS) can be directed to
cgs@deewr.gov.au.

Queries regarding payments to providers, including HELP advances and reconciliations,
can be directed to the Financial Estimates and Payments Team in the Higher Education
Group at fep@deewr.gov.au.




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AIP March2011




Section 1                    Introduction
This Administrative information for higher education providers: student support manual
(AIP) has been developed by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace
Relations (DEEWR) to help higher education providers (providers) interpret and
implement the student support policies that are enacted under Commonwealth legislation
and associated guidelines. It explains the rules and procedures associated with
administering:

    the allocation of places for Commonwealth supported students;

    the Student Learning Entitlement;

    tuition fees for domestic and overseas fee paying students;

    the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) with the exception of VET FEE-HELP; and

    voluntary student unionism.

This AIP should be read in conjunction with the Higher Education Support Act 2003
(HESA) (including its notes and Table A which provides information on application, saving
and transitional provisions), and associated legislation and guidelines (listed in Appendix
A), which are the primary sources of the requirements with which providers must comply.
Relevant sections of the Acts and the guidelines are referenced throughout.

If there is any inconsistency between the content of this AIP and the provisions of the
Acts or the guidelines, the provisions of the Acts and the guidelines will prevail to the
extent of the inconsistency.

For queries regarding the information in the AIP, contact the relevant area of DEEWR.
Appendix A contains contact details and useful links. A list of acronyms used in the AIP is
in Appendix B.

Open Universities Australia (OUA)

OUA is not a higher education provider under HESA. However, where the AIP refers to
providers and to students undertaking studies with a provider, that information also
applies to OUA and OUA students where relevant, unless indicated otherwise. If there is
a specific requirement for OUA, it is detailed in the relevant part of the AIP.




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AIP March2011




Section 2                    The fairness requirements
HESA details requirements concerning the treatment of students that apply to all listed
(Table A, Table B and Table C [HESA – ss16-15, 16-20 & 16-22]) providers and approved higher
education providers [HESA - Subdivision 19-D].

2.1           The fairness requirements
A provider must treat fairly all of its students and all of the persons seeking to enrol with
the provider [HESA – s19-30].

The application of fair treatment does not require that all students be treated the same.
Fairness must be considered in the context of all the relevant circumstances. There are
situations in which the fair treatment of students may result in students in different
circumstances being treated differently.

2.2           Equal availability of Commonwealth benefits
Where a provider receives a grant or access to assistance under Chapter 3 of HESA in
respect of a class of students, the provider must ensure that the benefits of, and the
opportunities created by, that grant or assistance are made equally available to all of the
students in that class [HESA – s19-35(1)].

The forms of Commonwealth assistance provided by the Australian Government for the
benefit of students are the:

    Commonwealth supported places made available under the Commonwealth Grant
       Scheme (CGS);

    Higher Education Loan Program (HELP);

    student places made available for research students under the Research Training
       Scheme (RTS);

    various scholarships made available for disadvantaged students and research
       students; and

    various equity programs which provide additional financial support for designated
       equity groups.

2.3           Application of merit in selection of students
A provider must have open, fair and transparent procedures that, in the provider‘s
reasonable view, are based on merit for making decisions about students applying for or
receiving Commonwealth assistance [HESA – s19-35(2) & s19-35(4)].

Application of merit



                                                                                            3
AIP March2011


The application of merit in decision making generally would be expected to involve a
provider considering each application on a case by case basis and not applying inflexibly
policies that may preclude eligible applicants from having their application considered.

No income test

A provider may not apply an income test when making decisions about which of their
students are to be advised that they are Commonwealth supported. A provider may not
exclude high income students, or students whose parents have a high income, from
having their claim to be Commonwealth supported considered on the basis of merit.

Membership of a particular group

Generally, making membership of a particular group (e.g. social group, religious group,
socio-economic group, cultural group) an eligibility requirement to benefit from an
Australian Government grant or assistance would not be considered a requirement based
on merit. This may depend on the stated objectives or mission statement of the relevant
provider. This is different from the Australian Government providing a grant which is to
benefit only a particular group.

Educational disadvantage

When making decisions about the selection of students, a provider is able to take
educational disadvantages that a particular student has experienced into account [HESA -
s19-35(3) & s19-35(5)]. This should involve consideration of the actual disadvantages that a
particular student has experienced.

A provider should not use ‗proxy indicators‘ of educational disadvantage in the absence of
clear evidence that all students in such a group necessarily suffered educational
disadvantage. Such proxy indicators should not be used because they assume that all
people who satisfy the proxy condition (eg being from a low income group or being from
a rural area) have necessarily experienced educational disadvantage. A provider is
required to consider a particular student‘s specific circumstances before making a
decision about whether the student has actually suffered educational disadvantage.




                                                                                            4
AIP March2011




Section 3                  Grievance and review procedures
All providers must have grievance procedures for dealing with academic and non-
academic complaints by students, and persons who seek to enrol with the provider. For
non–Table A providers, the grievance procedures must comply with the requirements of
the Higher Education Provider Guidelines (see Appendix A). The grievance procedures
must be published and made publicly available [HESA – s19-45(1)(a)&(b)].

A provider must also publish and make publicly available the review procedure for dealing
with review of decisions relating to a person‘s Commonwealth assistance (see part 62.1)
[HESA – s19-45(1)(c)].




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AIP March2011




Section 4                   Voluntary student unionism (VSU)
4.1           What is VSU?
The VSU provisions of HESA require that higher education providers must not require a
student to be a member of a student association, union or guild. The provisions also
require that a person must not be required to pay any compulsory fees to a provider or
any other entity for the provision of an amenity, facility or service that is not of an
academic nature, unless the person has chosen to use the amenity, facility or service
[HESA s19-37(1) & (2)].


The VSU provisions of HESA apply to all students (HESA s19-37).

A provider will not breach the VSU provision of HESA if the tuition fee charged to an
overseas student for a higher education unit includes an amount that is used to fund the
specific services required under the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act
2000 and its National code. Overseas students undertaking higher education
units/courses are otherwise to be treated the same way as domestic students under the
VSU provisions. They cannot be required to pay a separate amenities or student union
fee [ESOS – s18-2]

4.2           Compliance with VSU
Compliance with the VSU provisions of HESA is a condition of continued approval as a
higher education provider, and a condition of the grants that are made to certain
providers.

Each year the Vice-Chancellor/Chief Executive Officer of each higher education provider
may be asked by DEEWR to sign a statement certifying that:

    the provider is willing and able to comply and has taken all actions that it considers
       necessary to ensure compliance with the VSU provisions;

    the provider‘s compliance with its enabling legislation (if relevant), statutes, by-
       laws, rules and administrative procedures will not result in any breach of the VSU
       provisions;

    appropriate action has been taken to ensure that all employees and agents of the
       provider are aware of the VSU provisions and have been instructed to ensure
       compliance; and

    the provider is not aware of any event that might result in a breach of the VSU
       provisions.

Any breaches of VSU should be reported to the provider in the first instance, but may
also be reported to DEEWR through the DEEWR student enquiry line, on the student
enquiry form on the Going to Uni web site or in writing to:

      Director Higher Education Support Unit

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AIP March2011


     Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

     GPO Box 9880

     CANBERRA ACT 2601

Where the breach involves a provider requiring a student to pay money to it or another
body and it has received that money, the Minister will send a notice requesting the
money be repaid to the student within 28 days for the provider to avoid the prescribed
penalty.

The penalty for a provider in breach of VSU provisions is a reduction of its grant amount
under the Commonwealth Grant Scheme (CGS) for each CGS student place that the
Commonwealth has allocated to the provider [HESA – s33-37]. The penalty, including for
providers that do not receive any funding under the CGS, could also be revocation of
approval as a higher education provider [HESA - Division 22].




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Section 5                   Transitional arrangements
5.1            Pre-2005 students
The transitional provisions that were in place for students who began their course of
study before 1 January 2005 (pre-2005 students) ended on 31 December 2008. For
further details, see Appendix S.

5.2            Pre-2008 students
Introduction

Providers have been able to set student contribution amounts for units of study in
accounting, administration, economics and commerce up to the same maximum as
applies under HESA for law, medicine, dentistry and veterinary science for students who
commenced their course on or after 1 January 2008.

The increased maximum student contribution amount can affect only Commonwealth
supported students who commenced their course of study at a higher education
provider on or after 1 January 2008. The previous Band 2 maximum student contribution
amount ($7,756 in 2011, indexed) will continue to apply to Commonwealth supported
students who commenced their studies before this date, in relation to units that end on
or before 31 December 2012.

The transitional arrangements relating to pre-2008 students end on 31 December 2012.
All students in these disciplines will be covered by the same Band 3 maximum student
contribution amounts in HESA from 1 January 2013.

When is a person a pre-2008 student?

A person is a pre-2008 student for a unit of study if:

    the person commenced a course of study with a provider before 1 January 2008 and
       was a Commonwealth supported student in relation to a unit of study in that
       course; and

    the person did not complete the course by 31 December 2007, or if they completed
       the course, it was:

      -   an enabling course undertaken in 2007; or

      -   the related course for an honours course of study and they are undertaking the
          honours course of study; and

    the period over which the person is undertaking the unit of study ends on or before
       31 December 2012; and

    the unit of study would have been in the accounting, administration, economics or
       commerce funding cluster repealed by Schedule 2 of the Higher Education

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AIP March2011


        Legislation Amendment (2007 Budget Measures) Act 2007. Note that this cluster
        also included food and hospitality (FOE 1101), personal services (FOE 1103),
        general education programs (FOE 1201) and other mixed field programs (FOE
        1299).

[Higher Education Legislation Amendment (2007 Budget Measures) Act 2007 - Item 7 of Schedule 7]

To be a pre-2008 student there is no requirement that the course a student was
undertaking as a Commonwealth supported student prior to 2008 was a course in
accounting or related disciplines or that the student has undertaken units of study in
accounting or related disciplines prior to 2008.

The pre-2008 arrangements apply to students who transfer from one course of study to
another (including where one course of study is postgraduate and the other
undergraduate), or who transfer between providers, as long as they meet the above
requirements.

When is a person not a pre-2008 student?

A student can be a pre-2008 student only if they were a Commonwealth supported
student for a unit of study undertaken as part of a course of study before 1 January
2008. A person is a Commonwealth supported student in a unit only if they remain
enrolled at the end of the census date for the unit. Therefore a person is not a pre-2008
student if they deferred their enrolment or withdrew following enrolment from all units
before the end of the first census date for a unit in their course of study.

A person who studied as a HECS student prior to 1 January 2005 but who has not
undertaken any study between 1 January 2005 and 31 December 2007 that would make
them a Commonwealth supported student will not be a pre-2008 student.

Students are generally subject to the same provisions as existed when they commenced
their Commonwealth supported course.

     A student who is enrolled in a double or combined degree program is a pre-2008
        student if they completed the requirements of only one of the awards on or before
        31 December 2007.

     A pre-2008 student enrolled in a single degree program and who transfers
        subsequently to a combined or double degree program remains a pre-2008
        student even if they complete the requirements of one of the awards.




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Section 6                       Pre-2009 students and Pre-2010
                                students
6.1             Pre-2009 Students
Introduction

From 1 January 2009, providers must set the annual student contribution amounts for
units of study in mathematics (including statistics) and science within the National
Priority band amount.

[Higher Education Support Amendment (2008 Budget Measures) Act 2008 - Items 11 and 12 of Schedule 2]

The reduced maximum student contribution amount for these units applies to all students
who commence their course of study on or after 1 January 2009, regardless of their
course of study.

It also applies to continuing students, who commenced before 2009 in a non-Natural and
Physical Sciences course of study, did not complete that course of study and, on or after
1 January 2009, transfer to a Natural and Physical Sciences (NPS) course of study.

[Higher Education Support Amendment (2008 Budget Measures) Act 2008 - Item 13 of Schedule 2]

The reduced maximum student contribution amount is the ‗national priority‘ band amount
of $4,355 in 2011 (indexed for later years). The Australian Government will pay the
difference between the old and new maximum student contribution amounts for the
students that are subject to the new maximum through a new Transitional Loading
($3,371 per EFTSL in 2011, indexed for later years) (see AIP:CGS for more information
on Transitional Loading).

Continuing ‗pre-2009‘ students (with the limited exception above) will remain subject to
the current higher maximum student contribution amount for units in mathematics,
statistics and science at the band 2 amount of $7,756 (2011 amount, indexed for later
years). The Transitional Loading will not be paid with respect to continuing pre-2009
students even if a provider chooses to apply a lower student contribution amount to
them.

NPS courses are those classified to the broad Field of Education (FOE) code 01 as defined
by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in the Australian Standard Classification of
Education (ASCED) 2001. A copy of the ASCED codes is available from the ABS website
at www.abs.gov.au.

In determining whether a course of study is an NPS course for the purposes of application
of the special arrangements for transferring students, the primary or secondary broad
FOE code attached to the combined or double degree program is to be used (HEIMS Data
Element No. 461).

A document detailing the allocation of units to funding clusters and student contribution
bands according to FOE codes is available on the Resources for Student Administrators


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AIP March2011


webpage at www.deewr.gov.au (Under Higher Education see Resources for Student
Administrators).

When is a person a pre-2009 student

Students continue with the arrangements that applied when they started their courses.
For the purposes of pre-2009 status, it is irrelevant whether the student commenced
their course as a Commonwealth supported, domestic fee-paying or overseas student,
they are pre-2009 for any units contributing to a course commenced prior to 1 January
2009 unless captured by the exception for transferring students. The intention of this
initiative is to encourage the study of mathematics and science courses through a lower
contribution amount for units in that discipline.

A person is a pre-2009 student if they enrol on or after 1 January 2009 in a mathematics,
statistics or science unit that forms part of a course of study that the student:

    commenced prior to 1 January 2009; or

    transfers into on or after 1 January 2009 from a course that they commenced prior
       to 1 January 2009, and the exception for non-NPS to NPS transferring students
       does not apply.

HESA defines a combined or double degree program as a single course of study. A
student is a continuing student until they complete the entire course of study. [HESA –
schedule 1].


If a student commenced a course of study as an overseas student, and after 1 January
2009 obtains permanent residency status or Australian citizenship and thereafter
continues the course of study as a Commonwealth supported student, they are a pre-
2009 student.

Break in studies

If a student commenced a course of study prior to 1 January 2009 and takes a break
from their studies by deferring they are a pre-2009 student on their return to that course
of study or if they transfer to another course of study and do not complete the initial
course of study.

Students who transfer from one provider to another after 1 January 2009

If a student commenced a course of study prior to 1 January 2009, did not complete it,
and on or after 1 January 2009, transfers to a different provider they are a pre-2009
student until they complete the course into which they have transferred (unless they are
covered by the exception for non-NPS to NPS transferring students).

Note:     ‗Transfer‘ means changing from one course of study to another with advanced
standing for some or all units that were undertaken in the initial course of study.




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AIP March2011



6.2             Pre-2010 Students
From 2010, the maximum annual student contribution amount for education and nursing
units of study was increased from the national priority band rate ($4,355 in 2011) to the
Band 1 rate of $5,442 for 2011 (indexed for later years). This applies to commencing
students from 1 January 2010. Continuing students will continue to be subject to the
National Priority Band rate.

When is a person a pre-2010 student?

A person is a pre-2010 student for a unit of study if:

     the person commenced a course of study with a provider before 1 January 2010 and
        was a Commonwealth supported student in relation to a unit of study in that
        course; and any of the following apply to the person:

      -    the person did not complete the course by 31 December 2009;

      -    in 2009, the person was undertaking an enabling course; or

      -    the person has completed the related course for an honours course of study
           and they are undertaking the honours course of study; and

     the person is undertaking a unit of study that would have been included in Education
        in the funding cluster Mathematics, Statistics, Behavioural Science, Education,
        Computing, Built Environment, Other Health or the funding cluster Nursing
        repealed by of the Higher Education Support Amendment (2009 Budget Measures)
        Act 2009.

[Higher Education Support Amendment (2009 Budget Measures) Act 2009 - Item 3 of Schedule 5]

To be a pre-2010 student there is no requirement that the course a student was
undertaking as a Commonwealth supported student prior to 2010 was a course in
education or nursing or related disciplines or that the student has undertaken units of
study in education and nursing or related disciplines prior to 2010.

The pre-2010 arrangements apply to students who transfer from one course of study to
another (including where one course of study is postgraduate and the other
undergraduate), or who transfer between providers, as long as they meet the above
requirements.

Where a student commenced a course of study as a Commonwealth supported student
before 2010, has not completed the course of study by the end of 2009, and takes a
break from their studies by deferring, they are a pre-2010 student on their return to that
course of study.

The ‗pre-2010‘ provisions for education and nursing mirror the ‗pre-2008‘ provisions for
accounting, administration, economics and commerce, however there is no sunset clause
for the grandfathering arrangements for pre-2010 students.




                                                                                              12
AIP March2011


Students are generally subject to the same provisions as existed when they commenced
their Commonwealth supported course.

When is a person not a pre-2010 student?

A student can be a pre-2010 student only if (among other requirements) they were a
Commonwealth supported student for a unit of study undertaken as part of a course of
study before 1 January 2010. A person is a Commonwealth supported student in a unit
only if they remain enrolled at the end of the census date for the unit. Therefore a
person is not a pre-2010 student if they deferred their enrolment or withdrew following
enrolment from all units before the end of the first census date for a unit in their course
of study (unless they meet the pre-2010 requirements for a different course of study).

A person who studied as a HECS student prior to 1 January 2005 but who has not
undertaken any study between 1 January 2005 and 31 December 2009 that would make
them a Commonwealth supported student will not be a pre-2010 student.

    A student who is enrolled in a double or combined degree program is a pre-2010
       student if they completed the requirements of only one of the awards on or before
       31 December 2009.

    A pre-2010 student enrolled in a single degree program and who transfers
       subsequently to a combined or double degree program remains a pre-2010
       student even if they complete the requirements of one of the awards.




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AIP March2011




Section 7                   Determining student contribution
                            amounts for transitional and non-
                            transitional arrangements
In determining the maximum annual student contribution amount for a unit of study
applicable for an individual student, providers should consider:

    when the person commenced their course of study;

    whether the person was Commonwealth supported for that study;

    whether the person transferred to a different course of study (or provider) – and if
      so whether advance standing was granted in relation to that study; and

    whether the person completed that course of study - and if they did the type of
      course completed).

Some examples illustrating the application of the grandfathering arrangements are
provided below.

Example 1

Nicole met the requirements for pre-2008 students in 2009 for a BSc / BEc which she
completed in 2009. Do any transitional arrangements still apply to Nicole for a new
course of study she commences in 2010?

As Nicole completed her course of study in 2009 and is commencing a new course of
study in 2010, she would:

    no longer be a pre-2008 student, and would therefore be subject to the Band 3
       maximum student contribution rate ($9,080 in 2011) for any units in the law,
       accounting, administration, economics, commerce funding cluster.

    not be a pre-2010 student for any education or nursing units of study and would
       therefore be subject to the Band 1 maximum student contribution rate ($5,442 in
       2011).

UNLESS…

Nicole had commenced a B Sc (Hon) / B Ec (Hon) part-time in 2010 and continuing in
2011, in which case she continues to be:

    a pre-2008 student and subject to the Band 2 rate ($7,756 in 2010) for units that
       would have been in the accounting, administration, economics, commerce funding
       cluster as it applied in 2007; and

    a pre-2010 student and subject to the National Priority rate ($4,355 in 2011) for
       any education or nursing units of study undertaken from 2010 onwards for any
       units in the related honours course.

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AIP March2011


Example 2

Michael commenced a double Arts / Science degree in March 2005 as a Commonwealth
supported student. He completed the course in December 2007. Michael was offered and
accepted admission into a Bachelor of Science (Hon) in 2008, which he deferred and
commenced part-time in 2009 due for completion in 2011.

Is Michael a pre-2008 student for the honours course of study?

As Michael had completed prior to 2008 a related course for an honours course of study
and was undertaking the honours course of study in 2009 he would:

    be a pre-2008 student and subject to the Band 2 rate ($7,756 in 2011) for units
       that would have been in the accounting, administration, economics, commerce
       funding cluster as it applied in 2007;

    not be a pre-2009 student, and therefore would be subject to the National priority
       rate ($4,355 in 2011) for any mathematics, statistics or science units (see note
       below); and

    be a pre-2010 student and subject to the National Priority rate ($4,355 in 2011) for
       any education or nursing units of study for any units in the related honours
       course.

Note, if the honours year had been part of the same undergraduate course of study that
Michael had commenced in 2005, Michael would be a pre-2009‟ student and subject to
the Band 2 rate for any mathematics, statistics or science units.

Example 3

Rod commenced a BA / B Ed as an international student in July 2007 and has been
studying part-time. He obtained Australian citizenship in January 2011 and from February
2011 continues his course as a Commonwealth supported student.

What transitional arrangements apply to Rod?

Although Rod is continuing his study of BA / B Ed, Rod was not a Commonwealth
supported student prior to February 2011. Therefore he is NOT covered by the pre-2008
or pre-2010 arrangements, but would be a pre-2009 student. In considering the
maximum student contribution amounts to apply to Rod for 2011, the following
maximum student contribution amounts would apply:

    Band 3 ($9,080) for any units of study in accounting, administration, economics and
       commerce;

    Band 1 ($5,442) for any units of study in education or nursing;

Pre-2009 Band 2 ($7,756) for any units of study in mathematics or science.




                                                                                          15
AIP March2011




Section 8                   Definition of domestic and
                            overseas students
8.1           Domestic students
Domestic students are Australian citizens, New Zealand citizens (including a diplomatic or
consular representative of New Zealand, a member of the staff of such a representative
or the spouse or dependent relative of such a representative) or holders of an Australian
permanent visa [HESA-schedule 1]. There are two types of places for domestic students:

    Commonwealth supported places (for information on which domestic students are
       eligible for Commonwealth supported places see part 25.2); or

    fee paying places (see part 34.1).

8.2           Overseas students
All other students are considered overseas students and must pay overseas student fees
(see part 39.1).




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AIP March2011




Section 9                    Definition of course of study
9.1           Definition of a course of study
A course of study is:

    a single course leading to a higher education award (see part 9.2); or

    a course recognised by the provider as a combined or double degree leading to one
       or more higher education awards (see part 9.2); or

    an enabling course (see part 9.7) [HESA – schedule 1].

9.2           Definition of higher education award
A higher education award is:

    a degree, status, title or description of bachelor, master, or doctor; or

    an award of graduate diploma or graduate certificate; or

    any other award specified as a higher education award under the Australian
       Qualifications Framework [HESA – schedule 1].

The higher education award is what has been accredited as the award. This is not
necessarily the same title as is on a student‘s testamur.

For example, a provider may have an accredited Bachelor of Engineering award but the
student‘s testamur includes the student‘s major, that is, Bachelor of Engineering (Civil).
In this case, the Bachelor of Engineering is the course of study. In other cases, the
Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) may be a different award to a Bachelor of Engineering and
is a different course of study.

9.3           Specialisations or streams within a degree
Streams within a degree are the same course of study if they lead to the same award.
For example, if the following streams lead to the same Bachelor of Arts award, they must
be treated as one course of study:

    Bachelor of Arts;

    Bachelor of Arts (History);

    Bachelor of Arts (Visual Arts).

If these streams lead to separate awards, they must be treated as separate courses of
study.



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AIP March2011



9.4           Combined and double degree
A combined or double degree program (e.g. Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws) is one
course of study. A combined or double degree that leads to a postgraduate award and
an undergraduate award is an undergraduate course of study [HESA - Schedule 1].

9.5           Undergraduate course of study
An undergraduate course of study is:

    a diploma (that is not accredited as a vocational education and training (VET)
       award);

    an advanced diploma (that is not accredited as a VET award);

    an associate degree;

    a bachelor degree; or

    an honours program.

Some undergraduate courses of study are described as graduate entry courses. The
award is an undergraduate award, not postgraduate, so these courses are undergraduate
courses of study.

9.6           Postgraduate course of study
A postgraduate course of study is a:

    higher education graduate certificate;

    higher education graduate diploma;

    masters degree;

    doctoral degree.

9.7           Enabling course
An enabling course is a course of instruction provided to a person for the purpose of
enabling the person to undertake a course leading to a higher education award. It does
not include a course:

    leading to a higher education award;

    accredited as leading to a vocational education and training (VET) award; or

    that the Minister determines is not an enabling course. [HESA – Schedule 1 & Ministerial
       determination].



                                                                                                18
AIP March2011


It is the provider‘s purpose in enrolling a student in the course of instruction that
determines whether it is an enabling course. It is possible for a course of instruction to
be an enabling course for only some students undertaking it.

While it is possible for students to receive credit towards a higher education award course
for units of study undertaken in their enabling course, a course that consists primarily of
units of study that lead to the higher education award students are preparing to
undertake, would not be consistent with the intention of the definition in HESA and would
not be an enabling course.

Students who complete an enabling course would generally commence a course of study
leading to a higher education award. Some students may not do so but a course is not
an enabling course if it is not being provided for the purpose of assisting the students to
seek to undertake a course leading to a higher education award.

Students undertaking an enabling course in a Commonwealth supported place do not pay
a student contribution. To assist providers with the cost of providing places in enabling
courses, providers are paid an enabling loading through the Commonwealth Grant
Scheme. See the AIP: CGS manual for more information on enabling loading or email
cgs@deewr.gov.au.




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AIP March2011




Section 10                   Definition of non-award studies
If a student is enrolled with a provider in a:

    subject or unit that may be undertaken as part of a course of study;

    course of instruction; or

    tuition and training program;

but the unit, course or program is not being undertaken as part of a course of study,
then the enrolment is on a non-award basis [HESA – Schedule 1].

Fees charged for non-award units of study are tuition fees and must comply with all the
provisions of HESA relating to tuition fees (see part 35.1).




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AIP March2011




Section 11                  Census dates
11.1          Setting a census date
Who sets the census date?

A provider must set a census date for each unit of study it provides or proposes to
provide during a year [HESA - s104-4(5) & s169-25(1)].

When must a census date be?

A census date must be no earlier than 20% of the way through the period of time
during which the unit is undertaken [HESA - s169-25(2)].

Example

     The duration of a unit of study is 13 weeks. The census date must be no less than
     19 calendar days after the commencement of the unit of study.

The period of time during which the unit of study is undertaken must include any normal
study breaks, assessment or examination periods (except supplementary examinations
as these are not normally undertaken by all the students in the unit of study). If a
provider does not know the date for the final examination for a unit, the last day of the
examination period is to be used as the end of the study period. If a unit does not
include a final examination, an examination period must not be included.

Census dates for full-year units

A full-year unit of study has only one census date, not separate dates for each teaching
period (semester, term, etc.).

Can a provider set common census dates for units?

Yes. A provider may have common census dates for units as long as the 20% rule is
complied with for each unit.

Census dates for postgraduate research units

A provider may determine the census date for research units of study undertaken by
higher degree research students based on the days or weeks that an individual student is
enrolled in a given period (the consumption model). In this circumstance, each student
is taken to be enrolled in his or her own unique unit of study, although a provider may
determine a common unit of study code for particular groupings of these units. The 20%
rule still applies.

A provider must comply with the standard census date provisions for coursework units of
study undertaken by postgraduate students.




                                                                                         21
AIP March2011



11.2          Publishing census dates
A provider must publish the census date for each unit of study that it provides or
proposes to provide within certain time frames (see part 49.2).




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AIP March2011




Section 12                   Equivalent Full-Time Student Load
                             (EFTSL)
12.1          What is EFTSL?
EFTSL is an equivalent full-time student load. It is a measure of the study load, for a
year, of a student undertaking a course of study on a full-time basis [HESA - s73-10].

12.2          Determining EFTSL values for units of study
A provider must, for each unit of study it provides or proposes to provide for a period,
the EFTSL value for the unit of study [HESA – s169-25(1), s73-15(1)]. If the unit can form part
of more than one course of study, the provider can determine different EFTSL values for
the unit for each course of study [HESA - s73-15(2)]. If a unit is offered over different
periods the unit is taken to be a different unit of study in respect of each period [HESA –
s169-25(1)] and may therefore have a different EFTSL value (note that in reporting to
DEEWR, such units must have different unit of study codes).

Chapter 2 of the Student Learning Entitlement Guidelines sets out other requirements
that a provider must meet when determining EFTSL values for units of study.

EFTSL values for postgraduate research units

A provider may determine the EFTSL value for research units of study undertaken by
higher degree research students based on the days or weeks that an individual student is
enrolled in a given period (the consumption model). In this circumstance, each student
is taken to be enrolled in his or her own unique unit of study, although a provider may
determine a common unit of study code for particular groupings of these units.

A provider must comply with the standard EFTSL provisions for coursework units of study
undertaken by postgraduate students.

12.3          Publishing EFTSL values for units of study
A provider must publish the EFTSL value for each unit of study that it provides or
proposes to provide within certain time frames (see part 49.2).




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Section 13                  Request for Commonwealth
                            assistance forms
13.1          Types of forms and who must complete them
Students who are enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place, or who are requesting
assistance under the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP), must complete a Request
for Commonwealth assistance that is in the approved form [HESA - s36-40(3)].

In submitting a form, a student is required to complete and sign the form and give it to
an appropriate officer of the provider. Providers should ensure that students are aware
of these requirements.

There are four approved Request for Commonwealth assistance forms, which are
described below. The paper forms that DEEWR provides are the approved forms. Where
a provider allows for the electronic submission of Request for Commonwealth assistance
forms (ECAF), these forms must follow the approved form format (see part 13.4).

1) Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form

The Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form must be submitted by all
students in a Commonwealth supported place who begin a course of study [HESA – s36-
40(1)]. Students who are seeking HECS-HELP assistance must complete the HECS-HELP
section of the form [HESA – s90-1(g)]. Students are required to submit only one form for
each course of study in which they enrol as a Commonwealth supported student.

A picture of this form is at Appendix C.

A student must submit a new form if they change the course of study in which they are
enrolled.

Students who are in a Commonwealth supported place and choose to undertake some
units of study on a fee paying basis and access FEE-HELP for those units, must submit
both a Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP and a Request for FEE-HELP
assistance form for the course of study.

Enabling courses and exempt students

Students who are in a Commonwealth supported place in an enabling course (see part
9.7) or have been awarded an exemption scholarship (see part 16.3) must submit a
Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form for that course even if they
have done so for a concurrent course of study.

Transitional students (pre-2008, pre-2009 and pre-2010 students)

Students who meet the transitional requirements do not need to submit a new form to
access the transitional arrangements. A person who is a transitional student but will be
commencing a new course of study in the relevant year must submit the Request for
Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form.

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2) Request for FEE-HELP assistance form

The Request for FEE-HELP assistance form must be completed by all students, except
those studying through Open Universities Australia (OUA), who wish to access FEE-HELP
assistance (see part 44.11) [HESA – s104-1(1)(i)]. Students who choose to undertake a unit
of study on a fee paying basis in a course of study in which they are otherwise
Commonwealth supported, and who wish to seek FEE-HELP assistance, must also submit
this form. Students are required to submit only one form per course of study for which
they are seeking FEE-HELP assistance.

A picture of this form is at Appendix D.

3) Request for FEE-HELP assistance – OUA form

The Request for FEE-HELP assistance – OUA form must be submitted by all students
studying through OUA who wish to access FEE-HELP assistance. Students are required to
list the units they will be undertaking in the study period(s).

A picture of this form is at Appendix E.

4) OS-HELP debt confirmation form

The OS-HELP debt confirmation form must be submitted by all students who wish to
access OS-HELP assistance (see part 45.13) [HESA – s118-1(1)(h)]. Students are required to
submit one form for each OS-HELP loan.

A picture of this form is at Appendix F.

13.2          Issuing the forms to students
When should the forms be issued?

All students enrolling for the first time in a Commonwealth supported place, or a course
of study or unit of study that is eligible for FEE-HELP, should be issued with the relevant
form before, or at the same time as, other enrolment documents. Students complete a
new form when they change their course or provider.

The OS-HELP debt confirmation form should be issued to eligible students who want an
OS-HELP loan.

Provision of information booklets

A provider must ensure that students who are issued the forms are also provided with
the relevant information booklet (i.e. the Information for Commonwealth supported
students booklet, the FEE-HELP information booklet, or the OS-HELP statement of terms
and conditions) for the relevant year. Students must receive the relevant booklet before
they submit their Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form or Request
for FEE-HELP assistance form. The form requires students to declare that they have read
the booklet.




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Copies of these booklets can be obtained from DEEWR (see Appendix A for contact
details). Continuing students should also be provided with the relevant information
booklet for each year of their enrolment.

A provider may choose to supply an electronic version of the information booklet to
students who submit their form electronically.

Can a provider pre-print student details on the form?

A provider may pre-print the forms with the personal details of the student (excluding
their Tax File Number) or incorporate those details on a label to be attached to the form.

13.3          Submission of forms
In submitting a form, a student must understand that they are required to complete it,
sign it and give it to an appropriate officer.

Commonwealth supported students

Students enrolling in a Commonwealth supported place must submit the completed
Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form, on or before the census date
for the first unit of study for the course of study [HESA – s36-40(1)]. A provider may set an
earlier date for submission of the forms for administrative purposes but, in doing so,
must ensure that students are treated fairly.

Students seeking FEE-HELP assistance

Students seeking FEE-HELP assistance must submit the completed Request for FEE-HELP
assistance form on or before the census date of the first unit of study for which they are
seeking FEE-HELP assistance [HESA – s104-1(1)(i)]. A provider, or OUA, may set an earlier
date for submission of the forms for administrative purposes but, in doing so, must
ensure that students are treated fairly.

Students seeking OS-HELP assistance

Students seeking OS-HELP assistance must submit the completed OS-HELP debt
confirmation form before the provider can make an OS-HELP payment to the student
[HESA - s118-1(1)(h)].


13.4          Can the forms be completed and submitted
              electronically?
A provider may enable students to complete and submit the forms electronically [HESA –
Division 174]. In doing so, the provider must meet the requirements in chapter 5 of the
Administration Guidelines. See part 59.6 for more information on the electronic provision
of the forms. Electronic forms are approved forms if they are a replica of the approved
hard-copy forms. A date field must be included in the E-CAF File (see part 59.6) as this
represents the submission date.




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13.5          Who is permitted to sign a form?
Generally, only the student receiving the Commonwealth assistance is permitted to sign
the form. However, a provider may accept a form that has been signed by a person who
is exercising a legal power of attorney on behalf of the student.

Whether or not a student is a minor does not affect his or her ability to sign the form.

13.6          Checking the form and correcting errors
A provider should ensure that students have completed the form correctly, including the
selection of all relevant boxes.

A provider must be satisfied that the details provided on the form are the same as details
provided on other enrolment documents lodged by the student. If, for some legitimate
reason, the details are not identical but the provider is satisfied that the details are
correct, the form should be annotated accordingly. Electronic forms cannot be
annotated. The E-CAF File (see part 59.6) has no scope for annotations and so records
on this file must be as submitted by the student and fully accurate.

If a provider is not satisfied that the details on the form are correct, it should attempt to
resolve the differences. If this is not possible, the provider must reject the form and
advise the student that it has not been submitted.

There may be rare cases where it is acceptable for a provider to alter a form on the
student‘s behalf or ask the student to complete another form after the census date. For
example, where incorrect information is provided on the original form submitted on or
before the census date and, even though the student has advised the provider that
such advice is incorrect, there is insufficient time on or before the census date to process
that request.

If a change is made to a student‘s form it is desirable that the student is advised of the
change as soon as practicable after the change is made

13.7          Time limit for correcting certain information
              supplied on the form
Students have six weeks from the census date for a unit of study in which the student is
enrolled to correct information so as to establish an entitlement to Commonwealth
assistance as at the census date. If the corrected information is provided more than six
weeks after the census date for a unit of study, the person will not be entitled to the
assistance for the unit(s) of study to which the correct information would otherwise
establish an entitlement. [HESA 169- 35].

Note

     The six week time limit does not grant additional time after the census date for a
     student to become eligible, for example, to gain citizenship.




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     A student must have lodged a Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form
     on or before the census date in order to correct information.

Entitlements that may be established through corrected information include HECS-HELP,
FEE-HELP, OS-HELP and access to transitional arrangements.

Students have an ongoing obligation to correct information that has already established
wrongly an entitlement to assistance.

Since 28 May 2007, students have no longer been able to establish an entitlement to
assistance provided under the Higher Education Funding Act 1988, whether by providing
new information or correcting previously supplied information under that Act. [HEFA s110B]

If a provider is aware, or has reason to believe, that a student in receipt of a HELP loan
has provided false or misleading information in their application, providers should
immediately notify DEEWR of the suspected offence and provide DEEWR with a copy of
the student's application and any other relevant information or material DEEWR requests.
The matter should not be discussed with the student unless DEEWR provides advice to
the contrary.

13.8          Distribution of the form
Original

All forms that contain the student‘s Tax File Number (TFN) must be sent to the Australian
Tax Office (ATO) by 1 June (for forms completed for the first half year) and 1 December
(for forms completed in the second half year). For details on where to send the forms,
see Appendix A. The forms containing a TFN must be sent to the ATO regardless of
whether the student has incurred a HELP debt.

Forms that do not include the student‘s TFN must be retained by the provider (see part
13.9).

Copies

The provider should retain the first copy and give the second copy to the student.

13.9          Retention of the form
The form is a Commonwealth record and is subject to the Archives Act 1983. A provider
must comply generally with the Archives Act 1983, and any disposal authorities issued by
the National Archives of Australia to DEEWR from time to time, in the preservation of the
form as notified to providers by DEEWR.

A provider must retain a copy of forms that do not include the student‘s TFN on behalf of
the Commonwealth for a minimum period of seven years after the student has completed
his or her course of study. Where state or territory legislation requires a provider to
retain documentation for a specified time, a provider should act in accordance with that
legislation, providing the form is retained for at least seven years following completion of
the course.


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A provider should retain a copy of all forms for its own records for at least the duration of
the student‘s course, or in accordance with state or territory legislation.

In relation to the Request for FEE-HELP assistance form, if a student cancels his or her
form (see part 13.10), the provider must still retain a copy of the form given that it is a
Commonwealth record and the student has the option of reactivating the request at a
later date.

13.10         Cancellation and validity of a form
All forms, except for the OS-HELP debt confirmation form, are valid for the duration of
the person‘s enrolment in the course of study or, in the case of OUA students, the units
the person nominates on the form. The OS-HELP debt confirmation form is valid only for
one OS-HELP loan.

Commonwealth supported students

Commonwealth supported students who are HECS-HELP eligible and who wish to change
their payment option, are not required to complete a new form. A student‘s actual
payment status is determined after the census date based on any up-front payments the
student has made on or before the census date.

Students accessing FEE-HELP assistance

Students who are accessing FEE-HELP are not required to cancel their form if they
subsequently choose to pay their tuition fees up-front. If full payment is made on or
before the census date for the unit of study, a student will not incur a FEE-HELP debt for
that unit.

Students may choose to cancel their request at any time in writing on or before the
census date for the unit of study. Students may choose to cancel their request for any
reason (e.g. the organisation of alternative payment methods). Students can
subsequently reactivate their Request for FEE-HELP assistance by submitting a request to
their provider in writing.

A provider should determine its own mechanisms for recording written cancellations and
reactivations of the form.

13.11         Completion of a new form or multiple forms
Enrolment in a new course of study

Students who change their course of study are required to complete a new form if they
wish to be Commonwealth supported for that course, or wish to seek FEE-HELP
assistance.

Enrolment in more than one course of study

Students who enrol in more than one course of study must complete a separate form for
each course.


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Enrolment at more than one provider

If a student enrols with more than one provider, a separate form must be completed for
each enrolment and each form must be submitted to the relevant provider.

Cross-institutional enrolments

Students enrolled in cross-institutional programs will need to complete two separate
forms, one at the home provider and one at the host provider (see part 18.1).




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Section 14                  Commonwealth Assistance Notice
                            (CAN)
14.1          Who must receive a CAN?
A provider must issue a CAN to all students enrolled with the provider in a unit of study
who have sought HECS-HELP (see part 43.1), FEE-HELP (see part 44.1), or OS-HELP
assistance (see part 45.1), and/or who are Commonwealth supported (see part 23.1) for
that unit [HESA - s169-5(1) & Administration Guidelines].

Open Universities Australia (OUA) must provide all students who have sought FEE-HELP
assistance for a unit being offered through OUA with a CAN.

14.2          What must the CAN contain?
The CAN must set out the information outlined in the Administration Guidelines for each
unit of study. It is important to note that the Administration Guidelines only require
information to be provided in the CAN as or if applicable to a particular student‘s
enrolment.

The CAN may contain other information, as determined by the provider.

14.3          When must the CAN be given?
Section 2.10 of the Administration Guidelines requires a CAN to be given to the student
within 28 days of the earliest census date indicated in the CAN. A provider may issue
separate CANs for units of study with different census dates.

Where the CAN applies only to OSHELP assistance, the CAN must be issued no later than
28 days after the OS-HELP debt incurral date (see part 45.21).

14.4          Electronic issue of the CAN
A provider may issue the CAN electronically (see part 59.1).

14.5          What happens if the CAN is incorrect?
When a provider believes a CAN to be incorrect

If the provider, after issuing the CAN, believes that the information is incorrect, or has
ceased to be correct, the provider must issue a new CAN to the student with the correct
information.

Student request for correction of CAN

When a student believes that the information on the CAN is incorrect, the student may,
within 14 days of dispatch of the CAN (or longer if the provider allows), request in writing


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for the CAN to be corrected [HESA - s169-10(2)]. This request may be made electronically
as long as the provider complies with chapter 5 of the Administration Guidelines (see
Appendix A).

The student‘s request should specify the particular information the student considers is
incorrect and the reasons why it is considered incorrect. Making the request does not
affect the liability of the student to pay the contribution, or the student‘s entitlement to
Commonwealth assistance. For corrections affecting entitlement to Commonwealth
assistance, see part 13.7.

A provider should consider the request as soon as possible, and notify the student in
writing of its decision. If the provider finds that the information on the original CAN was
incorrect, or has ceased to be correct, the provider must issue a new CAN to the student
with the correct information. The provider must also correct its records and data sent to
DEEWR accordingly (see part 48.3).




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Section 15                 Exempt students
15.1         What is an exempt student?
Exempt students are exempt from the payment of student contribution amounts or
tuition fees for specified units of study [HESA - s169-20(1)].

15.2         Who is an exempt student?
Students are exempt students for units of study:

    onsisting wholly of work experience in industry and where the provider is not
       providing support to a student‘s learning and performance (see part 17.1) [HESA -
       s169-20(2) and Administration Guidelines]; or


    in a course of study for which the provider has awarded an exemption scholarship
       for that course (see part 16.1) [HESA - s169-20(3)]; or

    for which the student is in a Research Training Scheme place.

Note: There is no student contribution amount for enabling courses but students enrolled
in enabling courses are not exempt students for the purposes of HESA (see part 9.7).

15.3         Notifying students
A provider must notify a student that they are an exempt student in the Commonwealth
Assistance Notice (see part 14.1). This requirement is set out in the Administration
Guidelines.




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Section 16                  Exemption scholarships
16.1          What is an exemption scholarship?
A provider may award a student an exemption scholarship for a course of study.
Students who are awarded an exemption scholarship are exempt from the payment of all
of their student contribution amounts and tuition fees for all units of study undertaken as
part of that course of study, from the point at which the scholarship is awarded [HESA –
s169-20(3) and Administration Guidelines].


Exemption scholarships are for the full amount of a student‘s student contribution or
tuition fee. Partial payment by a provider of a student‘s student contribution or tuition
fees for a course of study is not an exemption scholarship.

Commonwealth supported students who have been awarded an exemption scholarship
must complete a Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form.

Note: Exemption scholarships cannot be awarded on a unit of study basis.

16.2          Eligibility for an exemption scholarship
Domestic students

A provider may award an exemption scholarship to any domestic student.

A provider must meet the cost of the exemption scholarship. The provider will not
receive a student contribution amount or tuition fee from the student, or receive any
payment from the Australian Government to cover the student contribution or tuition fee.

In the case of students who are Commonwealth supported for the units of study
undertaken as part of a course of study for which they have an exemption scholarship, a
provider will receive the Commonwealth contribution for the units, and the student will
consume Student Learning Entitlement for those units.

Overseas students

A provider may award overseas students scholarships (see part 39.1), but these are not
exemption scholarships as defined in HESA. HESA does not provide for exemption
Scholarships to be awarded to overseas students.

16.3          When may an exemption scholarship be
              awarded?
Exemption scholarships may be awarded at any time during a student‘s course of study.
A student‘s status as an exempt student commences from the time he or she enrols in
any units of study after the awarding of the exemption scholarship. A provider is not
required to refund a student‘s student contributions or tuition fees for units completed
prior to the awarding of the exemption scholarship. However, if the provider will not be


                                                                                            34
AIP March2011


providing a refund, the student should be advised that the exemption scholarship does
not include a refund of student contributions or tuition fees paid for units already
completed, so that the exemption scholarship is accepted subject to those terms.

16.4         Notifying the student
A provider must notify a student in the Commonwealth Assistance Notice (see part 14.1)
that they are an exempt student because they have been awarded an exemption
scholarship.

16.5         Social security treatment of exemption
             scholarships
Exemption scholarships are not included as income for social security purposes under the
Social Security Act 1991 or ABSTUDY policy because, under HESA, no liability has been
charged to the student and no amount has been received as valuable consideration by
the student.




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Section 17                      Work experience in industry units
                                (WEI)
17.1           What is a WEI unit?
HESA requires that units of study that consist of WEI (WEI units) be treated differently to
other units of study [HESA - Schedule 1]. A summary of this section is at Figure 1 below.

WEI units are those which comprise totally of work:

    that is done as a part of, or in connection with, a course of study undertaken with a
       provider; and

    the purpose of which is to obtain work experience relevant to the course of study;
       and

    in respect of which student learning and performance is not directed by the
       provider.

                        Learning and performance is not directed by the provider
     [HESA - Schedule 1].
     unless all of the following are performed by staff of the higher education provider
     or by persons engaged by the higher education provider:

     -    ongoing and regular input and contact with students;

     -    oversight and direction of work occurring during its performance, not just the
          progress of a student‘s work;

     -    definition and management of the implementation of educational content and
          objectives of the unit;

     -    definition and management of assessment of student learning and performance
          during the placement; and

     -    definition and management of the standard of learning and performance to be
          achieved by the student during the placement.

          [Administration Guidelines (Chapter 3)].

WEI units are reported on Element 337 of the Higher Education Student Data Collection.
Reporting requirements are detailed in the manual, Higher Education Student Collection
Documentation.




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17.2            Do WEI units attract Commonwealth Grant
                Scheme (CGS) funding or consume a person’s
                Student Learning Entitlement (SLE)?
WEI units are not counted as student load for funding under the CGS [HESA – s33-30(1)] and
the person‘s SLE is not reduced in respect of WEI units [HESA – s76-1(4)].

17.3            Can a provider charge a student contribution or
                tuition fee for WEI?
Whether a student can be charged for a WEI unit depends on the level of support
provided to the student enrolled in the unit.

WEI units where support is provided

A provider may charge a student contribution amount or tuition fee for WEI units if the
student receives support for learning and performance from the provider or persons
engaged by the provider. A student is receiving support for learning and performance if
all of the following are performed by staff of the provider or persons engaged by the
provider:

    interaction between the supervisor and the student, which may include site visits;

    organisation of student placements;

    ongoing monitoring of student work and progress; and

    assessment of student learning and performance during the placement.

     [Administration Guidelines (Chapter 3)].

The unit is to be coded as ‗1‘ on element 337 of the Higher Education Student Data
Collection.

WEI units where no support is provided

If the provider, or someone engaged by the provider, is not providing support to a
student‘s learning and performance for a WEI unit, the unit is wholly WEI and the
provider cannot charge the student a student contribution amount or tuition fee. The
student is an exempt student [Administration Guidelines Chapter 3, HESA - s169-20(2)]. The unit is
to be coded as ‗2‘ on element 337 of the Higher Education Student Data Collection and as
an exempt student on element 490.

17.4            When is a student enrolled in a WEI unit a
                Commonwealth supported student?
A student is to be enrolled and reported to DEEWR as a Commonwealth supported
student in relation to a WEI unit if he or she is or has been Commonwealth supported for
another (non-WEI) unit of study in that course [HESA – s36-10(6)].

                                                                                               37
AIP March2011


Figure 1   WEI arrangements




                              38
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Section 18                    Enrolments in cross-institutional
                              programs
18.1           What is a cross-institutional program?
A student is enrolled in a cross-institutional program if all of the following criteria are
met:

    a program of study comprising a unit or a set of units of study is being undertaken
       with one provider (the host provider) as part of a course of study for which the
       student is enrolled with another provider (the home provider); and

    there is an arrangement for recognition between the two providers; and

    the cost of providing the program of study at the host provider is met by the host
       provider; and

    the home provider is not being funded for the program of study through student
       contributions or tuition fees paid by the student, through the CGS in the case of
       Commonwealth supported students, or through funding provided by an employer,
       an Australian Government, State or Territory department or agency, or any other
       individual or body.

18.2           Commonwealth supported students in a cross-
               institutional program
Where providers have Commonwealth supported places, they may offer places to
students undertaking a course of study at another provider as part of a cross-institutional
program [HESA – s36-10(1)(b)].

The student load for a cross-institutional program can be Commonwealth supported only
if the student is a domestic student and the cost of providing the program of study at the
host provider has not been provided to the home provider (e.g. through the CGS, the
student paying student contributions or fees, or an employer funding the study).

The student contribution amount is set by the host provider and need not be equal to the
student contribution amount that would have been incurred had the unit of study been
undertaken at the home provider.

Providers should ensure that students in cross-institutional programs are made aware of
each provider‘s requirements for enrolment variations and withdrawals.

If a unit undertaken by a student on a cross-institutional basis is a compulsory
requirement of the course of study in which the student is enrolled as a Commonwealth
supported student at a Table A home provider, the unit must be Commonwealth
supported at the host provider. Otherwise, the student may either be Commonwealth
supported or fee paying for the unit with the host provider.



                                                                                              39
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18.3          Fee paying students in a cross-institutional
              program
For domestic students enrolled in a fee paying place at their home provider, the unit of
study being undertaken at the host provider may be Commonwealth supported (if the
host provider has Commonwealth supported places) or fee paying. Students must
complete the relevant request for Commonwealth assistance form at both the home and
host provider (see part 13.11).

18.4          Eligibility for FEE-HELP
FEE-HELP (see part 44.1) is available to eligible cross-institutional students. Students
enrolled in a FEE-HELP eligible course at their home provider are eligible to access FEE-
HELP for units being undertaken at the host provider.

The units being studied at the host provider must be given recognition at the home
provider as part of the course of study being undertaken at the home provider.

Students are required to complete a Request for FEE-HELP assistance form at the
provider(s) at which they want FEE-HELP to pay tuition fees (see part 13.1).

18.5          How are cross-institutional programs reported?
All load for units of study that students are undertaking cross-institutionally must be
reported by the host provider, irrespective of whether the load is counted for CGS
funding. The home provider does not report the load for these units. Reporting
requirements are detailed in the manual, Higher Education Student Collection
Documentation




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Section 19                  Exchange and study abroad
                            students
19.1          Domestic students on a formal exchange
              program
What is a formal exchange program?

A formal exchange program involves a formal agreement between a provider and an
overseas higher education institution to have a reciprocal exchange of students over
time. These arrangements allow domestic students to pay for their overseas study under
the provisions of HESA. The domestic student must be enrolled in units of study for that
overseas study with their Australian provider to be Commonwealth supported and have
access to HECS-HELP, or have access to FEE-HELP assistance for the exchange units of
study.

Are exchange students entitled to Commonwealth assistance?

Where a formal exchange occurs, the Australian provider is effectively choosing to offer
some of its places offshore through a third party (see note below). This means that a
provider may inform students that they are Commonwealth supported while undertaking
overseas study through a formal exchange program as long as all other requirements for
so advising students are met and the student is enrolled in units of study with the
Australian provider for that overseas study. In particular, a provider must ensure that
the overseas study contributes to the requirements of the course of study that the
student is enrolled in with the home provider.

Students on formal exchange programs consume their Student Learning Entitlement (if
Commonwealth supported) and may access HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP under the same
provisions that apply if they were studying in Australia. Commonwealth supported
students must not be charged tuition fees by their home provider or their host institution,
unless they choose not to be Commonwealth supported (see part 25.5). Eligible
exchange students may also access OS-HELP (see part 45.1).

Note: This arrangement would not apply where a student was enrolled entirely at an
overseas campus of the provider, including one operated by a partner organisation, for
the course (that is, where the course does not form part of studies that contribute
towards the course undertaken with an Australian provider).

A higher education provider‘s funding agreement specifies that Commonwealth approval
is required to move Commonwealth supported load to a campus that does not have an
existing allocation of Commonwealth supported places.

Providers may allow a Commonwealth supported student enrolled at an Australian
campus to undertake some units at an overseas campus (including one operated by a
partner organisation) on a Commonwealth supported basis. In such a case, the load
associated with the student is still effectively associated with their enrolment at the
Australian campus and would be on an ad hoc basis, and therefore not regarded as


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shifting load. It would be similar to where a student undertakes a formal exchange at an
overseas provider and is regarded as Commonwealth supported for that part of their
course as described above.

Reporting of student load

Student load for Commonwealth supported students in an exchange program must be
reported and is subject to normal provisions relating to student status codes on E490 in
the Higher Education Student Collection. Student load is calculated on the basis of the
EFTSL contributing towards the Australian qualification by virtue of the work undertaken
overseas.

Note: To allocate units of study undertaken by the exchange student to the appropriate
CGS funding cluster, a provider should obtain details of the units undertaken, make an
assessment of the subject matter of each unit and allocate the units in accordance with
the requirements set out in Chapter 9 of the Commonwealth Grant Scheme Guidelines
(see Appendix A).

19.2          Domestic students on a study abroad program
Study abroad programs are not normally covered by an agreement between a provider
and an overseas higher education institution. Students who undertake study abroad are
not covered under HESA (except for the purposes of OS-HELP) and will be under the fees
regime of their host country. Student load for study abroad students is not reported.

19.3          Overseas students on a formal exchange
              program
Formal exchange programs involve a formal agreement between a provider and an
overseas higher education institution to have a reciprocal exchange of students over
time. These arrangements allow overseas students to pay for the study they undertake
in Australia under the fee regime that applies to them in their home country.

Note: HELP can only be used offshore for students who are eligible for HELP onshore.
Overseas students undertaking formal exchange from their Australian provider to a third
country are not eligible.

A provider is not required to meet the fee requirements for overseas students (see part
39.1) if the overseas student is participating in a formal exchange program [Higher
Education Provider Guidelines – chapter 7].


A provider must give confirmation of enrolment to all overseas students in the format
required by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (see Appendix A).

19.4          Overseas students on a study abroad program
Study abroad programs are not normally covered by an agreement between a provider
and an overseas higher education institution. Overseas students who undertake study
abroad in Australia are considered overseas students under HESA and must be charged
fees for overseas students in accordance with the Higher Education Provider Guidelines

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(see Appendix A). Student load for study abroad overseas students is reported as
overseas student load. A provider must give confirmation of enrolment to all overseas
students in the format required by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (see
Appendix A).




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Section 20                   Employer reserved places
20.1          What is an employer reserved place?
An employer reserved place is one made available under a restricted access
arrangement.

A restricted access arrangement, for a course of study, means an arrangement that:

    is entered into between the provider and an employer or industry body; and

    limits or restricts enrolments in some or all of the places in the course [HESA - Schedule
        1].


If requested by DEEWR, a provider must be able to produce evidence of the arrangement
and details of the nature of the limitation or restriction on enrolment.

20.2          Funding and tuition fee arrangements
A provider must determine the tuition fee for students undertaking units of study in an
employer reserved place. The tuition fee must be such that the sum of the tuition fee
and any employer contribution towards the unit is greater than or equal to the highest
student contribution being charged by the provider for that unit [HESA - s36-55(2)].

Eligible students in an employer reserved place may request FEE-HELP assistance to
meet the cost of all or part of their tuition fees (see part 44.1).

20.3          Can a student be Commonwealth supported?
Students in an employer reserved place for a unit of study cannot be Commonwealth
supported for that unit [HESA – s36-15(1)(a)].




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Section 21                   Incidental fees
21.1          Fees for goods and services incidental to studies
Commonwealth supported students and domestic fee paying students generally must be
able to complete the requirements of their course of study without the imposition of fees
that are additional to student contribution amounts (see part 27.1) or tuition fees (see
part 35.1).

Certain incidental fees are allowed. The criteria for deciding if a fee is incidental are set
out in chapter 8 of the Higher Education Provider Guidelines [see Appendix A] and HESA -
s19-102(3)(f) and are described in parts 21.2 and 21.3. Bonds and deposits related to the
payment of tuition fees, whether refundable or not, are not allowed under these
guidelines on the basis that HELP ensures that there are no financial barriers for entry to
higher education for those students unable to pay upfront for the cost of their tuition.

21.2          Circumstances in which a provider may levy
              incidental fees
In accordance with Chapter 8 of the Higher Education Provider Guidelines, a provider
may charge a student for a good or service related to the provision of their course if one
of the following criteria applies:

    The fee is a charge for a good or service that is not essential to the course of study.

     For example:

     -    access to internet and computer facilities (except where these are required as
          part of a course); 

     -    printing of notes from the internet or disks; and

     -    graduation ceremonies in cases where students are not required to attend the
          ceremony in order to obtain their award.

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

     For example:

     -    lecture notes or tapes, provided that lectures are made readily available to
          students free of charge; 

     -    electronic provision of essential information if the information is also made
          readily available free of charge in another form (e.g. in the university library);
          and



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     -     reading material, such as anthologies of required readings, provided that these
           texts are also made readily available free of charge.

    The fee is a charge for an essential good or service that the student has the choice
       of acquiring from a supplier other than the provider and is for:

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

     For example:

     -     artwork supplies;

     -     fabric for sewing class;

     -     musical instruments;

     -     badged clothing items required for clinical placements 

     -     protective clothing or footwear;

     -     stethoscopes;

     -     dance shoes; and 

     -     reference texts.

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

    The fee is a fine or a penalty, provided it is imposed principally as a disincentive
       and not in order to raise revenue or cover administrative costs.

     For example:

    fines or penalties for late enrolments, late variations to enrolments, late withdrawals
         from a course, and late payment of charges, student contribution amounts and
         tuition fees;

    review of grade if a student has already passed the subject but is seeking to
       improve their grade;

    a charge for an assessment of prior learning in circumstances where a person has
       not applied for entry to the provider; and 

    a bond for equipment that may be forfeited if the equipment is not returned or is
       damaged.

Providers may collect a fee for a service imposed and charged by a third party. For
example:


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first aid certificates, criminal record checks or immunisation costs.

21.3           Circumstances in which a provider must not levy
               fees
A provider must not charge students for a good or service that is required for a course of
study unless that good or service, or an alternative to it, is also made readily available to
students at no additional charge.

For example:

    course materials, such as:

     -    subject outlines;

     -    reading lists;

     -    tutorial or seminar topics and problems;

     -    assignment and essay questions; and

     -    requirements and guidelines for the presentation of work; 

    access to library books, periodicals and manuals; 

    clinic, laboratory or workshop materials such as anaesthetics, chemicals, filters, fuel,
        fertilisers, animal feed or crops used in practical sessions or research; 

    access to computers or other on-line resources; 

    recognition of prior learning if the student is enrolled with the provider or the
       student is applying for enrolment;

    equipment and manuals which a professional in the field would not be required to
       own, such as:

     -    fixtures in a clinic, laboratory or workshop; or

     -    large items of equipment and relevant workshop manuals required for their
          use; 

    admissions services including application fees (except special admissions tests, see
       part 21.4); 

    examinations or assessments, including practical assessment, for example, which
       requires the services of musical accompanists; 

    reassessment of results where a student has failed an assessment and thereby
       failed a subject or unit; 



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    mailing charges associated with distance education; and 

    course notes provided as part of distance education.

21.4           Special Admissions Tests
A provider that conducts a special admissions test for judging the suitability of a person
seeking admission into a specialist course may charge a fee for this test. A special
admissions test would be over and above normal admissions services such as enrolling on
the basis of an ATAR (TER/UAI) score, for which a provider must not charge a fee.

For example:

    specialist auditions and interviews such as those conducted by performing arts
       institutions/faculties; or 

    where special expertise is required to conduct interviews and make
      recommendations on the suitability of applicants for admission.




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Section 22                   Third party arrangements -
                             courses in which students may be
                             eligible for Commonwealth
                             assistance
22.1          What is a third party arrangement?
A third party arrangement is where a higher education provider enters into an
arrangement with another organisation (including a wholly owned subsidiary of the
provider) for the delivery of some or all of a course and the provider is to grant the
academic award. This relationship is to be one of principal and agent. Students
undertaking such a course must be enrolled with the provider.

The provider is the principal and must carry full responsibility for all aspects of delivery,
including quality and standards, teaching by qualified staff, adequate resources and
facilities, and adequate measures to protect the welfare of students.

The provider is required to comply with all the requirements in HESA including:

    students‘ eligibility for Commonwealth assistance;

    circumstances in which a student must, may and must not be advised that he or she
        is Commonwealth supported (see part 25.1);

    any conditions applying to provision of courses to domestic undergraduate fee
       paying students (see part 34.1);

    determination and charging of student contribution amounts and tuition fees, and
       the determination of EFTSL values and census dates for units of study (see parts
       11.1, 12.1, 27.1 and 35.1);

    publishing and reporting requirements (see part 49.1); and

    considering applications for the re-crediting of Student Learning Entitlement and
       FEE-HELP balance in respect of the units that form part of the course (see parts
       60.1 to 62.1).




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Commonwealth Supported Places
Section 23                  Overview
23.1          What are Commonwealth supported places?
A Commonwealth supported place is one occupied by a Commonwealth supported
student. A higher education provider may receive grants from the Commonwealth
through the Commonwealth Grant Scheme (CGS) for students in Commonwealth
supported places but a provider is not limited by the CGS in advising a student that they
are Commonwealth supported. See the Administrative information for providers:
Commonwealth Grant Scheme for further information.

Research Training Scheme places are not classified as Commonwealth supported places.




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Section 24                  Allocation of Commonwealth
                            supported places
24.1          Provider responsible for allocating
              Commonwealth supported places
A provider to which Commonwealth supported places have been allocated by the
Commonwealth is responsible for allocating Commonwealth supported places to students.
In allocating the places, the provider must ensure that:

    the benefits of, and opportunities created by, Commonwealth supported places are
       made equally available to all eligible students [HESA – s19-35(1)]; and

    it has open, fair and transparent procedures that, in the provider‘s reasonable view,
        are based on merit, for selecting students for the places [HESA – s19-35(2)].

In allocating the places based on merit, the provider may take into account educational
disadvantages that a particular student has experienced [HESA – s19-35(3)] (see part 2.3).

24.2          Allocation of a Commonwealth Higher Education
              Student Support Number (CHESSN)
DEEWR allocates a CHESSN to all Commonwealth supported students (see part 58.1)
through a provider or tertiary admissions centre. This enables the monitoring of
students‘ use of Commonwealth assistance.

24.3          Notification to students
A provider is required to notify students, in writing on or before the census date, that
they are Commonwealth supported in relation to a unit of study or a course of study of
which the unit forms a part [HESA - s36-5]. This notice may take the form of an offer of a
place.

24.4          Continued support in a Commonwealth
              supported place
Once a provider has notified a student that he or she is Commonwealth supported for a
unit of study contributing to a course of study, the provider must continue to enrol the
person as a Commonwealth supported student for subsequent units of study contributing
to that course of study [HESA - s36-25].

The only exceptions are where the provider is prohibited from advising the person that he
or she is a Commonwealth supported student [HESA - s36-10]. These exceptions are where:

    the student is no longer eligible (see part 25.1);



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    the person has chosen not to be Commonwealth supported (see part 25.5);

    no Commonwealth supported places have been allocated to the provider by the
       Commonwealth for the year; or

    the student is enrolled in a full fee summer or winter school unit of study (see part
       34.2).

Transfers between campuses of a provider

If a Commonwealth supported student wants to transfer to another campus of their
provider, including a campus at which Commonwealth supported places are not normally
available (such as an offshore campus), the provider is not obliged to enrol the student at
the new campus in a Commonwealth supported place [HESA – s36-32]. However, in
determining whether to enrol the student as a Commonwealth supported student, the
provider must comply with the fairness requirements [HESA – s19-30] (see part 2.1).




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Section 25                   Eligibility for Commonwealth
                             supported places
25.1             Citizenship requirements
A student may be eligible for a Commonwealth supported place if they meet the
citizenship requirements [HESA - s36-10(1)(c)]. To meet the requirements a student must
be:

    an Australian citizen; or

    a New Zealand citizen who will be resident in Australia for the duration of their unit
       of study; or

    the holder of a permanent visa (see Appendix G for a list of permanent visas) who
       will be resident in Australia for the duration of their unit.

A person may automatically be an Australian citizen by birth or adoption, or after
applying for Australian citizenship by descent or conferral. If a person is over 16 years at
the time they make their application for citizenship by conferral, they will obtain
Australian citizenship only after they have made the pledge of commitment and have
been issued with Evidence of Australian Citizenship from the Department of Immigration
and Citizenship (DIAC).

Note: New requirements apply under the Australian Citizenship Act 2007. The changes
mean that people who become permanent residents of Australia on or after 1 July 2007
need to have spent four years in Australia before becoming citizens. For further details
see: www.citizenship.gov.au

Residing in Australia

In determining whether New Zealand citizens or holders of a permanent visa will be
resident in Australia for the duration of their unit of study, a provider must disregard any
periods spent outside of Australia if:

    it cannot reasonably be regarded as indicating an intention to reside outside of
        Australia for the duration of the unit; or

    it is required for the purpose of completing the requirements of that unit. [HESA - s36-
       10(2A)]

However, a New Zealand citizen or holder of a permanent visa will not satisfy the
residency requirements if the higher education provider reasonably expects that they will
not undertake in Australia any of the units of study contributing to the course of study of
which the unit forms a part [HESA - s36-10(2B)].

Temporary or provisional residents




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Students who are temporary or provisional residents are not eligible for a Commonwealth
supported place as they are not the holders of a permanent visa. They are overseas
students and must be charged overseas student fees (see part 39.1).

25.2          Student Learning Entitlement and unit of study
              requirements
In order to be Commonwealth supported, the unit of study in which the student is
enrolling must:

    be covered by the student‘s Student Learning Entitlement (see part 29.1); or

    consist wholly of work experience in industry if support is provided (see part 17.1);
       or

    be undertaken as part of an enabling course (see part 9.7) [HESA – s36-10(1)(d)].

Students enrolled with a non-Table A provider may be Commonwealth supported only if
the unit is part of a course of study that is in one of the National Priority areas specified
in the Commonwealth Grant Scheme Guidelines (see Appendix A) for which the provider
has been allocated Commonwealth supported places by the Commonwealth [HESA - s36-
10(5)].


Units for which students are not eligible to be Commonwealth supported

Students are not eligible to be Commonwealth supported for a unit if the:

    enrolment is in an employer reserved place (see part 20.1) [HESA – s36-15(1)];

    unit forms part of bridging study for overseas-trained professionals (see part 44.5)
       [HESA - s36-15(1)];


    unit does not contribute to the requirements of the course of study in which the
       student is enrolled with the provider [HESA – s36-10(1)(b)]; See the example below.
       A student may undertake units on a non-award basis and make other
       arrangement for payment of tuition fees.

    unit is a full fee summer or winter school unit of study for which the provider has
       determined that Commonwealth support does not apply (see part 34.2) [HESA - s36-
       10(7)]; or


    unit forms a part of a course of study that the Minister has determined is not a
       course in which students may be enrolled as Commonwealth supported students
       (see part 25.6) [HESA – s36-15(2)].

Note: Pursuant to HESA, a course of study means:

     a)   an enabling course; or

     b)   a single course of study leading to a higher education award; or


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AIP March2011


     c)  a course recognised by the higher education provider at which the course is
     undertaken as a combined or double course leading to 1 or more higher education
     awards [ Schedule 1, HESA].

Example 1:

Can a student be Commonwealth supported for units that they undertake which
are additional to the award course requirements?

If a student can complete their award course of study, having satisfied all course
requirements, without having to undertake the additional units, then the additional units
are not eligible for Commonwealth support or government assistance under HELP. This is
because the additional units do not contribute towards the course of study..

Students may undertake additional units on a non-award basis and would need to make
other arrangements to pay tuition costs.

Example 2:

Can a student be Commonwealth supported for a unit of study that they have
already completed and for which they received a pass grade or better?

If a student has already successfully completed the requirements of the course of study
in which they are enrolled, the student is not able to re-take units of study as a
Commonwealth supported student for which they have received a pass grade or better .

A student is able to undertake units of study on a Commonwealth supported basis if the
student undertook those units in a previous course of study, and not in the current
course of study, and the units will be part of the current course).

Units of study that are not undertaken as part of the course of study are undertaken on a
non-award basis. Fees charged for non-award units of study are tuition fees and must
comply with all the provisions of HESA relating to tuition fees (see Chapter 0 for
information regarding tuition fees).

25.3          Enrolment requirements
In order to be Commonwealth supported, a student must enrol in the unit of study on or
before the census date for the unit. The student must also submit a Request for
Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form on or before the census date for the unit
(see part 13.1). A student must complete this form even if they are not requesting
HECS-HELP. A student‘s enrolment as a Commonwealth supported student must be
cancelled if he or she has not met this requirement [HESA - s36-40(1)].

A student cannot enrol in a unit as a Commonwealth supported student after the census
date for the unit [HESA – 36-10(1)(e)]. The student will not be eligible for FEE-HELP because
the census date will have passed (see part 44.1).




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25.4          Requirements for the payment of student
              contribution amounts
A student must meet the requirements for paying their student contribution amount. The
requirements depend on the student‘s eligibility for HECS-HELP assistance. Students
undertaking an enabling course must not be charged a student contribution amount and
are not subject to these requirements.

Commonwealth supported students seeking HECS-HELP assistance

Commonwealth supported students who are seeking HECS-HELP assistance must, on or
before the census date, either:

    pay 80% of their student contribution amount up-front to the provider; or

    meet the Tax File Number requirements (see part 46.1).

A provider must cancel the student‘s enrolment in a unit of study as a Commonwealth
supported student if the student:

    is not entitled to HECS-HELP assistance for the unit; and

     has not, before the census date for the unit paid to the provider the whole of the
     person‘s student contribution amount for the unit. [HESA - s36-40(2)].

Commonwealth supported students NOT entitled to, or NOT requesting, HECS-
HELP assistance

Commonwealth supported students who are not entitled to, or who are not requesting,
HECS-HELP assistance must, on or before the census date, pay the full amount of their
student contribution amount up-front to the provider.

A provider must cancel the student‘s enrolment in a unit as a Commonwealth supported
student if the student has not met this requirement in respect of that unit [HESA - s36-
40(2)].


25.5          Students choosing not to be Commonwealth
              supported
A student may choose not to be Commonwealth supported in a unit of study. The
student must notify the provider in writing, on or before the census date for the unit, that
they do not wish to be Commonwealth supported [HESA - s36-5(3), 36-30(2)(b), 36-30(4)(b), or
82-15(2)].

A student who chooses not to be Commonwealth supported is required to pay tuition fees
(see part 35.1) and may be eligible for FEE-HELP assistance (see part 44.1) [HESA – 169-
15(2)]. Student load in fee paying units does not receive a Commonwealth contribution
through the Commonwealth Grant Scheme (see part 26.1).




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Students may notify their provider electronically in accordance with requirements for
electronic communications (see part 59.1).

The act of a person applying for a fee paying place does not constitute advice to the
provider that the person does not wish to be Commonwealth supported. A person who
wishes not to be Commonwealth supported for a unit of study must express this explicitly
in writing.

25.6          Courses in which students must not be
              Commonwealth supported
Students undertaking a Bachelor of Circus Arts at Swinburne University of Technology
and students undertaking a research Masters or research doctoral degree, must not be
advised that they are Commonwealth supported in respect of any units of study that
contribute to that course of study [Ministerial determination under HESA – s36-15(2)].




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Section 26                   Commonwealth contribution
                             amounts
26.1          How much will the Australian Government
              contribute?
The amount the Commonwealth contributes through the Commonwealth Government
Grant Scheme depends on the funding cluster to which units of study are classified [HESA
– s33-10]. The Commonwealth contribution amounts for a particular year are published by
DEEWR at www.deewr.gov.au (Under Higher Education, see Resources for Student
Administrators, Indexed rates).

26.2          How are units of study allocated to funding
              clusters?
Units of study are allocated to funding clusters (or parts of funding clusters) according to
their classification under the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED) as
per the Commonwealth Grant Scheme Guidelines (see Appendix A).




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Section 27                     Student contribution amounts
27.1           Student contribution requirements
A provider must require every student in a Commonwealth supported unit of study, who
is not an exempt student (see part 15.1), to pay the student contribution amount for the
unit. The provider cannot charge these students tuition fees for the unit but may levy
charges that are not considered to be ‗fees‘ [HESA – s169-15(1) & s93-5(1)] or are not
otherwise prohibited by HESA. For information on what is a tuition fee and what is not
considered to be a fee, see part 35.1.

A provider may award students a scholarship to pay all or part of their student
contribution. The value of approved scholarships are not included as income under
income tests for social security payments including Youth Allowance and Austudy)
veteran affairs‘ pensions and allowances [Social Security Act 1991 - ss8(1), 8(8) & 24A] or
ABSTUDY [ABSTUDY Policy Manual 59.5.3].

27.2           Determining student contribution amounts
A provider is required to determine, for each Commonwealth supported unit of study it
provides, or proposes to provide, one or more student contribution amounts for a place
(that is, for one equivalent full-time student load (EFTSL) in that unit [HESA – s19-87]. This
amount must be nil if the unit is part of an enabling course (see part 9.7) [HESA – s93-5(3)].
Providers may determine more than one student contribution amount for a unit of study
to apply to different categories of students [HESA - s19-87(2)].

What factors can be considered in determining more than one student
contribution amount for a unit?

In determining more than one student contribution amount for a unit of study, a provider
may have regard to any matters the provider considers appropriate, but must not have
regard to the manner or timing of payment of the student contribution amount by the
student or the Commonwealth to the provider (such as whether students pay up-front,
with the HECS-HELP discount, with a HELP loan, with a scholarship or by partial
payments). [HESA – s19-87(2A), Higher Education Provider Guidelines 6.11]

Example

A provider determines the student contribution amount for a place in Maths 010 generally to be $4,355
(for one EFTSL) in 2011.

The provider determines that for students undertaking Maths 010 by distance education the student
contribution amount will be $4,000.

The provider determines that for students with an educational disadvantage undertaking Maths 010
the student contribution is $3,000.




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In determining more than one student contribution amount, higher education providers
must treat fairly all of its students and all persons seeking to enrol with the provider
[HESA – s19-30].


Charging and publishing student contribution amounts

Students must be charged the student contribution amount determined by the provider
that is applicable to them.

The student contribution amounts determined by the provider must be published (see
part 49.1) with sufficient information so that students are able to determine the student
contribution amount that applies to them.

Where more than one student contribution amount is determined for a unit of study there
must be sufficient information for a student to be able to determine which amount applies
to them.

Relationship to funding clusters or disciplines

Student contribution amounts are determined at the unit of study level. Units in the
same CGS funding cluster may be subject to different maximum student contribution
amounts. (See the DEEWR website at www.deewr.gov.au – Resources for Student
Administrators, Allocation of units of study and student contribution bands to field of
education codes.)

27.3          Maximum student contribution amounts
Student contribution amounts must not exceed the maximum student contribution
amount for the funding cluster, or part of a funding cluster, in which the unit is classified.
See Chapter 9 Commonwealth Grant Scheme Guidelines for information on allocating
units of study to a funding cluster or part of a funding cluster. The maximum may also
depend on whether a student is a pre-2008 student (see part 5.2), a pre-2009 student
(see part 6.1) or a pre-2010 student (see part 6.2).

The maximum student contribution amounts for each category of students for a particular
year are published by DEEWR at www.deewr.gov.au (under Resources for Student
Administrators, student contribution amounts) and in the information booklet for students
for that year.

27.4          Calculating the student contribution amount for
              a unit of study
The student contribution amount for a unit of study is based on the student contribution
amount for a place that the provider has set (see part 27.2), and the EFTSL value of the
unit (see part 12.1) [HESA - s93-5(1)].

A provider cannot charge a student a student contribution amount that is more than an
amount worked out as follows:

     Maximum student contribution amount for a place X EFTSL value of the unit


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[HESA – s36-45]

The formula repeated below is to be used in working out the student contribution amount
for a unit of study [HESA – s36-45].

     Student contribution amount for a place set by the provider for the unit X EFTSL
     value of the unit

Note: If the amount of the student contribution amount for a unit worked out by
this method consists of dollars and cents, the amount must be rounded down to
the nearest dollar [HESA - s93-5(4)].

Example

Susie has enrolled in Biology A01 as part of her Bachelor of Science. Her provider has set
the student contribution amount for a place at $4,355 for that unit of study. The EFTSL
value for Biology A01 is 0.125 EFTSL. Therefore, Susie‟s student contribution amount for
Biology A01 will be:

     $4,355 x 0.125 = $544.00




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Section 28                   Payment of a student contribution
                             amount
28.1          How do students pay their student contribution
              amounts?
How students can pay their student contribution depends on their citizenship and
residency status.

Australian citizens and holders of a permanent humanitarian visa

Australian citizens and permanent humanitarian visa holders may be eligible for HECS-
HELP assistance for their student contribution (see part 43.1) [HESA – ss90-1 & 90-5]. HECS-
HELP provides students with a loan to cover their student contribution and/or a discount
if they choose to pay all or part of their student contribution up-front.

Holders of other permanent visas and New Zealand citizens

Holders of a permanent visa (other than a permanent humanitarian visa) and New
Zealand citizens are required to pay their student contribution up-front in full on or
before the census date. Otherwise, the provider must cancel a person‘s enrolment in a
unit of study for which full payment has not been received [HESA - s36-40(2)]. These
students are not eligible for HECS-HELP assistance and therefore no discount applies to
up-front payments (see part 5.1).

Students holding an ABSTUDY masters and doctorate living allowance

Students in receipt of the ABSTUDY living allowance under the Masters and Doctorate
Award who are undertaking full-time postgraduate studies as a Commonwealth supported
student can apply to Centrelink for their student contributions to be paid under ABSTUDY.
Such students must choose the up-front payment option and provide Centrelink with a
copy of their confirmation of enrolment notice to ensure that Centrelink pays the amount
owing on or before the census date or the date set by the provider, if earlier.

28.2          Which students are exempt from making a
              student contribution?
A Commonwealth supported student is exempt from making a student contribution for a
unit of study if the:

    student has been awarded an exemption scholarship for the course of study to
       which the unit is contributing (see part 16.1) [HESA – s169-20(3)]; or

    unit consists wholly of work experience in industry which is not directed or
       supported by the provider (see part 17.1) [HESA – s169-20(2) and the Administration
       Guidelines]; or




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    student has been awarded a Merit Based Equity Scholarship.

Note: Students enrolled in enabling courses are not exempt students for the purposes of
HESA but their student contribution amount is set at zero dollars (see see part 9.7).

28.3          Tax deductibility of student contribution
              amounts
Student contribution amounts are not tax deductible, regardless of how the student pays
the student contribution [ITAA 1997 – ss26-20(1)(c) & (ca)].

28.4          What happens if a student withdraws on or
              before the census date?
A student who enrols in a unit of study, but withdraws on or before the census date, is
not liable to pay their student contribution amount for that unit. If the student has made
up-front payments in relation to that unit, the provider must repay those amounts to the
student [HESA – s169-15(3)], and, if the student has requested a HECS-HELP loan, the
student does not incur a debt for that unit and the provider will not be paid HECS-HELP
assistance by the Commonwealth [HESA – s137-5(3)].

28.5          What happens if a student withdraws after the
              census date?
A student who withdraws from their studies after the census date is liable to pay their
student contribution amount and the student consumes their Student Learning
Entitlement (SLE) in respect of the units of study from which they withdraw. However,
the student may apply to have their SLE re-credited in special circumstances [HESA – s79-
1(c) & s79-5]. If a person‘s SLE is re-credited, the person‘s HECS-HELP debt for the unit is
taken to be remitted [HESA - s137-5(4)] and the provider must refund any up-front
payments of the person‘s student contribution (see part 60.1). The provider also does
not receive payment for any HECS-HELP assistance to which the person was entitled and
must repay any amount already paid to it by the Commonwealth [HESA – s36-20].

28.6          Cancellation of units of study after the census
              date
In exceptional circumstances where a unit ceases to be available after the census date,
the provider should attempt to make suitable arrangements for the affected students to
complete the unit or a comparable unit. In making these arrangements, the provider
must treat students fairly [HESA – s19-30]. If arrangements cannot be made for a student
with which the student is satisfied, the provider should advise the student of their
entitlements under the provisions for re-crediting and remission (see part 60) and also
entitlements under Tuition Assurance Arrangements (in the case of non-Table A
providers) that the provider has in place. For information on Tuition Assurance
Arrangements, see the contact list at Appendix A.

See part 48.3 for information on reporting changes to enrolment after the census date.


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28.7         Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN)
A provider is required to issue each Commonwealth supported student with a CAN (see
part 14.1).




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Student Learning Entitlement (Sle)
Section 29                  Introduction
29.1             What is the Student Learning Entitlement
                 (SLE)?
The SLE, measured in equivalent full-time student load (EFTSL), gives a person access to
a Commonwealth supported place. The total SLE that a person has is equal to:




[HESA – s73-1]


29.2             Is there a time limit for the consumption of SLE?
No. There are no time limits in which a person must use their SLE.

29.3             Does completion of a course of study affect a
                 person’s SLE?
No. SLE is consumed at the census date for each unit.

29.4             Is SLE transferable?
No. SLE cannot be transferred to, or used by, another person [HESA – s73-25].

NOTE:

The Australian Government announced in the 2009–10 Budget context that from 2012
public universities will be funded on the basis of student demand.

In connection with this change, the Government announced its intention to abolish the
SLE limit from 2012.This would be subject to the passage of legislation. In the
meantime SLE provisions apply for 2011 according to existing legislative
provisions and as detailed in this manual.




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Section 30                   Ordinary Student Learning
                             Entitlement
30.1          What is ordinary SLE?
Ordinary SLE is the SLE to which all eligible persons are entitled.

30.2          Amount of ordinary SLE
All eligible persons have an initial amount of ordinary SLE equal to 7 equivalent full-time
student load (EFTSL). Provided that they meet the other requirements as to when a
person may be advised that they are Commonwealth supported, this entitles the person
to 7 years of equivalent full-time study in a Commonwealth supported place [HESA - s73-
5(1)].


Any study undertaken prior to 2005 does not affect a person‘s SLE.

30.3          Who is eligible for ordinary SLE?
All Australian citizens, New Zealand citizens and holders of a permanent visa are eligible
for SLE [HESA – s73-5(3)]. Students who cease to be an eligible person cease to have SLE.
If students then become eligible for SLE again, the amount of SLE they will be entitled to
will be equal to the amount they had immediately before the last time they ceased to be
eligible [HESA - s73-30].

30.4          When will a person receive their ordinary SLE?
On 1 January 2005, all eligible persons at that time received their ordinary SLE equal to 7
EFTSL. Persons who become eligible after 1 January 2005 by becoming an Australian
citizen, New Zealand citizen, or a permanent visa holder, will receive their 7 EFTSL on the
day that they become eligible [HESA – s73-5].

The Higher Education Information Management System (HEIMS) will automatically
calculate the amount of a person‘s ordinary SLE.

30.5          What can ordinary SLE be used for?
Ordinary SLE can be used to undertake units of study as a Commonwealth supported
student that contribute to a course of study in which the student is enrolled [HESA – s76-1].

Students enrolled in units wholly consisting of work experience in industry (see part
17.2) [HESA - s76-1(4)] or in a unit of study contributing to an enabling course (see part
9.7) [HESA - s76-1(1)(b)], do not consume SLE for those units.




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Section 31                  Additional Student Learning
                            Entitlement
31.1          What is additional SLE?
Additional SLE is an extra entitlement to ensure that eligible persons have enough SLE to
complete a course of study as a Commonwealth supported student (assuming no prior
studies or failed units of study).

31.2          Who is eligible for additional SLE?
Eligibility for additional SLE is dependent on a course of study meeting the requirements
in the Student Learning Entitlement Guidelines [HESA – s73-20] and a person meeting any
requirements relating to SLE set out in these guidelines. These requirements are
explained below.

Courses for which additional SLE may be granted

The requirements for the granting of additional SLE are that the course be:

    an undergraduate course of study (other than an honours course or graduate entry
       bachelor degree) where the course load is greater than 6 EFTSL;

    an honours course of study;

    a graduate entry bachelor degree course of study; or

    a postgraduate course of study.

Restructuring of courses of study

Additional SLE may also be granted in the case where a provider has restructured a
course in a manner that will require the student to undertake additional units of study,
above what was originally required, in order to complete the course [see 3.5.10 SLE
Guidelines].


31.3          When will a person receive their additional SLE?
A person receives their additional SLE from the time immediately before they enrolled in
the course of study for which additional SLE is granted [HESA – s73-20(2)]. For example, for
honours courses, additional SLE is granted at the time that the student enrols in the
honours part of the course.

HEIMS will automatically calculate the amount of additional SLE to which a person is
entitled, aside from additional SLE for restructured courses. In the case of restructured
courses, the provider must notify DEEWR (see Appendix A for contact details) [HESA – s19-
70] of the amount of additional SLE to which the person will be entitled.




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31.4          What can additional SLE be used for?
If a person is granted additional SLE for a course of study, that additional SLE can only
be used to undertake units of study, as a Commonwealth supported student, which will
count towards the requirements of that particular course of study [HESA – s76-5].

31.5          How much additional SLE may a person be
              granted?
The amount of additional SLE a person may be granted (worked out in accordance with
the Student Learning Entitlement Guidelines [HESA – s73-20(3)]) is dependent on the type of
course of study and, in most cases, any additional SLE that person has consumed in the
past for other courses.

For an undergraduate course of study longer than 6 EFTSL (other than an
honours course or a graduate entry bachelor degree course), additional SLE is
equal to:




Example

David enrols in a combined Bachelor of Law/Bachelor of Engineering. The length of the
course is 7 years of full-time study. He has not consumed any additional SLE previously
for any other course. David will be entitled to 7 + 1 – 7 – 0 = 1 EFTSL of additional SLE.

For an honours course of study, graduate entry bachelor degree course of study,
or postgraduate course of study, additional SLE is equal to:




Example

Michelle undertook a Bachelor of Law/Bachelor of Engineering and consumed all of her
ordinary SLE and 1 EFTSL of additional SLE to complete the course of study. Michelle
then decided to enrol in a graduate entry Bachelor of Education that will take 2 years of



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full-time study to complete. Michelle will be entitled to 2 – 1 = 1 EFTSL of additional SLE
for her Bachelor of Education.

For a course that has been restructured, additional SLE is equal to:




A provider must notify DEEWR (see Appendix A for contact details) [HESA – s19-70] of the
amount of additional SLE to which the person will be entitled.

Example

Emilie is currently enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts and her provider restructures the course
in her second year in such a way that Emilie now has to complete an additional 2 units
(with an EFTSL value of 0.5) in order to complete her course. Emilie will be entitled to
additional SLE for the 2 additional units equal to 0.5 EFTSL.




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Section 32                  Lifelong Student Learning
                            Entitlement
32.1          What is Lifelong SLE?
In order to encourage lifelong learning, students will receive a Lifelong SLE. This
provides them with extra SLE to use towards updating their qualifications or retraining.

32.2          When will a person receive Lifelong SLE?
A person will accrue Lifelong SLE in accordance with the circumstance in the Student
Learning Entitlement Guidelines [HESA – s73-22]. A person‘s accrual of Lifelong SLE is
dependent on the age of the person on 1 January 2005. If the person is aged:

    20 years or greater – first accrual on 1 January 2012, subsequent accruals every 1
       January thereafter; or

    less than 20 years – first accrual on 1 January of the year in which the person turns
       27, subsequent accruals on every 1 January thereafter [4.5 SLE Guidelines].

32.3          How much Lifelong SLE will a person receive?
The amount of Lifelong SLE that a person receives is specified in 4.10 of the Student
Learning Entitlement Guidelines and is as follows:

    on the first 1 January of accrual, a person receives 1 equivalent full-time student
       load (EFTSL); and

    on subsequent 1 Januarys, a person receives 0.25 EFTSL.

Example

On 1 January 2005, Justine is aged 25. Her first accrual of Lifelong SLE (equal to 1
EFTSL) will occur on 1 January 2012. On 1 January 2013, she will receive her second
accrual of 0.25 EFTSL. When she enrols in a course (for which she may be
Commonwealth supported) on 20 February 2013, Justine will have a total of 1.25 EFTSL
of Lifelong SLE to use towards that course.

HEIMS will automatically calculate the amount of Lifelong SLE to which a person is
entitled.

32.4          What can Lifelong SLE be used for?
Lifelong SLE can be used to undertake Commonwealth supported units of study
contributing to the course of study in which a student is enrolled as a Commonwealth
supported student [HESA – s76-10].



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Section 33                    Consumption of Student Learning
                              Entitlement
33.1           When is SLE consumed?
Consumption of Student Learning Entitlement (SLE) occurs when a student is enrolled, at
the end of the census date, in a unit of study as a Commonwealth supported student. It
is at this point in time that the student‘s SLE balance is reduced [HESA – Division 76].

The only exception to this is where the student is enrolled as a Commonwealth supported
student in a unit of study that:

     forms part of an enabling course (see part 9.7); or

     consists wholly of work experience in industry (see part 17.2).

SLE is not consumed for these units. Also, students do not consume SLE for units of
study in which they are not Commonwealth supported.

HEIMS will automatically calculate SLE consumption based on the student data the
provider gives to DEEWR.

33.2           How much SLE is consumed?
A student‘s SLE is reduced by the EFTSL value of the unit of study in which he or she is
enrolled as a Commonwealth supported student [HESA – s76-1(2)]. A student can only be
Commonwealth supported in relation to a unit if:

     he or she has enough SLE to cover the EFTSL value of that unit [HESA – s36-
        10(1)(d)(i)]: or


     the unit wholly consists of work experience in industry [HESA – s36-10(1)(d)(ii)] or

     the unit is undertaken as part of an enabling course [HESA – s36-10(1)(d)(iii)].

33.3           Which type of SLE is consumed first?
The order of SLE consumption is as follows:




[HESA – s76-5 and s76-10]




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A student is not required to have enough of one particular type of SLE to cover a unit of
study, so long as his or her total SLE available for the course of study covers it [HESA -
Division 82].


Example

Matthew enrols in a unit worth 0.125 EFTSL. At the time of enrolment, his total SLE is
1.025 EFTSL. It consists of: 

    0.025 EFTSL of ordinary SLE; and 

    1.000 EFTSL of additional SLE for the course of which the unit forms a part.

Matthew is able to undertake the unit as a Commonwealth supported student because he
has enough total SLE to cover the unit. His ordinary SLE is reduced to zero first, and then
he consumes 0.100 EFTSL (the balance) of his additional SLE.

Example

Francesca undertakes a Bachelor of Commerce and consumes 3 EFTSL of her ordinary
SLE during her studies. She then enrols in the related honours course as a
Commonwealth supported student. Francesca is entitled to 1 EFTSL of additional SLE for
the honours component.

Francesca completes her honours course, consuming 1 EFTSL of SLE. The SLE she
consumes, however, is her ordinary SLE, leaving her with a balance of 3 EFTSL of
ordinary SLE. The additional SLE she was granted for the honours course will be lost
because she did not need it as she had enough ordinary SLE to cover the course. She
cannot use the additional SLE for another course as additional SLE can only be used for
the course for which it was granted.

33.4          When is a unit of study covered by a person’s
              SLE?
A unit of study is covered by a person‘s SLE if the person has enough available SLE at
enrolment [HESA - s82-1].

Available SLE takes into account amounts of SLE that have been consumed, along with
SLE associated with units in which a person has enrolled but for which the census date
has not yet passed [HESA - s82-5].

Example

Andrew has 1 EFTSL of ordinary SLE remaining and is not eligible for additional SLE.
Andrew then enrols in 1 EFTSL of units in his Bachelor of Economics with provider A.
Before the census date for his Bachelor of Economics units, Andrew also attempts to
enrol in 1 EFTSL of units in a Bachelor of Science with provider B. Andrew‟s available SLE
is 0 EFTSL and therefore the units in the Bachelor of Science are not covered by his SLE
unless he cancels his enrolment in the Bachelor of Economics units.



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33.5          How will a provider know the amount of a
              person’s available SLE?
Commencing students

A commencing student‘s ordinary SLE will be provided at the same time as the student‘s
CHESSN (see part 24.1). Available SLE will be based on the data submitted by all
providers and will take into account duplicate CHESSNs.

Continuing students

For continuing students, DEEWR will provide a report to providers that will include all
students enrolled with the provider who have less than 1.5 EFTSL of SLE remaining. This
report will be produced by HEIMS. A provider may, at any time, request a student‘s SLE
balance from HEIMS (see part 56.2).

Providers should note that there will be a delay between a student consuming their SLE
and DEEWR being able to report this consumption (see part 56.2). It is a student‘s
responsibility to monitor their SLE consumption and providers need to ensure that they
do not enrol students in a unit of study as Commonwealth supported students who have
no available SLE. Under HESA, DEEWR cannot pay a provider any CGS funding or HECS-
HELP assistance for a student who does not have SLE sufficient to cover the unit in which
they are enrolled.

33.6          Simultaneous enrolments that exceed a
              person’s available SLE
If a student is enrolled simultaneously in units of study for which the EFTSL value
exceeds the student‘s available SLE, the student must choose not to be Commonwealth
supported for one or more of the units (see part 25.5). These become excluded units
[HESA - s82-15].

In the case where a student fails to notify a provider that they do not wish to be
Commonwealth supported for one or more units, and the student is enrolled in more than
one unit with the same census date (either with the same or a different provider),
consumption of SLE will be determined according to the HEIMS order of precedence (see
part 56.1). Where a student enrols in units that are not covered by the student‘s
available SLE, DEEWR will notify the affected provider via an exception report and the
provider must cancel that student‘s enrolment as a Commonwealth supported student in
the units that were not covered by the student‘s available SLE. Enrolling the student as a
fee paying or non-award student is at the provider‘s discretion. However, the student
will not be eligible for FEE-HELP where the census date has passed.

If a provider knows that a student‘s enrolment in units exceeds his or her available SLE
and is unable to contact the student to vary the student‘s enrolment before the census
date, the provider may select which units will be Commonwealth supported. In doing
this, the provider must treat students fairly [HESA – s19-30] and should inform students of
the action that will be taken in these circumstances.




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For information on reporting where a student has exceeded their SLE (see part 56.1 ).

33.7          What happens if a student withdraws on or
              before the census date?
If a student withdraws from a unit of study on or before the census date for that unit, no
SLE is consumed for that unit [HESA – s76-1].

33.8          What happens if a student withdraws after the
              census date?
Students who withdraw from their studies after the census date still consume SLE for the
units of study from which they withdraw. However, such students may apply to have
their SLE for those units re-credited in special circumstances (see part 60.1) [HESA –
Division 79].




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Domestic Fee Paying Students
Section 34                  Students who are not
                            Commonwealth supported (ie fee
                            paying students)
34.1          General provisions
A student is Commonwealth supported only if he or she has been advised by his or her
provider that he or she is a Commonwealth supported student for a unit of study [HESA –
s36-5)]. Domestic students who are not Commonwealth supported (i.e. ‗fee paying‘
students) must be charged tuition fees [HESA - s19-85] (see 35.1) and may be eligible for
FEE-HELP assistance (see part 44.1) for all or part of those tuition fees [HESA – Division
104].


Fee paying students do not pay student contribution amounts (see part 27.1), are not
entitled to HECS-HELP assistance [HESA - s90-1] (see part 43.1), and do not use their SLE
[HESA – s76-1] (see part 29.1). Fee paying students are not included in determining the
basic grant amount for Commonwealth Grant Scheme purposes [HESA – s33-5].

34.2          Fee paying summer school units
A provider is able to offer a summer school unit on a fee paying basis by determining that
s36-10 of HESA applies to the unit. A provider can only do this if:

    the period in which the unit will be wholly provided starts on or after 1 November in
       a year and ends after 1 January, but before 1 March in the following year [HESA -
       s36-10(10)]; and

    each person undertaking the unit could undertake, or could have undertaken, the
       unit outside the summer school period (including on a Commonwealth supported
       basis if eligible) [HESA - s36-10(8)].

This determination applies only in respect of a unit of study. A provider is not required to
determine that all the units it provides during a summer school period are to be offered
on a fee paying only basis. A provider is able to offer a unit in a summer school on the
same Commonwealth supported basis as it is offered at other times of the year. It does
not need to do anything to achieve this.

No student in a fee paying summer school unit can be Commonwealth supported. All
students must pay tuition fees in this circumstance. Eligible students who are
Commonwealth supported for other units in their course of study, may access FEE-HELP
for their tuition fees. Students who wish to access FEE-HELP must ensure they submit a
Request for FEE-HELP assistance form in respect of those units.

When determining that a unit is a fee paying summer school unit, a provider must ensure
that students are aware that the unit is a fee paying summer school unit.


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34.3          Fee paying winter school units
A provider is able to offer a winter school unit on a fee paying basis by determining that
s36-10 of HESA applies to the unit. A provider can only do this if:

    the period in which the unit will be wholly provided starts on or after 1 June in a
       year and ends on or before 31 August in that year [HESA – s36-10(10)]; and

    each person undertaking the unit could undertake, or could have undertaken, the
       unit outside the winter school period (including on a Commonwealth supported
       basis if eligible) [HESA - s36-10(8)].

This determination applies only in respect of a unit of study. A provider is not required to
determine that all the units it provides during a winter school period are to be offered on
a fee paying only basis. A provider is able to offer a unit in a winter school on the same
Commonwealth supported basis as it is offered at other times of the year. It does not
need to do anything to achieve this.

No student in a fee paying winter school unit can be Commonwealth supported. All
students must pay tuition fees in this circumstance. Eligible students who are
Commonwealth supported for other units in their course of study, may access FEE-HELP
for their tuition fees. Students who wish to access FEE-HELP must ensure they submit a
Request for FEE-HELP assistance form in respect of those units.

When determining that a unit is a fee paying winter school unit, a provider must ensure
that students are aware that the unit is a fee paying winter school unit.




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Section 35                     Tuition fees
35.1           Tuition fee requirements
A provider must require every domestic student that the provider enrols, who is not
Commonwealth supported in a unit of study, and who is not an exempt student (see part
15.1), to pay a tuition fee for the unit [HESA - s169-15]. The provider may levy other
charges on these students that are not considered to be fees and that are not otherwise
prohibited by HESA but cannot charge these students a student contribution amount for
the unit [HESA - s169-15(2)].

The total fee for a course of study must not exceed the sum of the student‘s tuition fees
for all of the units undertaken by the student as part of that course [HESA - s19-100]. That
is, the fee for a course cannot include fees other than the tuition fees for the units
contributing to that course. See part 15.1 for information on what is not considered a fee.

A tuition fee may include the costs of items associated with a unit of study if the items
are compulsory and essential to complete the requirements of the unit of study and for
which the student has no option of an alternative supplier other than the higher
education provider.

35.2           Determining tuition fees
A provider must determine one or more fees for each unit of study it offers in a year
[HESA - s19-90(1) & s104-4(2)]. This requirement applies irrespective of whether the unit is
being taught onshore in Australia or offshore. Providers may determine more than one
tuition fee for a unit of study to apply to different categories of students.

What factors can be considered in determining tuition fees?

In determining more than one tuition fee for a unit of study, a provider may have regard
to any matters the provider considers appropriate, but must not have regard to the
manner or timing of payment of the tuition fee by the student or the Commonwealth to
the provider (such as whether students pay up-front or with a HELP loan, with a
scholarship or by partial payments). [HESA – s19-90(2), Higher Education Provider Guidelines 6.11]

Example

A provider determines the tuition fee for Maths 010 to be $1,200 in 2011.

The provider determines that for students undertaking Maths 010 by distance education
the tuition fee will be $1,000.

In determining more than one tuition fee, providers need to comply with the fairness
provisions in HESA which require that a higher education provider must treat fairly all of
its students and all persons seeking to enrol.

Charging and publishing tuition fees



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Students must be charged the tuition fee determined by the provider that is applicable to
them.

The tuition fees determined by the provider must be published (see part 49.1) with
sufficient information so that students are able to determine the tuition fee that applies
to them

Where more than one tuition fee is determined for a unit of study there must be sufficient
information for a student to be able to determine which tuition fee applies to them.

35.3          Minimum tuition fee requirements
HESA sets out requirements for the minimum amount that can be charged as a tuition
fee. There are no requirements concerning maximum tuition fees.

Domestic fee paying students in a unit of study must be charged an amount equal to, or
more than, what Commonwealth supported students are charged for that unit. That is,
for units in which Commonwealth supported students are enrolled, the tuition fee the
provider sets cannot be less than the highest student contribution being paid by any
Commonwealth supported student for that unit [HESA - s36-55(1)]. The only exception to
this is where a student is enrolled in an employer reserved place [HESA - s36-55(2)] (see
part 20.1).

Where a provider has no Commonwealth supported students enrolled in a unit, HESA
does not set a minimum or maximum amount for tuition fees for domestic students. See
part 36.1 for information on fee paying courses of study.

Example

DEMO5011 is a unit available only on a non-award basis or to students undertaking a
Graduate Diploma of Demography. Enrolment in the Graduate Diploma of Demography is
available only on a fee paying basis. There is no minimum tuition fee for DEMO5011

35.4          Withdrawals on or before the census date
Where a student withdraws from a unit of study on or before the census date for that
unit, the provider must repay to the student any payment of his or her tuition fee made
on or before that date [HESA – 169-15(3)].




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Section 36                      Undergraduate fee paying
                                students
36.1            When can a provider offer fee paying
                undergraduate places?
[HESA 36-30(2), 36-30(1)(aa)]

Table A providers cannot offer fee paying places to domestic students commencing an
undergraduate course of study on or after 1 January 2009 except where a student:

     accepted a fee paying place in a course of study prior to 1 January 2009 and
        deferred enrolment to 2009 or a later year;

     transfers from one course of study that the student commenced prior to 1 January
        2009 as a fee paying student to another course of study at the same level at the
        same provider without completing the original course of study;

     undertakes a unit on a cross-institutional basis and the unit is not a compulsory part
        of the student‘s course of study (see part 18.1);

     commences a course of study as an overseas student and becomes a domestic
        student;

     has advised the appropriate officer of the provider in writing that he/she does not
        wish to be Commonwealth supported (see section 25.5); or

     is not eligible for a Commonwealth supported place, including:

     -     when all of his/her Student Learning Entitlement has been consumed;

     -     enrolling in a fee summer or winter school (see parts 34.2 and 34.3);

     -     enrolling in an employer reserved place (see part 20); or

     -     enrolling in a bridging course for overseas trained professionals (see part 44.5).

A student who commenced an undergraduate course of study as a fee paying student
prior to 1 January 2009 may continue to be enrolled in that course of study as a l fee
paying student. This does not preclude a university from transferring a student to a
Commonwealth supported place based on its policies and the availability of places.

Fee paying undergraduate places can be offered at Table B providers, Table C providers
and other approved higher education providers. Table B and Table C providers that have
been allocated National Priority places can offer fee paying places in a course of study in
which they offer National Priority places, only if they have filled or will fill all of their
allocated National Priority places in that course of study [HESA – s36-30(3)].



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Note: All providers may offer fee paying places in postgraduate courses (see section 36)
and enabling courses (see part 9.7).




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Section 37                   Waiving tuition fees
A provider must ensure that fee paying students pay tuition fees [HESA - s169-15] and
cannot waive the tuition fees for these students. The provider must report to DEEWR the
tuition fee charged for units of study undertaken as part of the course of study [HESA - s19-
95]. The only exception to this requirement is if a student is an exempt student [HESA -
s169-15(2)]. A provider can make a student an exempt student by offering the student an
Exemption scholarship (see part 16.1).

37.1               Fee Scholarships
A provider may award students fee scholarships to pay all or part of their tuition fees.
However, the provider is required to report the full tuition fee that is charged for that
unit. The value of these scholarships is not included as income under income tests for
social security payments including Youth Allowance and Austudy) veteran affairs‘
pensions and allowances [Social Security Act 1991 – s8] and ABSTUDY [ABSTUDY Policy Manual
Chapter 59.5.3].




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Overseas Students
Section 38                   Who is an overseas student?
An overseas student is a person who is enrolled in a course of study (see part 9.1) with a
provider

and is not:

     an Australian citizen; or

     an Australian permanent visa holder; or

     a New Zealand citizen (including a diplomatic or consular representative of New
        Zealand, a member of the staff of such a representative or the spouse or
        dependent relative of such a representative).

[HESA - schedule 1].

Students who are in Australia on a temporary visa, including a temporary protection visa,
are overseas students [HESA – schedule 1].

Also see part 8.1 Definition of domestic and overseas students.




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Section 39                  Fees for overseas students
39.1          Fee requirements
The Commonwealth does not contribute to the educational costs for overseas students
unless the students are recipients of an Australian Government sponsored scholarship.
Commonwealth grant amounts provided for the education of domestic students are not
provided for the purposes of subsidising places or services for overseas students.

Chapter 7 of the Higher Education Provider Guidelines (Fees in respect of overseas
students) sets out the requirements with which a provider must comply when
determining fees for overseas students. The primary purpose of these requirements is to
ensure that the provision of educational services to overseas students does not result in
the displacement of domestic students or reduce the resources available to providers for
the education of domestic students.

In summary, a provider must charge all overseas students a fee for their course that is
sufficient to recover the full average cost of providing the course to those students. The
fee must be no less than the relevant minimum indicative course fee specified in the
Higher Education Provider Guidelines, except where:

    a course is provided wholly offshore and students will not, at any stage, enter
       Australia; or

    DEEWR has granted approval to charge less than the minimum indicative fee.
      DEEWR will only grant such approval where the provider is able to provide
      sufficient information to demonstrate that the full cost of delivering the course will
      be met by the overseas student fee charged.

A provider is not required to meet these overseas student fee requirements for the
following classes of students:

    overseas students who are undertaking a masters or doctoral degree by research in
       Australia and who have been awarded a scholarship for that study on the basis of
       merit following a competitive application process; and

    students who are studying in Australia under a formal exchange program. A formal
       exchange program must provide for the reciprocal exchange of students over time
       and specify that students are only to pay the fees of the institution in their home
       country.

Study programs covered by the Higher Education Provider Guidelines

Study programs for overseas students that are covered by chapter 7 of the Higher
Education Provider Guidelines include:

    courses leading to a higher education award, including courses:

     -    primarily provided for Australian students;


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    -    offered by external mode; and

    -    conducted offshore, including those delivered by another institution under
         contract or licensing arrangements;

    enabling courses; and

    courses designed specially for overseas students.




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Section 40                  Registration of courses for
                            overseas students
40.1          Courses offered onshore
Any course offered to an overseas student who holds a student visa must be registered
on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students
(CRICOS) (see Appendix A for contact details). This is a requirement of the Education
Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 [s8 (1)].

40.2          Courses offered offshore
Courses delivered offshore do not need to be registered on CRICOS. However, if they are
Australian Qualifications Framework qualifications, such courses must meet existing
onshore registration, accreditation, quality assurance and data collection arrangements.

A provider is not required to charge at least the indicative minimum fee for such courses
as set out in the Higher Education Provider Guidelines (see Appendix A).




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Section 41                  Reporting requirements for third
                            party arrangements
A provider is required to report to DEEWR data for overseas students who are
undertaking a course of study leading to one of the provider‘s higher education awards
[HESA - 19-70]. This is separate to reporting under ESOS and immigration legislation.


The provider reports to DEEWR the total fee and the total equivalent full-time student
load (EFTSL) for the unit. The total fee that must be reported is the fee that a student is
charged, not just the ‗income‘ to the provider after the third party has been paid. The
payment arrangements between the provider and the third party are a matter for the
provider.




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Higher Education Loan Program (Help)
Section 42                  HELP
42.1          What is HELP?
For higher education providers, HELP consists of:

    HECS-HELP – for eligible students enrolled in Commonwealth supported places.
      HECS-HELP provides students with a loan to cover their student contribution
      amount and/or a discount if they choose to pay all, or at least $500, of their
      student contribution amount up-front (see part 43.1).

    FEE-HELP – for eligible fee paying students enrolled at an eligible provider. FEE-
       HELP provides students with a loan to cover up to the full amount of their tuition
       fees (see part 44.1).

    OS-HELP – for eligible Commonwealth supported students who wish to study
      overseas. OS-HELP provides students with a loan to cover expenses such as
      accommodation and travel (see part 45.1).

VET FEE-HELP is a separate scheme for vocational education and training providers.
Information about VET FEE-HELP is available at:
www.deewr.gov.au/Skills/Programs/VetFeeHelp/Pages/default.aspx .

42.2          Determining eligibility for HELP
In determining a student‘s eligibility for HELP, a provider should collect sufficient
information from the student to be satisfied that the student meets the requirements for
entitlement to HELP assistance. In some cases, this may mean that students provide
additional documentation subsequent to their initial course enrolment.

A provider must comply with privacy requirements (see parts 51 to 53) when handling
students‘ personal information.




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Section 43                   HECS-HELP
43.1          What is HECS-HELP?
HECS-HELP provides eligible Commonwealth supported students with assistance in
paying their student contribution for Commonwealth supported units of study. It
provides a loan to cover their student contribution and/or a discount if they choose to pay
all, or at least $500, of their student contribution up-front.

43.2          Who is eligible for HECS-HELP?
To be eligible for HECS-HELP assistance for a unit of study, the student must:

    be Commonwealth supported for that unit [HESA – s90-1(c)] (see part 23.1);

    at the time of the enrolment have sufficient SLE for the unit (see part 29.1) or the
       unit wholly consists of work experience in industry if support is provided (see part
       17.1) [HESA - s90-1(d)];

    meet the citizenship and residency requirements [HESA – s90-1(a)]. That is, the
      student must be:

     -    an Australian citizen (see below); or

     -    the holder of a permanent humanitarian visa who will be resident in Australia
          for the duration of the unit (see Appendix G for a list of permanent
          humanitarian visa subclasses) [HESA – s90-5(1)]; and

    meet the Tax File Number (TFN) requirements (see part 46.1) or have paid 80% of
      their student contribution amount up-front on or before the census date (see part
      43.5) [HESA - s90-1(f)]; and

    have completed, signed and given to an appropriate officer of the provider a
       Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form on or before the census
       date [HESA – s90-1(g)] (See part 13.1); and

    remain enrolled in that unit at the end of the census date [HESA - s90-1(e)(ii)].

Permanent humanitarian visa holders

In determining whether a permanent humanitarian visa holder will be resident in
Australia for the duration of the unit, a provider must disregard any periods spent outside
of Australia if:

    it cannot reasonably be regarded as indicating an intention to reside outside of
        Australia for the duration of the unit; or

    it is required for the purpose of completing the requirements of that unit.



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[HESA – s90-5(2)]

However, a holder of a permanent humanitarian visa will not satisfy the citizenship or
residency requirements if the higher education provider reasonably expects that the
student will not undertake in Australia any of the units of study contributing to the
course of study of which the unit forms a part [HESA – s90-5(3)].

Australian citizenship

A person may automatically be an Australian citizen by birth or adoption, or after
applying for Australian citizenship by descent or conferral. If a person is over 16 years at
the time they make their application for citizenship by conferral, they will obtain
Australian citizenship only after they have made the pledge of commitment and have
been issued with Evidence of Australian Citizenship from the Department of Immigration
and Citizenship (DIAC).

43.3           Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-
               HELP
A provider should ensure that all HECS-HELP eligible students complete the declaration at
item 10 on the Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP form (see part
13.1). Failure to submit the form, including signing the declaration at question 10, will
mean that the student is not eligible for HECS-HELP assistance [HESA – s90-1(g)].

Students are only required to provide their TFN at question 8A if they intend to obtain a
loan for all or part of their student contribution (see part 43.9). Students who choose to
pay their student contribution up-front in full are not obliged to provide their TFN (see
part 43.5) but may wish to do so as a precaution in the event that they fail to make the
full up-front payment on or before the census date. A provider is required to cancel a
student‘s enrolment in a unit of study as a Commonwealth supported student if the
student has not made the full up-front payment for that unit and has not provided his or
her TFN on or before the census date [HESA – s36-40(2) & s90-1(f)]. See part 46.1 for more
information on TFN procedures.

43.4           Student contribution payment options
Students who are eligible for HECS-HELP may choose to:

     make a full up-front payment by paying 80% of the student contribution amount for
       all of their units in a course of study with the same census date and receive a
       20% discount for that payment (see part 43.5) [HESA – s96-10]; or

     pay part of their student contribution up-front, receive a 20% discount for any
        payments totalling $500 or more for units in a course of study with the same
        census date, and obtain a loan for the remainder (see part 43.6) [HESA – s96-5(4)];
        or

     obtain a loan for the full amount of their student contribution (see part 43.9) [HESA -
        s96-1].




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Although students indicate their intended payment option on their Request for
Commonwealth assistance and HECS-HELP form (see part 13.1), a provider can only
determine a student‘s payment status after the census date for the units of study in
which the student is enrolled. This is on the basis of any payments made to the provider
on or before the census date and the total amount of those payments.

43.5           Full up-front payments for HECS-HELP eligible
               students
Students may choose to make a full up-front payment of their student contribution
amount for all of their units of study to their provider [HESA – s96-10]. To do this, students
are required to pay up-front to their provider, on or before the census date for the units,
80% of their student contribution amounts for all of their units in a course of study that
have the same census date. A provider may set an earlier date for payment for
administrative purposes. However, any payment accepted after that date, and up until
the census date, must be taken into account in determining entitlement to the discount
[HESA – s93-15(2)].


A provider cannot accept up-front payments of more than 80% of the student‘s student
contribution amount for the units of study in which a student is enrolled [HESA – s36-50]. If
a student does pay more than 80%, the provider must repay the excess to the student
unless the student agrees to apply the excess to other units (see part 43.11).

This means that if a student makes an up-front payment of 80% (i.e. full up-front
payment of the total of the student‘s student contribution amounts for all of his or her
units), the Commonwealth will, as a benefit to that student, pay the provider the HECS-
HELP discount in an amount equal to the remaining 20% of the total of the student‘s
student contribution. This will fully discharge the student‘s liability [HESA – s96-10 & s36-50].

If 80% of a student contribution is made up of dollars and cents, the provider may collect
the amount of cents from the student.

Tax File Number (TFN) requirements for full up-front payments

Students who choose to make a full up-front payment of their student contribution are
not required to provide their TFN (see part 46.1). As long as they have made a full up-
front payment to their provider on or before the census date, they will be eligible for
HECS-HELP assistance and may remain enrolled as a Commonwealth supported student.

It is in students’ interests to provide their TFN as a precaution, particularly if
they are not certain they will be able to make a full up-front payment on or
before the census date. A provider is required to cancel a student‘s enrolment in a
unit as a Commonwealth supported student if the student has not made the full up-front
payment for that unit and has not provided his or her valid TFN on or before the census
date [HESA – s36-40(2) & s90-1(f)].

43.6           Partial up-front payments
A partial up-front payment is a payment of less than 80% of the student‘s student
contribution amount [HESA – s96-5] for all units in a course of study with the same census


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date. A provider must accept from a student at least one partial up-front payment of
$500 or more of the student‘s student contribution for a particular census date. The
provider may decide to accept more than one partial up-front payment, or payments of
less than $500.

Partial up-front payments that total $500 or more, and which are made on or before the
census date, attract the 20% HECS-HELP discount. Payments that total less than $500
do not attract the HECS-HELP discount.

Students who intend to make only a partial up-front payment must meet the TFN
requirements (see part 46). This will enable the student to obtain a HECS-HELP loan for
the unpaid part of his or her student contribution.

A provider determines the amount of the unpaid portion of the student contributions after
the census date, which will be the amount of the student‘s HECS-HELP loan for that
census date. The unpaid portion of the student contribution is the student contribution
amount, minus any up-front payments and the related discounts.

A provider may pro-rata the partial up-front payments across all units the student has
enrolled in on that particular census date, or allocate the up-front payments in a way that
best suits the provider‘s business processes. The only requirement is that the provider
not accept more than 80% of a student‘s student contribution for a unit. Note that the
allocation method chosen may impact on students who apply for a remission of a HECS-
HELP debt for a unit in special circumstances. It may also impact on students‘ eligibility
for a discount.

Example 1

Laura is enrolled in 4 units of study, each costing $500. The census date for 2 units is 31
March, and the other 2 units is 10 April.
31 March                                       10 April

Unit 1 - $500                                  Unit 3 - $500

Unit 2 - $500                                  Unit 4 - $500

Laura makes an up-front payment of $1,000 on 20 February and doesn‟t nominate which
units or which census date the payment is to go towards. Two of the ways the provider
may choose to apportion the payment are as follows:

    $500 for each census date – in this case Laura receives a discount for the full
       $1,000 given that Laura has effectively made a partial up-front payment of $500
       or more for each census date.

    $800 for the first census date and $200 for the second census date. Laura would
       receive a discount for the $800 since she paid 80% of her student contribution for
       those units, but will

Example 2




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Helga is enrolled in 4 units of study on the same census date, each costing $500. Helga
chooses to make an $800 partial up-front payment on or before the census date (or on
an earlier date set by her higher education provider).
Unit                    Cost                    Payment (e.g. A)        Payment (e.g. B)

Unit 1                  $500                    $400                    $200

Unit 2                  $500                    $400                    $200

Unit 3                  $500                    $0                      $200

Unit 4                  $500                    $0                      $200

In this case, the way the payments are distributed in examples A and B does not affect
Helga financially. Helga will receive the full benefit of the discount either way. However, it
would be different if Helga fails to provide a TFN. In example A, Helga‟s enrolment will
only be cancelled in units 3 and 4 as she has paid 80% of the student contribution for
units 1 and 2. In example B, Helga‟s enrolment must be cancelled in all units as Helga
has not paid 80% of her student contribution up-front and has not supplied a TFN.
Therefore, Helga is better off in example A.

43.7          Deadline for up-front payments
Students may only make any up-front payments on or before the census date for the unit
of study [HESA – s93-15(2)]. A provider may ask students to pay by an earlier date for
administrative purposes but, in doing so, must ensure that students are treated fairly.
Any payments that a provider does accept on or before the census date count as an up-
front payment.

43.8          Payment of the HECS-HELP discount
The Commonwealth will, as a benefit to the student, pay the provider the amount of the
20% discount for HECS-HELP eligible students who either make a full up-front payment
(see part 43.5), or a partial up-front payment of $500 or more (see part 43.6) (see part
50 for information on HECS-HELP payments to providers) [HESA – 96-5(3) & 96-10].
Students do not incur a HECS-HELP liability to repay this discount amount.

43.9          HECS-HELP loans
Students who wish to obtain a HECS-HELP loan for all or part of their student contribution
amount must meet the TFN requirements, on or before the census date, in order to be
eligible (see part 46.1).

The amount of the student‘s HECS-HELP loan is equal to the unpaid portion of the
student‘s student contribution amount for the units immediately after the census date.
That is, the loan is equal to the student contribution amount, minus any up-front
payments made on or before the census date and any related HECS-HELP discount
amounts.




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The Commonwealth will pay the provider the amount of the student‘s HECS-HELP loan on
the student‘s behalf (see part 50) [HESA - s96-1(b) & s96-5(2)(b)].

43.10         Withdrawal on or before the census date
Students who enrol in a unit of study, but withdraw on or before the census date, are not
liable to pay their student contribution amount for that unit. If the student has made up-
front payments in relation to that unit, the provider must repay those amounts to the
student [HESA – 169-15(3)], and, if the student has requested a HECS-HELP loan, the
student does not incur a debt for that unit.

43.11         Refunding excess payments
Where a student is changing his or her enrolment between units of study before the
census date, a provider may, with the student‘s agreement, move payments between
units. For administrative convenience, a provider may wait until the student‘s enrolment
for a census date is finalised before repaying any excess up-front payments. However,
any excess payments held by the provider at the end of the census date must be repaid
to the student unless the student consents to the payments remaining with the provider
as credit towards future liabilities the student may have with the provider.

43.12         Withdrawal after the census date
Students who withdraw from their studies after the census date are still liable to pay their
student contribution. However, such students may apply to have any up-front payments
of their student contribution refunded, and/or have their HECS-HELP debt remitted, in
special circumstances (see parts 60 & 61.4).

43.13         Cancellation of units of study after the census
              date
In exceptional circumstances where a unit ceases to be available after the census date,
the provider should attempt to make suitable arrangements for the affected students to
complete the unit or a comparable unit. In making these arrangements, the provider
must treat students fairly [HESA – s19-30]. If arrangements cannot be made for a student
with which the student is satisfied, the provider should advise the student of their
entitlements under the provisions for re-crediting and remission (see part 60.1), and, in
the case of non-Table A providers, entitlements under Tuition Assurance Arrangements
that the provider has in place. For information on Tuition Assurance Arrangements, see
the contact list at Appendix A.

See part 48.3 for information on reporting changes to enrolment after the census date.

43.14         Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN)
Providers are required to issue each student who has requested HECS-HELP assistance
with a CAN (see part 14.1).




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43.15        How are HECS-HELP debts repaid?
A person‘s HECS-HELP debt is part of their accumulated HELP debt recorded by the ATO.
People repay their accumulated HELP debt through the taxation system once their income
is above the minimum threshold for compulsory repayments (see part 47.1). They may
also make voluntary repayments to the ATO.

Graduates employed in certain occupations may be eligible to apply for a HECS-HELP
Benefit (see part 47.5).

43.16        Tax deductibility of student contribution
             amounts
Student contribution amounts are not tax deductible, regardless of how the student pays
the student contribution [ITAA 1997 – ss26-20(1)(c) & (ca)].




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Section 44                  FEE-HELP
44.1          What is FEE-HELP?
FEE-HELP provides an income contingent loan to eligible fee paying students to pay for all
or part of their tuition fees for units of study undertaken with an approved higher
education provider under HESA.

Over their lifetime, a student will be able to borrow up to the amount of the FEE-HELP
limit (see part 44.6). That is, repayments do not reset the maximum that can be
borrowed. A student repays their loan through the taxation system once their income is
above the minimum threshold for compulsory repayment (see part 47.1).

44.2          At which higher education providers are
              students eligible for FEE-HELP?
Higher education providers that are listed in Table A, Table B and Table C of sections 16-
15, 16-20 and 16-22 of HESA can offer FEE-HELP.

In addition, providers that have been approved by the Minister for Education as higher
education providers under HESA are also eligible to offer their students FEE-HELP.
Approved higher education providers are listed on the Going to Uni website at
www.goingtouni.gov.au. See Appendix A for contact details on where to obtain
information on how to become an approved higher education provider.

44.3          What can FEE-HELP cover?
FEE-HELP provides a loan for tuition fees only [HESA – s107-1]. For information on tuition
fees, see part 35.1.

44.4          Eligibility requirements
To be eligible for FEE-HELP assistance for a unit of study, the student must:

    not be a Commonwealth supported student in the unit (i.e. the student must be a
       fee paying student);

    meet the citizenship or residency requirements [HESA – ss104-1(1)(a) & 104-5];

    be enrolled in a unit that meets the course requirements [HESA – ss104-1(1)(e) & 104-
       10)] (see below);


    not have exceeded his or her FEE-HELP limit (see part 44.6);

    be enrolled in the unit on or before the census date for the unit and remain so
       enrolled at the end of the census date [HESA – s104-1(1)(g)];

    meet the Tax File Number (TFN) requirements (see part 46.1); and

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     have completed, signed and given to an appropriate officer of the provider [HESA –
        104-1(1)(i)(ii)] a Request for FEE-HELP assistance form (see parts 13.3 & 13.4) on or
        before the census date.

Citizenship and residency requirements

To be eligible for FEE-HELP assistance for a unit of study, a person must be:

     an Australian citizen (see below); or

     the holder of a permanent humanitarian visa who will be resident in Australia for the
        duration of the unit (see Appendix G for a list of permanent humanitarian visas);
        or

     the holder of a permanent visa who is undertaking bridging study for overseas-
        trained professionals and will be resident in Australia for the duration of the study
        (see part 44.5 for information on bridging study, and Appendix G for a list of
        permanent visas).

[HESA – s104-5(1)]

Holders of permanent visas and New Zealand citizens who do not meet these criteria are
not eligible for FEE-HELP (See Part 5.1).

In determining whether a New Zealand citizen or holder of a permanent visa will be
resident in Australia for the duration of their unit, providers must disregard any periods
spent outside of Australia if they:

     cannot be reasonably regarded as indicating an intention to reside outside of
        Australia for the duration of the unit; or

     are required for the purpose of completing the requirements of that unit.

[HESA – s104-5(2)]

However, a New Zealand citizen or holder of a permanent humanitarian visa will not
satisfy the citizenship or residency requirements if the higher education provider
reasonably expects that the student will not undertake in Australia any of the units of
study contributing to the course of study of which the unit forms a part [HESA – s104-5(3)].

An Australian citizen who is undertaking a course of study provided by an approved
higher education provider while abroad may access FEE-HELP if this study is provided
under a third party arrangement (see section 22.1) or online (see sections 19.1 and
22.1).

Australian citizenship

A person may automatically be an Australian citizen by birth or adoption, or after
applying for Australian citizenship by descent or conferral. If a person is over 16 years at
the time they make their application for citizenship by conferral, they will obtain
Australian citizenship only after they have made the pledge of commitment and have


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been issued with Evidence of Australian Citizenship from the Department of Immigration
and Citizenship (DIAC) (see Appendix A).

Course requirements

A unit of study is eligible for FEE-HELP if:

     it is, or is to be, undertaken as part of a course of study leading to a higher
         education award with an approved higher education provider; or

     access is provided by Open Universities Australia; or

     it is part of a bridging course for overseas-trained professionals to enable a person
         to meet the requirements for entry into his or her profession in Australia (see part
         44.5).

[HESA – 104-1(1)(f) and HESA – 104(10)]

Units undertaken as part of a course that enables a person to meet the requirements for
entry into a course of study leading to a higher education award (enabling course) may
also be eligible for FEE-HELP (see part 9.7).

Courses accredited as a vocational education and training (VET) course are not eligible
for FEE-HELP. Some of these courses may be eligible for VET FEE-HELP. VET FEE-HELP
is not covered by this document. Information about VET FEE-HELP can be obtained at:
www.deewr.gov.au/Skills/Programs/VetFeeHelp/Pages/default.aspx

A unit of study is not eligible for FEE-HELP if the Minister has determined the course or
the provider of the course is one for which FEE-HELP is not available. [HESA – s104-10]

Eligible students enrolled in a cross-institutional program, undertaking fee paying units at
a host provider, are eligible for FEE-HELP if the units count towards an eligible course
with the home provider (see part 18.4).

OUA requirements

Once students studying through OUA have undertaken 8 or more units through OUA,
they must maintain a pass grade in at least 50% of those units to receive FEE-HELP
assistance for future OUA units [HESA - s104-2].

44.5            What is a bridging course for overseas-trained
                professionals?
Overview

Eligible overseas-trained professionals may request FEE-HELP assistance for a bridging
course to enable them to meet the formal requirements for entry into their profession in
Australia.

An eligible bridging course


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Depending on the requirements of the profession, a bridging course for overseas-trained
professionals may consist of:

    subjects or units specified in the assessment statement [HESA – s104-50] issued by an
       assessing body for a listed professional occupation (‗assessing body‘ [HESA – s104-
       55]) as being studies which the assessing body considers would enable the person
       to meet the requirements for entry to that occupation HESA – s104-45(1)];

    occupation-related study specified in the assessment statement issued by an
       assessing body that will enable a person to prepare to sit examinations that are
       necessary to enable entry to a profession in Australia [HESA - s104-45(2)]; or

    tuition and training programs specified in the assessment statement issued by an
       assessing body that, if undertaken by the person, would enable the person to
       meet requirements for entry to that occupation [HESA – s104-45(3)].

All bridging courses must be undertaken on a non-award basis (see part 10) [HESA – s104-
45].


A bridging course is not eligible for FEE-HELP where the study:

    is for entry into an occupation outside of Australia [HESA – s104-70(1)];

    is not a requirement for entry to a listed professional occupation [HESA – s104-70(1)];

    provides training for occupations that do not require a higher education award for
       entry;

    is being undertaken as part of a course of study (see part 9.1);

    provides standing beyond basic entry level to the profession;

    leads to any higher education award course, including postgraduate degrees; or

    relates to general English language training including English language tests [HESA –
       s104-70(3)].


Study load limits

FEE-HELP for a bridging course is only available for a person to the maximum of one
equivalent full-time student load (EFTSL) of the study covered by the requirements of the
assessment statement [HESA – s104-45].

What is an assessing body?

Many professions, especially those that are regulated, require overseas-trained
professionals to demonstrate that they meet the Australian standard for practice by
undertaking an assessment of their skills and knowledge. Each of the approved
professions has an assessing body to complete this function. Assessments may consist of
interviews, educational comparisons and/or written or practical examinations. Regardless



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of the type of assessment, professions that require an individual to undertake a bridging
course will issue an assessment statement.

Assessing bodies for listed professional organisations are specified in the FEE-HELP
Guidelines (see list at Appendix O).[HESA - s104-55 ].

What is an assessment statement?

An assessment statement is a written statement provided by an assessing body for a
listed professional occupation that states the studies, examinations and/or tuition and
training programs that a person needs to undertake to meet the requirements for entry
to that occupation [HESA – s104-50].

The assessing body may charge a fee for the assessment statement.

A bridging course only qualifies for FEE-HELP where the study relates directly to the
assessment statement. Bridging students should be advised to confirm their proposed
study with their assessing body prior to enrolment.

What are the listed professional occupations?

Not all professions have access to FEE-HELP. The list of approved professional
occupations is specified in the FEE-HELP Guidelines and listed at Appendix O [HESA – s104-
60, 104-65 & 104-70].


Fees for a bridging course

Providers set the fees for a bridging course. In setting the tuition fees for a bridging
course, providers should keep in mind that FEE-HELP is available for tuition fees only (see
part 35.1).

44.6          FEE-HELP limit and balance
Over their lifetime, students are able to use FEE-HELP to pay tuition fees up to the
amount of the FEE-HELP limit, which is $86,422 in 2011 (indexed in subsequent years),
except for medicine*, dentistry* and veterinary science* courses where the limit is
$108,029 in 2011 (indexed) [HESA - s104-20]. The FEE-HELP limit for a particular year is
published by DEEWR at: www.deewr.gov.au (under Resources for Student
Administrators) and in the information booklet for students for that year. Students may
access up to the FEE-HELP balance for the year in which study is undertaken.
Repayments do not reset the maximum that can be borrowed. The loan limit for FEE-
HELP also covers VET-FEE HELP.

A person‘s FEE-HELP balance is the amount of the FEE-HELP limit they have not used
[HESA - s104-15]. Any loan fee amounts (see part 44.10) or indexation of outstanding
debts (see part 47.4) are not included in a person‘s FEE-HELP balance.

The FEE-HELP limit is indexed on 1 January each year. If a person has reached their FEE-
HELP limit in 2010 and wishes to enrol in 2011 or later years they will be able to access
the difference between the FEE-HELP limit in 2010 and the FEE-HELP limit in the year
they enrol.

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Students may access information on their FEE-HELP balance through the Going to Uni
website at: www.goingtouni.gov.au.
* A medicine, dentistry or veterinary science course that leads to initial registration as a medical practitioner,
dentist, veterinarian or veterinary surgeon.

What if the tuition fees for a unit of study exceed a person’s FEE-HELP balance?

If a student is enrolled in a unit of study where the tuition fee exceeds the student‘s FEE-
HELP balance, the student will only receive FEE-HELP assistance equal to the FEE-HELP
balance [HESA - s107-10]. Providers are responsible for collecting the remainder of the
person‘s tuition fee for the unit.

Example

Tran has a FEE-HELP balance of $2,000. He enrols in 4 units with the same census date.
The tuition fee for each unit is $600. The total amount of FEE-HELP assistance to which
Tran is entitled for the units is $2,000, even though the total amount of tuition fees for
the units is $2,400.

What if the student is enrolled with more than one provider?

Students who are approaching their FEE-HELP limit, and who are enrolled with more than
one provider or are enrolled in units, some of which are provided by OUA, must notify
each provider/OUA of how much FEE-HELP assistance they wish to receive for each unit
[HESA - s107-10(3) & (4)].


In cases where a student is enrolled in more than one unit on the same census date,
does not have enough FEE-HELP balance to cover all the units, and fails to notify their
providers, the units for which they will receive FEE-HELP assistance will be determined
according to the HEIMS order of precedence (see part 56.1). Where a student does not
have enough FEE-HELP balance to cover a unit of study, DEEWR will notify the affected
provider via an exception report (see part 56.2). Providers are responsible for recovering
any outstanding tuition fees from students. The Commonwealth can only pay the
provider FEE-HELP assistance up to the amount of the student‘s FEE-HELP balance.

44.7              How will a provider know the amount of a
                  person’s FEE-HELP balance
Commencing students

A commencing student‘s FEE-HELP balance will be provided at the same time as the
student‘s Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN).

Continuing students

For continuing students, DEEWR will provide a report to providers that will include all
students enrolled with the provider who have less than 40% of their FEE-HELP limit
remaining. This report will be provided by HEIMS. The balance will be based on the data
submitted by all providers and will take into account duplicate CHESSNs.




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Providers should note that there will be a delay between a student having their FEE-HELP
balance reduced and DEEWR being able to report this reduction. Providers may, at any
time, request a student‘s FEE-HELP balance from HEIMS (see part 56.2).

44.8          Allocation of a Commonwealth Higher Education
              Student Support Number (CHESSN)
DEEWR allocates CHESSNs to all students who request FEE-HELP assistance (see part
57.1) through a provider or apply for a place through a tertiary admission centre. This
will enable the monitoring of students‘ use of Commonwealth assistance.

44.9          Calculating the amount of FEE-HELP assistance
A student can borrow up to the amount of the tuition fee being charged by their provider,
so long as this amount does not result in the student exceeding their FEE-HELP balance
(see part 44.6). Students have the option of paying part of their tuition fee for the unit
up-front to their provider on or before the census date and obtaining FEE-HELP
assistance for the remainder [HESA – s107-5].

The amount of FEE-HELP assistance for a unit of study is the difference between the
tuition fee for the unit and the sum of any up-front payments the student has made on or
before the census date [HESA – s107-1]. This amount should be calculated immediately
after the census date for the unit. A student‘s FEE-HELP balance will be reduced by this
amount.

Providers report a student‘s FEE-HELP assistance through the Higher Education Student
Collection (see part 48.1 and the Commonwealth will pay the FEE-HELP assistance
amount to the provider (see part 50) [HESA – s110-1].

44.10         Loan fee and amount of FEE-HELP debt
If the loan relates to FEE-HELP assistance for a unit of study that forms part of an
undergraduate course of study (see part 9.5), the amount of the FEE-HELP debt is the
amount of the loan plus 25% [HESA - 137-10(2)] and is incurred by the student immediately
after the census date for the unit.

The following do not form part of an undergraduate course of study and do not attract
the 25% loan fee:

    postgraduate courses of study, including higher degrees by research (see part 9.6);

    courses to enable students to meet the requirements for entry into an award
       program (enabling course) (see part 9.7);

    bridging study for overseas-trained professionals (see part 44.5); or

    units made available by providers, access to which is provided by OUA.

The loan fee is not included in a person‘s FEE-HELP balance (see part 44.6).


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Note: Increase in FEE-HELP loan fee for undergraduate students

The Australian Parliament passed legislation to increase the FEE-HELP loan fee from
January 2011 for undergraduate courses from 20% to 25%. The increased loan fee
applies to all units of undergraduate study that have a census date on or after 1 January
2011 and that form part of an undergraduate award course.

Who does the increased FEE-HELP loan fee apply to?

The 25% FEE-HELP loan fee applies to:

    existing undergraduate students who are using FEE-HELP to pay their tuition fees;
       and

    new undergraduate students who are using FEE-HELP to pay their tuition fees.

Students who submit, or who have already submitted, a Request for FEE-HELP assistance
form indicating the 20% loan fee will be considered to have completed a valid form and
will be subject to the increased percentage, as the legislative* amendments take
precedence.

The loan fee does not count towards a student‘s FEE-HELP limit.
* Amendments to HESA made by the Higher Education Support Amendment (FEE-HELP Loan Fee) Act 2010.

Example

Pablo is enrolled in an eligible undergraduate course of study and has requested FEE -
HELP assistance for the course. Pablo‟s tuition fees total $2,000 and he has paid $1,000
of these up-front to his provider.

The amount of Pablo‟s FEE-HELP assistance is $1,000 and this is the amount by which his
FEE-HELP balance is reduced. The amount of Pablo‟s FEE-HELP debt will be $1,000 x 1.25
= $1,250. This is the amount he will be required to repay through the ATO.

44.11          Request for FEE-HELP assistance
Students request FEE-HELP assistance by completing, signing and submitting a Request
for FEE-HELP assistance form to the appropriate officer at their provider (or OUA if the
unit is being undertaken through OUA) on or before the census date for the unit (see part
13.1) [HESA – s104-1(1)(i)].

44.12          Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN)
Providers are required to issue each student who has requested FEE-HELP assistance with
a CAN (see part 14.1& 14.3).

The CAN must be sent to all students who have requested FEE-HELP assistance after
each census date, even if a student has made a full up-front payment of their tuition fees
and therefore has not incurred a FEE-HELP debt on that census date.



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44.13         What happens if a student withdraws on or
              before the census date?
Students who withdraw from their unit of study or course of study on or before the
census date will not incur a FEE-HELP debt.

It is a provider‘s responsibility to ensure that the information it gives to DEEWR is
accurate and that students who have formally withdrawn from a unit or course on or
before the census date do not incur a FEE-HELP debt for those studies.

44.14         What happens if a student withdraws after the
              census date?
Students who have requested FEE-HELP assistance who withdraw from a unit of study or
course of study after the census date will incur a FEE-HELP debt for any unpaid tuition
fees (up to their FEE-HELP balance).

Students may apply to their provider to have their FEE-HELP balance re-credited (and
thus their FEE-HELP debt remitted) in special circumstances (see part 60) [HESA – s104-25 &
104-30].


44.15         Cancellation of units of study after the census
              date
If a unit becomes unavailable after the census date, wherever possible, the provider
should attempt to make suitable arrangements for the affected students to complete the
unit or a comparable unit. In making these arrangements, the provider must treat
students fairly [HESA – s19-30]. If arrangements cannot be made for a student with which
the student is satisfied, the provider should advise the student of their entitlements
under the provisions for re-crediting and remission (see part 60) [HESA - s104-42], and also
any entitlements under Tuition Assurance Arrangements (in the case of non-Table A
providers) that the provider may have in place. For information on Tuition Assurance
Arrangements, see Chapter 2 of the Higher Education Provider Guidelines and the contact
list at Appendix A.

See part 48.3 for information on reporting changes to enrolment after the census date.

44.16         How are FEE-HELP debts repaid?
A person‘s FEE-HELP debt is part of their accumulated HELP debt recorded by the ATO.
People repay their accumulated HELP debt through the taxation system once their income
reaches the minimum threshold for compulsory repayments (see part 47.1). They may
also make voluntary repayments to the ATO.




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44.17         Tax deductibility of tuition fees paid through
              FEE-HELP
Students may be entitled to a tax deduction for the amount of their tuition fees for which
they receive a FEE-HELP loan if the study meets the requirements for self-education
expenses. However, the loan fee is not tax deductible. Students should contact the ATO
for further advice on the tax deductibility of tuition fees (see Appendix A for Contacts &
links).




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Section 45                  OS-HELP
45.1          What is OS-HELP?
OS-HELP provides financial assistance to eligible Commonwealth supported students to
undertake part of their course of study overseas. OS-HELP may be used to cover
expenses associated with the overseas study, such as airfares, accommodation and other
travel or settling expenses.

45.2          How does OS-HELP work?
There are seven steps to the OS-HELP cycle:

The Australian Government allocates a number of notional OS-HELP loans to each
    provider and pays each provider OS-HELP funds to cover the value of the loans
    allocated.

Each provider runs its own application and selection process and selects students to
    receive an OS-HELP loan in accordance with its OS-HELP policy.

Selected students complete an OS-HELP debt confirmation form and providers pay an
     OS-HELP loan amount to each of their selected students.

Students receive a Commonwealth Assistance Notice within 28 days of their OS-HELP
    payment.

Each provider records information on students who received an OS-HELP loan and the
    amount of OS-HELP assistance that each student received.

This information is reported to DEEWR.

DEEWR provides information on OS-HELP debts to the ATO.

(See the OS-HELP Guidelines for further information.)

45.3          How are OS-HELP loans allocated to providers?
Annual request round

In October each year, DEEWR invites the Vice-Chancellor or Principal (or equivalent) of
each provider that has been allocated Commonwealth supported places (see part 24.1) to
request a number of notional OS-HELP loans for the following year. If the aggregate
number of loans requested by providers is less than or equal to the number of loans
available for that year, then each provider will receive the allocation it requested. If the
aggregate number of loans requested by providers is greater than the number of loans
available for that year, then the loans will be allocated among the providers in
accordance with Chapter 4 of the OS-HELP Guidelines.



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DEEWR will advise the institutional OS-HELP manager (as nominated by the Vice-
Chancellor or Principal) of the allocation of notional OS-HELP loans once the annual
request round has been finalised.

Notional OS-HELP loans remaining from the annual request round may be allocated to
providers in response to additional requests for loans (see below).

Information on OS-HELP payments to providers is at part 50.3.

Additional requests

If a provider expects not to have enough OS-HELP loans to meet expected student
demand in a particular year, it can request an additional allocation of OS-HELP loans.
Such a request will only be valid if it is sent:

    after DEEWR has advised the institutional OS-HELP managers that additional loans
       are available for a particular year; and

    by, or copied to, the institutional OS-HELP manager or the Vice-Chancellor or
       Principal; and

    to fep@deewr.gov.au.

Additional notional loans are allocated to providers in the order that valid requests are
received by DEEWR until there are no loans remaining. Providers must not give students
loans in expectation of receiving an additional allocation [OS-HELP Guidelines chapter 4].

Providers without Commonwealth supported places

Providers that do not have an allocation of Commonwealth supported places (see part
24.1) are not normally invited to request an allocation of OS-HELP loans as part of the
annual request round because it is highly unlikely that they will have students who are
eligible for an OS-HELP loan (see part 45.4). However, if such a provider believes that it
may have eligible students, and it would like to offer OS-HELP, it can request to be
included in the annual request round by emailing fep@deewr.gov.au. If the annual
request round has been finalised and there are loans remaining after that process, a
provider can request an allocation of OS-HELP loans as per the ‗additional requests‘
procedure outlined above.

Any provider wishing to offer OS-HELP loans must comply with all the legislative
provisions for OS-HELP [HESA – Div 118, 121 & 124].

45.4          Who is eligible for OS-HELP?
To be entitled to OS-HELP assistance in relation to a 6 month study period (see part
45.6), a student must:

    be an Australian citizen (see below) or the holder of a permanent humanitarian visa
       (see Appendix G for a list of permanent humanitarian visas); and

    not have received OS-HELP on more than one other occasion (see part 45.9); and

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    be enrolled in an undergraduate course of study with their Australian provider (see
       part 9.5 and Honours paragraph below); and

    have already completed at least 1 EFTSL of study in Australia that counts towards
       their course of study, as a Commonwealth supported student; and

    be enrolled in full-time study (see part 45.8) with an overseas higher education
       institution or the overseas campus of an Australian higher education provider (see
       part 45.7) for which the student will be outside Australia while undertaking the
       study; and

    have that overseas study count as credit for the course that they are enrolled in
       with their Australian provider; and

    on completion of that overseas study, have at least 0.5 EFTSL of study to be done
       with the Australian provider to complete their course; and

    meet the Tax File Number (TFN) requirements (see part 46.1); and

    submit an OS-HELP debt confirmation form (see part 13.1); and

    be selected by their Australian provider to receive an OS-HELP loan (see part
       45.10); and

    not have been granted an OS-HELP loan by another provider for an overlapping 6-
       month study period; and

    have not completed the overseas study before making the application for an OS-
       HELP loan.

A person may be outside Australia when they apply for an OS-HELP loan. [HESA – s118-1,
118-5 and 118-10]

A student‘s eligibility for OS-HELP is to be assessed by a provider at the time the
application is made. Once a student has met the eligibility criteria for OS-HELP under
section 45.4 and Division 118 of HESA, and the provider has assessed them as entitled to
the assistance, the OS-HELP loan is granted. The student cannot subsequently be
assessed as ‗ineligible‘ as a result of changed circumstances that did not exist at the time
the OS-HELP application was made. Where a student‘s circumstances have changed such
that on completion of their period of overseas study for which the OS-HELP loan was
granted, the student seeks to continue their study with their Australian provider
overseas, it will be up to the provider to determine in accordance with the provider‘s own
study rules, whether they will allow the student to complete further study in their course
overseas.

Australian citizenship

A person may automatically be an Australian citizen by birth or adoption, or after
applying for Australian citizenship by descent or conferral. If a person is over 16 years at
the time they make their application for citizenship by conferral, they will obtain
Australian citizenship only after they have made the pledge of commitment and have


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been issued with Evidence of Australian Citizenship from the Department of Immigration
and Citizenship (DIAC) (see Appendix A for contact information about DIAC).

OS-HELP and Honours

A course of study is defined as a single course of study leading to a higher education
award. Where a student is undertaking an Honours component of an undergraduate
course of study, the entire undergraduate course may be considered for the purposes of
assessing eligibility for OS-HELP.

Example

Gemma is invited to complete an Honours component of her Bachelor of Arts course of
study at the end of 2010. In 2011 she commences Honours study towards the
undergraduate higher education award „Bachelor of Arts with Honours‟. In early 2011 she
is selected for OS-HELP. Her undergraduate study in 2010 counts towards the prior study
requirements.

45.5           Assessing a student’s eligibility for OS-HELP
A provider must not select a student for OS-HELP assistance unless the provider is
satisfied that the student meets the eligibility criteria detailed in part 45.4 and Division
118 of HESA.

Students undertaking their first or second discrete 6 month study period

To be satisfied that a student meets the eligibility criteria, a provider should conduct its
selection exercise as close as possible to the commencement of a student‘s proposed 6
month-study period. A student should not be selected for OS-HELP more than 6 months
before the commencement of their overseas study.

If a provider decides to undertake selection procedures for OS-HELP more than 6 months
in advance of students commencing their 6 month study period, then the provider should
only tentatively select the student. A check of the student‘s eligibility can then take place
closer to the commencement of the student‘s 6 month study period in order to finalise
the selection.

Students undertaking a second 6 month study period that is a continuation of a
first 6-month study period

A provider may tentatively select a student to receive a second OS-HELP loan for a 6-
month study period that is a continuation of a first 6-month study period. The student
may apply for the two loans concurrently, that is, before the student commences their
first 6month study period. However, the provider may only tentatively select a student
to receive OS-HELP for the second 6-month study period. The provider must determine,
on a date that is not more than 6 weeks before the commencement of the second 6-
month period, that the student still meets the eligibility criteria [OS-HELP Guidelines – section
2.5.20].


Students who have commenced their overseas study



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A provider may select a student for OS-HELP if they have already commenced their
overseas study if that student meets all of the eligibility criteria and such a selection is
consistent with the provider‘s OS-HELP policy (see part 45.10). This means that a
student may be eligible for OS-HELP if the student is already overseas when applying.
However, a provider must not select a student to receive OS-HELP for overseas study if
the student has completed or discontinued the overseas study for which the OS-HELP
assistance is being sought, regardless of whether the student is still overseas or has
returned to Australia [HESA – s118-2(b)].

45.6          What is a 6-month study period?
Because students who receive OS-HELP are studying at higher education institutions in
other countries, their study activities will not necessarily align with Australian study
periods and units of study. In order to manage OS-HELP while maximising program
flexibility, OS-HELP is built on the idea of a ‗6-month study period‘.

A 6-month study period is taken to commence on a day of one month and conclude on
the day which precedes the corresponding day 6 months later.

If for the month that is 6 months later, there is no such day that precedes the
corresponding day, then the last day of that month is considered to be the end of the 6
month period. This mainly applies to study periods commencing at the end of August
and concluding at the end of February.

Examples

1.   Sally is selected for OS-HELP for 6 months of full-time overseas study that starts on
     5 December 2009. The end date of her 6month study period is 4 June 2010.

2.   Anne receives OS-HELP assistance to undertake 6 months of full-time overseas
     study. Her study period commences on 31 August 2010 and concludes on 28
     February 2011.

Can a student receive OS-HELP for overseas study that is shorter than 6
months?

As long as a student meets all the eligibility criteria under part 45.4 and Division 118 of
HESA, the student may receive OS-HELP for overseas study of any length of time.
However, OS-HELP loans are always provided in respect of a 6-month study period,
regardless of the actual duration of study.

Example

Mangala is selected for OS-HELP for 3 months of full-time overseas study that starts on 1
December 2009 and finishes on 28 February 2010.

Although Mangala will only study for 3 months, the 6-month study period is defined as
commencing on 1 December 2009 and concluding on 31 May 2010. This means that she
can be selected for OS-HELP for a second time only if her second study period
commences on or after 1 June 2010.



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45.7           Overseas higher education institutions and
               overseas campuses of a higher education
               provider
A student must be enrolled with an overseas higher education institution or the overseas
campus of a higher education provider to be eligible for OS-HELP assistance.

Overseas higher education institution

An Australian provider should only regard an institution as an overseas higher education
institution if the:

    institution is an educational institution that is geographically located outside
       Australia; and

    the institution offers units of study that are of sufficient quality that the provider will
       grant credit for the units undertaken at the institution.

Overseas campus of an Australian higher education provider

Students may receive OS-HELP for study at an overseas campus of their home provider
or the overseas campus of another Australian higher education provider. Study
undertaken with another higher education provider may include cross-institutional
enrolments, in which case the provisions for cross-institutional programs will apply (see
part 18.1).

Enrolment with an overseas higher education institution

A student is considered to be enrolled with an overseas higher education institution if:

    the student is studying at the overseas higher education institution; or

    the overseas higher education institution has accepted the student for enrolment
       and the home provider considers that the student has completed sufficient steps
       towards enrolling with that institution to demonstrate that they intend to complete
       their enrolment with the overseas higher education institution.

     [OS-HELP Guidelines – paragraph 3.5.20] [HESA - s118-10(a)(i)].


45.8           What is regarded as full-time study under OS-
               HELP?
A student receiving OS-HELP must study full-time while overseas [HESA - s118-10(a)(i)].

Overseas study is full-time if the level of academic engagement required by the student
while studying overseas is broadly equivalent to the level of academic engagement
required by a student undertaking at least 0.75 EFTSL (see part 12.1) per year in an
equivalent course in Australia.



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Indicators of the level of academic engagement should include contact hours, volume of
assessable tasks and the credit that will be provided upon successful completion of the
overseas study. Because students may undertake overseas study for periods of less than
6 months, the level of academic engagement should be averaged with respect to the
actual duration of study.

Generally, a student should be regarded as studying full-time while overseas if, in respect
of their course of study:




            [ ‘≥’ means greater than or equal to;      ; ‘×’ means multiply ]

Example

Tim applies for OS-HELP assistance to undertake a course of study overseas that will take
4 weeks to complete. He will be awarded 20 credit points for the overseas study. At Tim‟s
home provider, a full time student receives a minimum of 30 credit points per semester
for a 13 week semester.

The formula can be used to assess whether Tim will be engaged in full time study while
overseas:




Tim meets the criterion of being enrolled in full-time study overseas as the 20 credit
points he receives for a 4-week period of overseas study is greater than the 9.23 credit
points he would have received for undertaking 4 weeks study at his home provider.


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45.9          How will a provider know if a student has
              previously received or applied for OS-HELP?
A provider should collect sufficient information from students during its OS-HELP
application process to be satisfied that students have not previously received OS-HELP on
more than one occasion. Students will declare that they have read the OS-HELP
statement of terms and conditions when they sign the OS-HELP debt confirmation form
(see part 13.1). The statement indicates that a student must not receive OS-HELP more
than twice [HESA - s118-1(1)(b)].

The Higher Education Information Management System (HEIMS) outputs will include
information on OS-HELP for the purpose of identifying students who have already
received OS-HELP. Due to the time lag in providers reporting OS-HELP data to DEEWR
information in HEIMS may not reflect all OS-HELP loans a person has taken.

45.10         Selection of students for OS-HELP
The OS-HELP Guidelines set out the procedures a provider must follow when selecting
students for receipt of OS-HELP [HESA – s118-15]. The OS-HELP Guidelines require a
provider to establish its own OS-HELP policy.

What must be included in an OS-HELP policy?

The OS-HELP policy must set out open, fair and transparent procedures that the provider
will use in making decisions about the selection of students for OS-HELP. The selection
of students for OS-HELP must be based on merit [HESA - s19-35(2)].

A provider‘s OS-HELP policy must not include anything that is contrary to the OS-HELP
provisions set out in HESA or the OS-HELP Guidelines.

What should be included in a provider’s OS-HELP policy?

A provider‘s OS-HELP policy should include sufficient information to enable the provider
to administer its application and selection process for OS-HELP. The OS-HELP policy
should also include information that allows students to understand what is involved in
applying for, and receiving, OS-HELP assistance.

In general, the policy should detail:

    how students apply for OS-HELP, including application closing dates (if applicable)
       and what information a student must provide in support of their application;

    what criteria the provider will use to assess students‘ applications and establish an
      order of merit for receipt of OS-HELP;

    how and when students will be notified, in writing, of the outcome of their OS-HELP
       application;

    how the amount of OS-HELP assistance paid to each student will be determined;



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     how and when offers of OS-HELP assistance will be made to students and how long
        offers will remain current;

     how and when OS-HELP payments will be made to selected students;

     any conditions that are to apply to OS-HELP assistance;

     how and when selected students will be informed of the conditions of receiving OS-
        HELP; and

     what action a student may take if they are dissatisfied with decisions that the
       provider has made with respect to their OS-HELP application.

[OS-HELP Guidelines – paragraph 2.5]


45.11            Provision of OS-HELP information to students
A provider that offers OS-HELP loans must be the first point of contact for students
interested in the program. It must provide all students who may be interested in
applying for OS-HELP with information about the program and how students can obtain
an OS-HELP loan [OS-HELP Guidelines – sections 2.5.5 and 2.5.10].

45.12            Notifying students of their OS-HELP application
                 outcome
The OS-HELP Guidelines specify that a provider must notify students who apply for OS-
HELP assistance of the outcome of the selection process, in writing, either within 2
months of receiving the application or within 2 months of the application closing date,
whichever is later.

If a provider selects a student for OS-HELP, then the provider must offer the OS-HELP
loan to the student in writing. The provider must also advise the student in writing of the
loan amount to which they are entitled and the conditions of receiving an OS-HELP loan.
The conditions of receiving an OS-HELP loan are contained in the OS-HELP statement of
terms and conditions.

[OS-HELP Guidelines - sections 3.5.1 and 3.5.5]

These notifications may be given electronically if the student has consented to receiving
this information electronically (see parts 14.4 and 59.1). Providers could, for example,
receive this consent from students as part of their OS-HELP application.

45.13            OS-HELP debt confirmation form
Students who are selected to receive an OS-HELP loan must complete an OS-HELP debt
confirmation form before the provider can make an OS-HELP payment to the student (see
part 13.1).




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45.14          What information needs to be collected from
               students?
A provider should collect sufficient independent documentation from students to be able
to determine that a student meets all of the OS-HELP eligibility criteria (see part 45.4). A
provider should also collect sufficient documentation from students to assess students‘
applications against the selection criteria set out in its OS-HELP policy (see part 45.10).

A provider must provide a copy of a student‘s application to DEEWR if the provider has
reason to believe the student provided false or misleading information in their application
(see part 45.24). As information to students, providers should include the following
phrase on their OS-HELP application forms:

     “The personal information contained in this form is collected for the purpose of
     determining your entitlement to OS-HELP assistance. If you provide false or
     misleading information in applications for OS-HELP, higher education providers may
     be required to disclose information contained in this form to the Department of
     Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. Higher education providers may
     also be required to disclose your personal information as otherwise authorised or
     required by law.”

45.15          Calculating the amount of OS-HELP assistance
The amount of OS-HELP assistance paid to each selected student is determined by the
provider in accordance with its OS-HELP policy.

The OS-HELP assistance must not:

     exceed the maximum OS-HELP loan amount for a single OS-HELP loan. This amount
        for a particular year is published by DEEWR at www.deewr.gov.au (see Higher
        Education, Student resources, indexed rates) and in the information booklet for
        students for that year.

     be less than the minimum OS-HELP amount, if the provider has specified a minimum
        amount in its OS-HELP policy; and

     be different to the amount indicated on the student‘s completed and signed OS-
        HELP debt confirmation form.

Notwithstanding the limits above, a provider should not pay a student an OS-HELP
amount that exceeds the amount of assistance for which the student has applied. [HESA –
s121-1, 121-5 and 121-10]


45.16          Can a provider set a minimum OS-HELP
               amount?
Yes. If a provider intends to set a minimum OS-HELP amount, this must be specified in
writing [HESA - s121-10]. The provider‘s OS-HELP policy would be the most appropriate
place to specify this (see part 45.10).


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45.17            Amount of OS-HELP debt
The amount of a student‘s OS-HELP debt is an amount equal to the amount of the loan
[HESA - s137-15(2)].


45.18            What is the loan fee?
Students who receive an OS-HELP loan will NOT incur a loan fee on OS-HELP loans with a
debt incurral date on or after 1 January 2010.

45.19            How is OS-HELP paid to the student?
A provider pays a student their OS-HELP assistance as a single payment by electronic
funds transfer, cheque or cash. A student may only receive one payment for each OS-
HELP loan.

45.20            When are OS-HELP payments to be made to a
                 student?
Providers must not pay OS-HELP assistance to a student until after the student has:

     been selected for OS-HELP assistance; and

     submitted a correctly completed OS-HELP debt confirmation form to the provider
        (see part 13.1).

Wherever possible, a provider should pay students their OS-HELP assistance in such a
time that allows students to use the funds for their key travel related expenses (such as
airfares). A provider may enforce a limited number of OS-HELP payment dates but, if a
provider chooses to do this, then the restricted OS-HELP payment dates should be:

     determined with regard for students‘ financial needs;

     applied consistently to all students receiving OS-HELP; and

     set out in the provider‘s OS-HELP policy (see part 45.10).

45.21            Issuing a Commonwealth Assistance Notice
A student must be issued a Commonwealth Assistance Notice (see part 14.1) no later
than 28 days after the date on which the OS-HELP debt was incurred [Administration
Guidelines - section 2.10.10].


45.22            When is an OS-HELP debt incurred?
A student is taken to incur their OS-HELP debt (the sum of their OS-HELP assistance) on
the day the student receives their OS-HELP assistance from the provider [HESA – s137-
15(3)].



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Example

Mark is selected for OS-HELP for 6 months of full-time overseas study that starts on 1
January 2011. He receives his OS-HELP loan prior to commencing his studies on 1
December 2010. The date on which Mark incurs the OS-HELP debt is 1 December 2010.

Payment by electronic funds transfer

If a provider pays a student their OS-HELP loan amount by electronic funds transfer, then
the OS-HELP debt is incurred on the day that the funds transfer occurs.

Payment in cash or by cheque in hand

If a provider pays a student their OS-HELP assistance in cash or by cheque in hand direct
to the student, the provider should obtain a signed and dated receipt from the student to
record when the student received their payment. The date on the receipt is taken to be
the date the OS-HELP debt is incurred.

Payment by mailed cheque

If a provider pays a student their OS-HELP assistance by a cheque that is mailed to the
student, then the provider must send the cheque by person-to-person registered mail
with delivery confirmation. Only the student receiving the OS-HELP loan should be
allowed to sign for the cheque, and the post office should send a receipt back to the
provider to confirm when the student took possession of the cheque. The date the OS-
HELP debt is incurred is taken to be the day the student took possession of the cheque.

45.23            Change in student’s circumstances
If a selected student‘s circumstances change in such a way that a provider determines
that the student does not meet the OS-HELP eligibility criteria and the student has yet to
be paid their OS-HELP assistance, the provider must withdraw the offer of OS-HELP to
the student.

If a selected student‘s circumstances change in such a way that the provider determines
the student no longer meets the OS-HELP eligibility criteria but the student has already
been paid their OS-HELP assistance, then the provider is not obliged to do anything
unless the provider has reason to believe the student provided false or misleading
information in their OS-HELP application (see part 45.24). A student in this situation will
already have incurred an OS-HELP debt and must repay this debt through the ATO.

45.24            Provision of false or misleading information by a
                 student
If a provider knows, or has reason to believe, that a student in receipt of OS-HELP has
provided false or misleading information in their OS-HELP application, the provider must
immediately notify DEEWR and provide DEEWR with a copy of the student‘s application
and any other relevant information or material DEEWR requests. The matter should not
be discussed with the student unless DEEWR provides advice to the contrary. [OS-HELP
Guidelines - section 3.5.15]



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45.25         What happens if a student does not undertake
              their overseas study?
If a student has been selected for OS-HELP, but has yet to be paid their OS-HELP
assistance, and the provider determines that the student will not be undertaking their
overseas study, then the provider should withdraw the offer of OS-HELP to the student.

If a student has been paid their OS-HELP assistance and the provider determines that the
student will not be undertaking their overseas study, then the provider is not required to
take any further action. A student in this situation will have already incurred an OS-HELP
debt and must repay this debt through the ATO.

45.26         Can an OS-HELP debt be remitted?
No. An OS-HELP debt must not be remitted under any circumstances.

45.27         How are OS-HELP debts repaid?
A student‘s OS-HELP debt is included in their accumulated HELP debt [HESA – Division 140].
Students repay their accumulated HELP debt through the taxation system once their
income is above the minimum threshold for compulsory repayments (see part 47.1).

45.28         Voluntary repayments
Students can make voluntary repayments towards their HELP debt at any time to the
ATO. Voluntary repayments of $500 or more attract a 10% bonus [HESA – Division 151].




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Section 46                   Tax File Number (TFN)
                             requirements
46.1          Who is required to provide a TFN?
All students who wish to obtain a loan under the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP)
are required to provide their TFN on their request for Commonwealth assistance form
(see part 13.1). Students who do not have a TFN should apply for one by completing a
Tax file number application or enquiry for an individual form available from the ATO [HESA
– ss90-1(f)(i), 104-1(h), 118-1(g) & 187-1]. A sample Certificate of Application for a TFN is
provided at Appendix H.

All continuing pre-2005 HECS or PELS students must complete a request for
Commonwealth assistance form (see part 13). However, these students are not required
to resupply their TFN in relation to their course of study if they previously supplied a TFN
on a HECS Payment Options Declaration form or a PELS Loan Request form in relation to
that course. Notwithstanding, if a student does resupply a TFN, a provider must not
disregard this newly supplied TFN by relying on a previously supplied TFN.

Commonwealth supported students who are eligible for HECS-HELP assistance, but who
wish to pay their student contribution up-front, should also provide their TFN. This acts
as a precaution if they fail to make a payment on or before the census date for the unit.
Failure to make a full up-front payment on or before the census date, and failure to
provide a TFN, will result in the provider cancelling the student‘s enrolment as a
Commonwealth supported student in their unit.

46.2          By when must a TFN be provided?
Students are required to provide their TFN, or a certificate from the Commissioner of
Taxation stating that they have applied for one (see Appendix H), on or before the
census date for the unit of study for which they wish to obtain a HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP
loan [HESA- s187-1(2)].

Students wishing to obtain an OS-HELP loan must provide their TFN when applying for
OS-HELP. Providers must not make any payments before the student provides a TFN or
a certificate from the Commissioner of Taxation stating that they have applied for one.

46.3          How does a student provide a TFN?
Students should provide their TFN on one or more of the following forms:

    Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP;

    Request for FEE-HELP assistance;

    Request for FEE-HELP assistance OUA; or

    OS-HELP debt confirmation.

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If a student does not provide their TFN on the form on or before the census date or, in
the case of OS-HELP, the OS-HELP payment date, a provider may accept the student‘s
TFN or a Certificate of Application for a TFN so long as it is provided in writing by the OS-
HELP payment date. Students may also provide these electronically in accordance with
Chapter 5 of the Administration Guidelines. See part 59 for more information on
electronic communications.

46.4          Notification if a student does not provide a TFN
If a student does not provide a TFN on their form and the student intends to take out a
HELP loan, the provider must notify the student, in writing, within 7 days of receiving the
form (or before the census date if earlier), that the student‘s TFN or a Certificate of
Application for a TFN from the ATO is required on or before the census date (in the case
of HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP assistance [HESA - s193-1(1) and (2)]), or before the provider can
pay any amounts of OS-HELP assistance to the student [HESA - s193-1(3) and (4)].

The provider is not obliged to provide this notice if the student is not eligible for the
assistance [HESA - s193-1(5)(a)] or, in the case of requests for HECS-HELP assistance, if the
student has made up-front payments totalling 80% of their student contribution for the
unit [HESA - s193-1(5)(b)].

46.5          What happens if a student does not have a TFN?
Students who do not have, or cannot remember, their TFN, or who have applied to the
ATO but have not yet received a TFN, must contact the ATO to acquire their TFN or to
obtain a Certificate of Application for a TFN. A sample Certificate of Application for a TFN
is provided at Appendix H.

As a TFN is usually provided within 28 days of application, it is essential for students to
apply early to ensure they have their TFN on or before the census date. If a student
applies for a TFN less than 1 month before the relevant census date, the student should
request the ATO to issue them with a Certificate of Application for a TFN.

If a student has not received their TFN within 10 days before the census date, the
student should provide this certificate to their provider as proof of having applied. The
student must quote their TFN within 21 days from the day the ATO issues the student a
Tax File Number Advice [HESA – s187-5(1)(a) & 187-5(2)(a)]. The provider must be satisfied
(in accordance with the Tax File Number Guidelines for Higher Education Providers and
Open Universities Australia) that the TFN quoted by the student is a valid TFN [HESA –
s187-5(1)(b) & 187-5(2)(b)].


46.6          What if a student has provided a Certificate of
              Application for a TFN but has failed to quote
              their TFN within 21 days of issue by the ATO?
Students who provide a Certificate of Application for a TFN should notify their provider of
their TFN within 21 days of receiving it from the ATO. However, to assist with
administrative arrangements for those students who do not advise their TFN, providers
can ask the ATO for TFNs over the phone in accordance with the Tax File Number


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Guidelines for Higher Education Providers and Open Universities Australia. TFNs can be
obtained by phoning the Higher Education Loan Accounts (HELA) unit on 1300 650 225
between 8.00am and 5.00pm (Eastern Standard Time), Monday to Friday. This service is
available from June for the first half-year data and from November for the second half-
year data.

To enable the ATO to provide a TFN over the phone providers must nominate a contact
officer(s). The contact officer(s) will be the only person(s) authorised to receive a
student‘s TFN over the phone. The nomination should be on the provider‘s official
letterhead, include the name, title and contact details of the nominated officer(s) and
sent to the provider‘s higher education contact officer at:

    Higher Education Loan Accounts unit

    Australian Taxation Office

    PO Box 9977

    Chermside QLD 4032

If providers have any questions about the nomination process they can phone 1300 650
225.

46.7          What happens if a student fails to provide a
              TFN?
Commonwealth supported students

A provider must cancel a student‘s enrolment in a unit of study as a Commonwealth
supported student if the student is seeking HECS-HELP assistance and has not, on or
before the census date:

    provided a TFN or a Certificate of Application for a TFN; or

    paid 80% of their student contribution for the unit up-front.

If a student‘s enrolment as a Commonwealth supported student is cancelled, the provider
must reduce the student‘s debt for that unit to zero and repay that amount to the
Commonwealth. For information on how to vary a student‘s debt, see part 48.3.

Students seeking FEE-HELP assistance

If a student who is seeking FEE-HELP assistance does not provide a TFN or a Certificate
of Application for a TFN on or before the census date, the Australian Government will not
be liable to provide a loan for the tuition fees. The provider must reduce the student‘s
debt for that unit to zero and repay that amount to the Commonwealth. For information
on how to vary a student‘s debt, see part 48.3.

A provider may make alternative arrangements for the student to pay their tuition fees.

Students seeking OS-HELP assistance

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Students seeking OS-HELP must not be paid their OS-HELP assistance until they have
provided their TFN or a Certificate of Application for a TFN.

46.8              Validation of TFNs
Students are eligible for a HELP loan only if they provide a valid TFN. A provider must
validate and record TFNs for inclusion in information on students‘ debts in the HELP Due
File and for inclusion in the Electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form File (E-CAF File).
A provider must:

    visually check that each TFN has 9 digits. No TFN can be comprised of the same
       digit. For example, 111 111 111 is not a valid TFN;

    in the case of the E-CAF, ensure that the ‗00999999999‘ code (for students who
       supply a Certificate of Application for a TFN from the ATO) is not used as this is
       not a valid TFN for a form that is submitted electronically; and

    use the algorithm that the ATO provides to validate the TFN.

The Tax File Number Guidelines for Higher Education Providers and Open Universities
Australia specify the circumstances in which a provider is to be satisfied that a number is
a valid TFN.

46.9              What happens if a student has not provided a
                  valid TFN?
If a student has not provided a valid TFN, the provider must notify the student, in
writing, within 7 days of receiving the Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-
HELP, Request for FEE-HELP assistance, or OS-HELP debt confirmation form (or before
the census date or OS-HELP payment date if earlier), that the student:

    has not provided a valid TFN; and

    must provide either a TFN or Certificate of Application for a TFN on or before the
      census date for the unit or, in the case of OS-HELP, on or before the OS-HELP
      payment date.

[HESA – s193-1]

A provider can notify the student using electronic means if it complies with the Electronic
Transactions Act 1999 (ETA) and chapter 5 of the Administration Guidelines (see part
59.1).

46.10             TFNs and the electronic submission of forms
Students who fill out an electronic form, and who are required to provide a TFN, must
have a valid TFN. A provider cannot use the ‗00999999999‘ code as a valid TFN for
electronic forms.




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A provider may incorporate an electronic prompt that informs these students that they
cannot complete the form electronically because they have not provided their TFN.
Students who do not submit a valid TFN must continue to use the paper form.

A provider may allow students who have submitted a paper form, and who subsequently
obtain a TFN on or before the census date or the OS-HELP payment date, to complete an
electronic form. This electronic form would override the previously submitted paper
form.

46.11         Australian Tax Office (ATO) to provide
              information on TFNs
The ATO may give the provider notice of the following twice yearly (by late February and
July each year) [HESA - Division 190]:

    a student‘s TFN where:

     -    the student provided a Certificate of Application for a TFN on or before the
          census date or OS-HELP payment date, and a TFN has been issued; or

     -    a student provided a valid TFN that has since been cancelled, withdrawn, or is
          otherwise wrong, but the student has a new valid TFN or if a new TFN has been
          issued to the student.

    information on students who do not have a TFN because the:

     -    ATO is unable to identify the student correctly;

     -    ATO is not satisfied that the student has a TFN;

     -    TFN given by a student is not the student‘s TFN;

     -    ATO has refused to issue a TFN to the student because the student already has
          a TFN; or

     -    ATO has cancelled the student‘s TFN.

Sample letters from the ATO are in Appendix L.

When the ATO advises a provider of a student‘s TFN, the provider must record it for the
student. If a provider is unable to satisfactorily match the student details, the provider
must contact the ATO on 1300 650 225, in accordance with the Tax File Number
Guidelines for Higher Education Providers and Open Universities Australia, to resolve the
issue before recording the TFN.

46.12         What happens if the ATO notifies a provider that
              a student does not have a TFN?
Commonwealth supported students seeking HECS-HELP assistance


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If the ATO notifies a provider that a student does not have, or no longer has, a TFN, the
provider must cancel the student‘s enrolment as a Commonwealth supported student in
the unit of study for which the student was seeking HECS-HELP assistance if, at the end
of 28 days after receipt of the notice from the ATO, the provider has not been notified of
a number that the provider is satisfied is a valid TFN. The provider must not allow a
student to enrol as a Commonwealth supported student in that unit with the same census
date again [HESA – s193-5(1) & (2)].

The provider must reduce the student‘s debt for that unit to zero and repay that amount
to the Commonwealth. For information on how to vary a student‘s debt, see part 48.3.

Students seeking FEE-HELP assistance

If the ATO notifies a provider that a student does not have a TFN and, at the end of 28
days after the provider receives this notice, the provider has not been notified of a
number that the provider is satisfied is a valid TFN, the Commonwealth will not be liable
to provide a loan for the tuition fees [HESA – s193-10(1) & (2)].

The provider must reduce the student‘s debt for that units of study to zero and repay
that amount to the Commonwealth. For information on how to vary a student‘s debt, see
part 48.3.

A provider may make alternative arrangements for the student to pay their tuition fees.
The provider may also cancel the student‘s enrolment in the unit for which the student
was seeking FEE-HELP assistance.

Students seeking OS-HELP assistance

If the ATO notifies a provider that a student does not have a TFN and, at the end of 28
days after the provider receives this notice, the provider has not been notified of a
number that the provider is satisfied is a valid TFN, the Commonwealth will still be liable
to provide an OS-HELP loan to the student if it has already been paid by the provider.
However, if the provider has not yet paid the OS-HELP loan to the student, it should not
do so until the student has provided a valid TFN.

[HESA – s193-5(1) & (2)]


46.13           Retention and disposal of TFNs
Providers must retain TFNs until such time as the provider is satisfied that the calculation
of the final unit of study debt for the course of study for which the student has sought
HELP assistance has been completed, the student‘s account with the provider is finalised,
and the ATO has been notified of the final debt.

In keeping with the Privacy Commissioner‘s Tax File Number Guidelines, any disposal of
TFN information must be by appropriately secure means.

46.14           Confidentiality
Law prohibits:


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    the disclosure of students‘ TFNs;

    providers‘ use of TFNs for any purpose other than processing a HELP debt;

    use of TFNs as a means of identifying students;

    any unauthorised request for a student to provide a TFN; and

    any unauthorised recording of a TFN.

A provider must take reasonable precautions to prevent unauthorised access to HELP
related information, including students‘ TFNs. A provider must comply with the rules for
handling TFNs in the Privacy Commissioner‘s Tax File Number Guidelines 1992.

46.15         Provision of TFN if student enrols in a new
              course of study
If a student cancels his or her enrolment in a course of study and enrols in a different
course, providers are not permitted to transfer a student‘s TFN to the records or
documentation for the new course. A student must separately meet the TFN
requirements for each unit of study they enrol in [HESA – s187-1(1AA)].




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Section 47                   Repayment of HELP loans and
                             indexation arrangements
47.1            Compulsory repayments
A person becomes liable to make a compulsory repayment towards their HELP debt when
their repayment income is above the minimum repayment income for the income year.
These repayments are made to the ATO.

From 1 July 2009, repayment income is the total sum of the following amounts from a
person‘s income tax return for the income year:

     taxable income;

     reportable fringe benefits (shown on their annual PAYG payment summary;

     total net investment loss (including net rental losses;

     reportable super contributions; and

     any exempt foreign employment income amounts.

[HESA – subdivision 154A]

The percentage of a person‘s repayment income that they will be required to repay for a
particular year is published by DEEWR at www.goingtouni.gov.au (see loan repayments)
and included in the information booklets for students for that year [HESA – s154-20].

Graduates employed in certain occupations and locations may be eligible to apply for a
HECS-HELP Benefit (see section 47.5).

47.2            Voluntary repayments
A person can make a voluntary repayment towards their HELP debt at any time to the
ATO. Voluntary repayments of $500 or more attract a 10% bonus on the payment
amount. [HESA - division 151]

If a person makes a voluntary repayment of $500 or more, they will receive a bonus of
10%. This means their account will be credited with an additional 10% of their payment.
The bonus is 10% of the payment that they make, not 10% of the outstanding debt.
They will not receive a bonus on repayment amounts that are more than the balance of
their account.

Example

Claire owes $5,250 and she wants to make a $2,500 voluntary repayment. With the
10% bonus, the value of Claire‘s repayment is: $2,750 ($2,500 x 1.10)

Her total debt is reduced to: $2,500 ($5,250 – $2,750)

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Claire‘s bonus amount is:     $2,750 - $2,500 = $250.

If they wish to pay off their total debt, the amount of the repayment is their total debt
divided by 1.10. If they pay off their debt with a voluntary repayment of less than $500
they may be entitled to the 10% bonus. Students need to be aware that if they have any
HELP debts that have not been reported to the ATO at the time of the payment, the
bonus may be reversed once those debts are transferred to their account.

Graduates employed in certain occupations and locations may be eligible to apply for a
HECS-HELP Benefit (see section 47.5). Note: No Benefit is payable where the relevant
debt has been extinguished by a voluntary repayment.

47.3          Tax deductibility of repayments
Repayments of HELP debts by students or someone other than their payer (employer)
are not tax deductible. If a student‘s payer makes repayments for the student, the payer
may be able to claim a tax deduction. However, they will be liable for Fringe Benefits Tax
on the repayments.

47.4          Indexation of outstanding HELP debts
HELP debts are indexed annually [HESA – s154-25] to maintain their real value, by adjusting
them in line with changes in the cost of living (as measured by the Consumer Price
Index, but are otherwise interest free. The indexation adjustment is made by the ATO on
1 June each year and applies to the portion of debt which has remained unpaid for more
than 11 months.

47.5          HECS-HELP Benefit
A person may be eligible for a HECS-HELP benefit if they:

    graduated from an undergraduate mathematics or science course of study from
       the second semester of 2008 onwards and they are employed:

     -    in a related occupation, including teaching of these subjects in secondary
          school; or

     -    as a primary school teacher.

     Note: A mathematics or science course of study is one which is classified as being in
     the natural and physical sciences field of education (Broad Field 01) by the
     Australian Bureau of Statistics in the publication Australian Standard Classification of
     Education (ASCED) 2001;

    are an early childhood education teacher employed in a facility for providing
       education and/or childcare services to children prior to their commencing formal
       schooling. For example, a childcare centre in a regional or remote area,
       Indigenous community or an area of high socio-economic disadvantage.




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    graduated from an education or nursing course of study (including midwifery)
       that is required for initial entry to work as a teacher or nurse/midwife from second
       semester 2009 onwards and are employed in a teaching or nursing profession.

A person who is eligible for the HECS-HELP benefit and who is required to make a
compulsory repayment of their HELP debt will have their repayment reduced by the
amount of the HECS-HELP benefit. If the person is an early childhood education teacher
and is not required to make a compulsory repayment, they may be eligible for a
reduction in their accumulated HELP debt.

The details of the eligibility requirements and the amount of the benefit are specified in
the HECS-HELP benefit guidelines.

Note: No Benefit is payable where the relevant debt has been extinguished by a
voluntary repayment.

Note: More information about eligibility and how to apply for the HECS-HELP benefit is
published on the Going to Uni web site (www.goingtouni.gov.au) and the ATO website
(www.ato.gov.au).

Course of study field of education codes

In assessing applications for the HECS-HELP benefit for eligible mathematics and science
graduates who take up employment in related occupations, it is necessary for the
Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to identify graduates of mathematics or science
undergraduate courses of study. ‗Mathematics or science graduate‘ is defined in the
HECS-HELP Benefit Guidelines. The definition includes reference to having completed a
‗natural and physical science course of study‘ defined in the Higher Education Support
Amendment (2008 Budget Measures) Act 2008. This is a course of study in the field of
natural and physical sciences, classified as Broad Field 01 by the Australian Bureau of
Statistics in the publication known as the Australian Standard Classification of Education
(ASCED) 2001.

In assisting the ATO to identify eligible courses, DEEWR will generally refer to the primary
field of education code for a course as reported in the course of study file, Element 461 in
the Higher Education Information Management System (HEIMS) statistical collection.
Where the course of study is a combined or double degree program, DEEWR will also
refer to the field of education supplementary code reported as HEIMS Element 462. If
either of these elements indicates a broad field of study in the natural and physical
sciences (ie 01), it would be open for the ATO to assess the student as having graduated
from an eligible course.

DEEWR has published a list of reported course completions for 2008 on the Going to Uni
website to assist students in identifying eligible courses, although the list is not definitive.

In some instances students may apply for the HECS-HELP benefit and specify a course
that cannot be found in the statistical collection or which has not been classified in the
collection in the broad field of study 01 but has a title that suggests that it may actually
be a course in that broad field. In some cases this could depend on the student‘s study
program in the course. In those instances it is necessary for DEEWR to request that the



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provider advise whether the student‘s course of study was in fact in the natural and
physical sciences field as defined in the Act.




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Reporting & Publishing
Section 48                   Reporting requirements
48.1          The Higher Education Data Collection
A provider is required to report accurate and complete student information to DEEWR
through the Higher Education Student Data Collections. Full details on the reporting
requirements, including the scope documents, types of submissions and submission dates
are available on the HEIMSHELP website at: www.heimshelp.deewr.gov.au (See Higher
Education, Higher Education Providers, Higher Education Management System).

A delay in accurate reporting of HELP debts can have significant consequences for
students. The ATO is required to index unpaid HELP debts based on when the debts were
incurred. If there is a delay in reporting a debt to the ATO, indexation may be applied
even though the debt has not been included in the assessment by the ATO of any
compulsory HELP repayment required. The consequence is that a person may have lower
repayments than would otherwise have been required and have incurred higher
indexation on their debt. Accurate and timely reporting of HELP debts is a requirement of
the Higher Education Support Act 2003.

48.2          Validation of data
Before data submissions are reported to DEEWR, a provider must validate the data in
each submission in accordance with the data collection validation specifications. These
specifications, which are available on HEIMSHELP, provide rules for checking the validity
of data reported to DEEWR. All ‗FATAL‘ error messages generated in the validation
process must be resolved prior to submission.

48.3          Variations
Census dates on or after 1 January 2005

Variations to a student‘s SLE consumption or HELP debt amounts that occur after the
census date due to:

    re-crediting of SLE or FEE-HELP balance in special circumstances (see part 61.4);

    the student‘s provision of an invalid TFN (see part 46.9); or

    administrative error;

must be reported to DEEWR through a Revisions Submission. Generally a provider is not
required to separately report changes to a student‘s HELP debt to the ATO. DEEWR will
send relevant information from the Revisions Submissions directly to the ATO (see part
48.4) for circumstances in which a notification will be made directly to the ATO.




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Changes in a student‘s enrolment due to circumstances outlined in parts 28.6, 43.13, and
44.15, should not be reported to DEEWR. The provider should report to DEEWR as per
the provider‘s enrolment records as at the census date.

Census dates before 2005

Under section 106L of the Higher Education Funding Act 1988 (HEFA), a person could
apply in writing to the Secretary for remission of their HEC/PELS/BOTPL debt in special
circumstances. The lodgement deadline for such an application was 12 months after a
person‘s withdrawal day in relation to a unit in the person‘s course of study for the
semester.

The time limit for a person to make an application to remit debts incurred under HEFA
has lapsed. Therefore, there should be no remissions relating to pre-2005 debts, except
in the rare event where an application that was made within the 12 month period had not
been finalised, including as a result of a review and appeal to the Administrative Appeals
Tribunal (see part 60.1).

Except in these rare cases, or remissions that were finalised in previous years but not
reported, the forms provided in Appendix M and N of the Administration information for
higher education providers: student support, are for notifying the ATO and DEEWR of any
variations to pre-2005 debts that may have occurred due to administrative error or
oversight.

48.4          Process for assisting students who have a
              revised Higher Education Loan Program (HELP)
              debt that is yet to be advised to the ATO.
Some students will have HELP debts recorded on their Australian Tax Office HELP account
that need to be adjusted because the ATO has not received revised debts at a time when
a student:

    has been issued with a HELP information statement by the ATO;

    has lodged their income tax return; and

    has received an income tax notice of assessment with a compulsory HELP
       repayment.

In these cases, the student‘s account will not reflect a variation or remission that a
provider has made. The student will need to confirm with the provider that a revision
has been reported to the ATO.

If a student seeks further assistance in relation to these circumstances they should be
referred to the Higher Education Loan Accounts unit of the ATO on 1300 650 225 for
advice.

If the ATO determines that the student‘s compulsory HELP repayment on their income tax
notice of assessment should reflect adjustments due to variations, the ATO will contact
the provider‘s authorised contact officer to request a letter with the following information:


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    the student's full name, date of birth and student identification number;

    the student‘s reported TFN and CHESSN;

    the amount of the original debt;

    the amount of the revised debt;

    the year and half year to which the debt relates (for example, 2006/1);

    the type of debt (that is, HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP or OS-HELP debt);

    whether the adjustment is a remission or a variation;

    the Revisions File reference number;

    the date the Revisions File was sent to the Department of Education, Employment
       and Workplace Relations; and

    institution code.

This information should be faxed to the ATO on 02 6216 2872, on official provider
letterhead and signed by the authorised officer.

The ATO will alter the student‘s reported HELP debt and any compulsory HELP repayment
based on the above information. The Revisions File should not be altered because the
revised debt will be loaded onto the HELP account when the file is received in the ATO.


Section 49                  Publishing requirements
49.1          Schedule of student contribution amounts and
              tuition fees
A provider must publish a schedule of student contributions (see part 27.2) and tuition
fees (see part 35.2) that covers all units of study that it provides or proposes to provide.
The schedule must contain enough information to enable a person to work out the
student contribution amount and tuition fee for each unit that the provider provides or
proposes to provide. Where more than one student contribution amount or tuition fee
has been determined, the schedule must contain sufficient information to enable a person
to work out which amount or fee applies to them [HESA - s19-95(2) & 3.25 of the FEE-HELP
Guidelines (for OUA)].


A provider must publish its schedule of student contribution amounts and tuition fees for
the units it provides or proposes to provide by:

    1 April for units with a census date in the same year between 1 July and 31
       December; and

    1 October for units with a census date in the subsequent year between 1 January
       and 30 June of that year.

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[Higher Education Provider Guidelines & FEE-HELP Guidelines (for OUA)].

A provider may choose to publish only student contributions on the schedule, except for
tuition fees for units offered on a non-award basis. However, should a student be
required to enrol as a fee paying student, the provider will have to request a variation to
its schedule to meet the requirement to publish the tuition fee (see part 49.4 and 49.5).

A provider must ensure the schedule is available to all students and persons seeking to
enrol with the provider on request and at no charge [HESA – s19-95(2) & FEE-HELP Guidelines (for
OUA)].

If a provider uses a consumption model for determining the EFTSL values for
postgraduate research units of study (see part 12.2.), it may publish an annual tuition
fee per EFTSL, which enables students to work out their tuition fee after determining the
EFTSL value that applies to their particular unit of study. If a provider has non-standard
equivalent full-time student load (EFTSL) for some of its units, it will need to provide
sufficient information to enable the student to calculate the student contribution that will
apply to them (see example below).

Example

A provider sets the cost of Biology 101 at $3,000 per EFTSL. For a Bachelor of Science
student, this unit contributes 0.2 EFTSL towards the student‟s degree and for a Bachelor
of Medicine student, it only contributes 0.125 EFTSL. Therefore, the science student will
be charged $600 for the unit (0.2 x $3,000) and the medicine student will be charged
$375 for the unit (0.125 x $3,000).

Giving the schedule to the Minister

A provider must give the schedule of student contribution amounts and tuition fees to the
Minister by the publication deadlines indicated in the previous section [HESA – s19-95(1)]. A
provider must give the schedule to the Minister by:

     posting the schedule on the provider‘s website; and

     emailing the schedule or a URL (uniform resource locator) link (or links) to the
        Schedule on the provider‘s website to the email address ‗aip@deewr.gov.au‘.

Where a provider submits a link to its website it must maintain a printable record of the
published amounts that applied at a particular time including enough information to
respond to student queries or provide the information to DEEWR upon request. [Ministerial
determination under HESA – s19-95(1)].


There are no formatting requirements for the schedule posted on the website, so a
provider may use active links and references to other areas of the website.

If the Schedule is not provided by way of a URL link, it must be in a form that allows it to
be printed. It must not contain links or references to information not contained within
that schedule.




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49.2             Census dates and EFTSL values
A provider must publish the census date and EFTSL value for each unit of study that it
provides or proposes to provide by:

     1 April for units with a census date in the same year between 1 July and 31
        December; and

     1 October for units with a census date in the subsequent year between 1 January
        and 30 June of that year.

[Administration Guidelines – section 4.10 & FEE-HELP Guidelines 3.30.30]

A provider may publish the census dates and EFTSL values in any format it chooses.
However, a provider must ensure that students are able to easily access the information.

49.3             Changes to published unit of study information
Overview

Once a provider has published its unit of study information it can vary the information
only in accordance with the requirements in the Higher Education Provider Guidelines (for
student contributions or tuition fees) or the Administration Guidelines (for EFTSL and
census dates) (see part 49.4) or with Ministerial approval (see part 49.5).

49.4             Changes to published unit of study information
                 that do not require Ministerial approval
The provisions that allow a provider to vary its published unit of study information are
not intended to diminish a provider‘s obligation to publish unit of study information for all
the units that it provides or proposes to provide by the dates indicated in parts 49.1 and
49.2.

Variations more than two months before the commencement of the unit of study

Unit of study information can be varied without Ministerial approval where the variation is
more than 2 months before the earlier of:

     the commencement of the unit; or

     the last date for withdrawing without penalty.

A provider may only vary the unit of study information if:

     the reason did not exist when originally published; or

     to correct an administrative error.

The 5 day rule



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In the situations described above, a provider must notify DEEWR of its intention to vary it
published unit of study information in writing to aip@deewr.gov.au at least five working
days before making the variation. As well as providing its reasons for varying, a provider
should clearly state in its written advice to DEEWR that the advice is an intention to vary
without the Minister‘s approval in accordance with the Higher Education Provider
Guidelines and the Administration Guidelines [see Appendix A].

After the expiration of five working days the provider is required to make the variation to
its published information.

Ministerial approval is not required if the variation is made up to two months before the
earlier of:

a)    the date of commencement of the unit of study; and

b) the last date that a student can enrol in the unit of study without incurring a late
enrolment fee (see part 49.6) (see HEP Guidelines 6.15); and

c)   in the provider‘s reasonable view the variation will not disadvantage a student
enrolled or seeking to enrol in the unit of study affected by the variation (see part 49.6).

Note: Providers do not need to apply to DEEWR for variations that satisfy the ‗variation
without Ministerial approval‘ conditions. Providers need only notify DEEWR of their
intention to vary and publish the varied details in accordance with the process described
above.

49.5            Changes to published unit of study information
                that require Ministerial approval
If a provider wishes to vary its published unit of study information and the variation
cannot be made in accordance with the requirements set out in part 49.4, it may only do
so with the written approval of the Minister.

This may occur because the variation will disadvantage affected student(s) and is within
2 months of the commencement of the unit or the last day to enrol without penalty but
may also be a result of the other criteria in part 49.4 not being met.

[HESA – s19-87(3)(b), s19-90(4)(b) & 169-25(4)(b)]

This can be done by submitting a request to aip@deewr.gov.au. This request should
indicate:

      that the provider requests to make a variation with the Minister‘s approval;

      which units will be affected by the proposed variation;

      the nature of the proposed amendment;

      the manner and extent to which students may be disadvantaged;

      a contact name for further information about the proposed amendment;

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    to whom the outcome of the request should be sent; and

    why it would be reasonable for the Minister to approve the change.

DEEWR will contact the provider as soon as a decision has been made. A provider that
seeks the Minister‘s approval for a variation of published unit of study information must
not vary its published information unless it has received that approval.

If the Minister, or the Minister‘s delegate, gives written approval to vary unit of study
information, the notice of approval will indicate the date by which, and the manner in
which, the variation must be published.

49.6          Circumstances where students may be
              disadvantaged
In varying its unit of study information (see parts 49.4 and 49.5), a provider must
determine whether students will be disadvantaged by the variation.

The circumstances where students will be disadvantaged include, but are not limited to,
being subject to a higher student contribution amount or tuition fee, lower EFTSL value or
earlier census date. Providers are required to consider whether, in their reasonable view,
students will be disadvantaged in any other way.

49.7          Revoking saved determinations with regard to
              student cohorts
Where a provider has established a student cohort it continues to operate as if the
previous provisions still applied unless the provider has set an end date when
establishing the cohort (see Appendix P).

Information on the student cohort‘s student contribution amount and/or tuition fee and
other conditions must have been published and made publicly available by 1 October of
the year before the cohort commenced its course of study. This published information is
referred to as the saved determination. Saved determinations with respect to student
cohorts can be revoked (see part 49.8).

49.8          How can a saved determination relating to a
              student cohort be revoked – without Ministerial
              approval?
In certain circumstances, a provider may revoke a saved determination relating to a
student cohort, without Ministerial approval, up to 2 months before the earlier of:

    the date of commencement of the next unit of study (the next unit) to which the
       saved determination would otherwise apply; and

    the latest date that a student can enrol in the next unit without incurring a late
       enrolment fee.


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All of the following circumstances must prevail for a provider to revoke a saved
determination without Ministerial approval:

     the provider has advised DEEWR by emailing aip@deewr.gov.au of its intention to
        revoke the saved determination; and

     the provider has notified the students who are in the cohort of the provider‘s
        intention to revoke the saved determination.

[HESA note 2 Table A sub-items13 & 14 & Higher Education Provider Guidelines Chapter 6]


49.9            How can a saved determination relating to a
                student cohort be revoked – with Ministerial
                approval
Where a provider wishes to revoke a saved determination, but does not meet the
circumstances and the timeframes detailed in part 49.8, they may only do so with the
written approval of the Minister [HESA note 2 Table A Schedule 3 items13 & 14].

A provider can seek the Minister‘s approval to revoke a saved determination by
submitting a request to aip@deewr.gov.au. This request should indicate:

     that the provider requests to revoke the saved determination with the Minister‘s
        approval;

     details of the student cohort that will be affected by the revocation including when
        the cohort commenced and any applicable conditions;

     which units will be affected by the proposed revocation;

     how many students are affected;

     the nature of the change that will occur to the student contribution amounts and
        tuition fees for next unit of study to which the saved determination would
        otherwise apply;

     why the revocation did not take place within the circumstances and timeframes
       allowed;

     a contact name for further information about the proposed revocation;

     to whom the outcome of the request should be sent; and

     why it would be reasonable for the Minister to approve the request for revocation of
       the saved determination.

DEEWR will contact the provider as soon as a decision has been made.




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If the Minister, or the Minister‘s delegate, gives written approval to vary unit of study
information, the notice of approval will indicate the date by which, and the manner in
which, the revocation must be published.

49.10         What student contribution amount or tuition fee
              will apply after a saved determination is
              revoked?
After a saved determination in relation to a student cohort is revoked, the student
contribution amount or tuition fee that will apply to each of the students that was in the
cohort is the amount that has been determined by the provider for places in the unit of
study.




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Help Payments To Providers
Section 50                   Payment and reconciliation
                             arrangements
HELP payments are made to providers in advance based on estimates. HELP payments
are adjusted following mid and end of year reconciliations as described below. They may
also be revised on the basis of revisions submitted for prior years (including to give effect
to remissions of HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP debts).

50.1            HECS-HELP payment cycle
Date            Action

October -       HECS-HELP advances for the following year are calculated.
November

December        Payments authorised.

Early           First HECS-HELP advance paid. Future payments are made in instalments
January         throughout the year.

June -          End of year reconciliation of HECS-HELP paid for the previous year upon
August          finalisation of full year data for the previous year. An additional payment
                or a recovery is used to resolve variations.

November        Review of amount of HECS-HELP paid for the current year based on first
                half year data. The remaining payments may be adjusted and a lump sum
                amount may be paid or recovered depending on variation from estimates.


50.2            FEE-HELP payment cycle
Date             Action

November         FEE-HELP advances for the following year are calculated. Providers
                 advised of estimated advances and may request a variation.

December         Payments authorised.

Early January    First FEE-HELP advance paid. Future payments are made in instalments
                 throughout the year.

August           End of year reconciliation of FEE-HELP paid for the previous year. An
                 additional payment or a recovery is used to resolve variations.

September -      Review of amount of FEE-HELP paid for the current year based on first
October          half year data. The remaining payments may be adjusted and a lump
                 sum amount may be paid or recovered depending on variation from
                 estimates.




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NOTE: Variations for FEE-HELP advance payments may be requested at any time
throughout the year using a ‗Request for variation‘ form at Appendix A.

50.3         OS-HELP payment cycle
Date         Action

October      Providers are invited to request an allocation of OS-HELP loans for the
             following year as part of the annual request round.

November     Providers advised of OS-HELP allocation for the following year resulting from
             annual request round. If there are any OS-HELP loans remaining, providers
             may request an additional allocation (see Section 45.3).

December     Payments authorised.

Early        Payment of 50% of the OS-HELP advance amount for the year.
January

June -       Reconciliation of OS-HELP funds allocated in the previous year. Unused OS-
August       HELP funds are recovered.

Early July   Payment of remaining 50% of the OS-HELP advance amount for the year.




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Privacy Requirements
Section 51                  Obligations under the Privacy Act
                            1988
A provider must comply with the information privacy principles (IPPs), set out in section
14 of the Privacy Act 1988, when it handles personal information obtained for the
purposes of section 36-22, Chapter 3 (Assistance to students) and Chapter 4
(Repayment of loans) of HESA.

A provider and its officers, employees and those who perform services by or on behalf of
the provider, must ensure that:

    personal information is collected in accordance with IPPs 1-3;

    suitable storage arrangements, including appropriate filing procedures, are in place;

    suitable security arrangements exist for all records containing personal information;

    access to a student‘s own personal information held by the provider is made
       available to the student at no charge;

    records are accurate, up-to-date, complete, and not misleading;

    where a record is found to be inaccurate, the correction is made;

    where a student requests that a record be amended because it is inaccurate but the
      record is found to be accurate, the details of the request for amendment are noted
      on the record;

    the personal information is only to be used for the purposes for which it was
       collected, or for other purposes where expressly allowed by IPP10; and

    personal information is only disclosed in accordance with IPP11.

A provider must also have a procedure under which a student may apply to receive a
copy of the personal information held by the provider in relation to that student [HESA –
s19-60(2)].




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Section 52                  Applicants to give informed
                            consent
Students must give informed consent to their information being provided to the
Australian Government. Therefore, in accordance with its obligations under IPP2, a
provider must ensure that students are given appropriate privacy notices at the time they
provide their personal information (i.e. via application forms, websites and phone
admission methods, and the request for Commonwealth assistance forms).

For students applying for admission through a tertiary admission centre (TAC), this
informed consent must be provided during this admission process.

For students applying directly to the provider, the provider is required to obtain the
student‘s consent to provide personal information to DEEWR. The provider has two
options for collecting this consent:

    the request for Commonwealth assistance forms (see part 13.1) ask for the
       student‘s consent to provide information to DEEWR. If students submit such a
       form prior to the allocation of a CHESSN, this will satisfy the requirement; or

    if the provider‘s business processes require a CHESSN to be allocated prior to the
        submission of the request for Commonwealth assistance forms, or a student does
        not require a CHESSN, the provider will need to obtain the student‘s informed
        consent in another manner. Wording the provider may wish to use is provided in
        Appendix J.




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Section 53                 Privacy complaints and advice
A provider is required to have grievance procedures for dealing with students‘ complaints
relating to non-academic matters [HESA – s19-45] (see part 49.6). These procedures
should extend to, but are not limited to, complaints about breaches of privacy by the
provider (including its officers, employees and those who perform services by or on
behalf of the provider) relating to personal information obtained for the purposes of
section 36-22, Chapter 3 (Assistance to students) and Chapter 4 (Repayment of loans) of
HESA.




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HEIMS
Section 54                  What is HEIMS?
The Higher Education Information Management System (HEIMS) manages students‘
entitlements under HESA. HEIMS includes a number of core modules to:

    provide students with timely, accessible and accurate information about course
       offerings, Commonwealth and student contributions to course costs and loan
       details;

    enable the efficient and effective management of Commonwealth student loans and
       higher education entitlements (including scholarships); and

    provide one entry point for providers to input statistical data, financial management
       reporting, and program management reporting.




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Section 55                  The Going to Uni website
The Going to Uni website provides information about the Australian higher education
system, including detailed information on providers and Australian Government
assistance available to students.

Students who have been allocated a Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support
Number (CHESSN) (see part 29.1) will be able to access information on their use of
Commonwealth assistance through myUniAssist, which is part of the Going to Uni
website. Students can access their information on the website using their CHESSN and
other identifying information.

Students can currently obtain information on:

    their use of Student Learning Entitlement (see part 29.1);

    Commonwealth supported units of study (see part 23.1)

    units for which they have accessed FEE-HELP (see part 44.1);

    receipt of Commonwealth Scholarships reported to DEEWR;

    OS-HELP loans (see part 45) and

    possible eligibility for the HECS-HELP Benefit (see part 47.5)

Student information is populated using data that providers report to DEEWR. Due to the
timing of data reporting there will be a delay between a student consuming their
entitlement and DEEWR being able to report this information on the myUniAssist website.




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Section 56                  Managing entitlement to SLE and
                            FEE-HELP
56.1          HEIMS order of precedence for entitlement
              consumption
If multiple units of study are uploaded to HEIMS for a student, either from different
providers or the same provider, the units that consume SLE or FEE-HELP are processed
according to an order of precedence. The underlying principle in determining the order of
precedence is that units of study with a census date in the current approval period are
processed first. Units submitted with a census date which relates to a previous approval
period are then processed.

Uploads to HEIMS from one or more providers for units with different census
dates

The precedence for uploads to HEIMS from different providers for units that have
different census dates in the current period is based on the census date. The units with
the earliest census date have first precedence to consume the remaining SLE/FEE-HELP
assistance available. That is, the first census date prevails over units with later census
dates.

Uploads to HEIMS from different providers for units with the same census date

The order of precedence where uploads to HEIMS are from different providers for units
with the same census dates is based on the date the file is successfully loaded to HEIMS.
The first units with the same census date uploaded to HEIMS have first precedence to
consume the remaining SLE/FEE-HELP assistance available. That is, the first data
submission successfully loaded to HEIMS prevails.

Uploads to HEIMS for multiple units from a single provider with the same
census date

SLE

Where there are multiple units from a single provider with the same census date, SLE will
be consumed according to the student contribution amount. The most expensive unit is
presented first, and then the second most expensive unit is presented, and so on. There
must be sufficient available SLE to cover the full EFTSL value of a unit in order for that
unit to consume SLE [HESA – s82-1(b)].

Where a student‘s enrolment is varied as a consequence of having insufficient SLE,
DEEWR will advise the ATO of any variation to the student‘s debt through HEIMS. The
provider may leave the student status as invalid for this unit of study and no further
action needs to be taken.




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If the student becomes a fee paying student for the unit and pays their tuition fees
directly to the provider, the unit of study can be reported with the new student status in
the provider‘s next student submission.

FEE-HELP

The order of precedence to consume the remaining FEE-HELP assistance available is from
the most expensive unit to the least expensive in terms of FEE-HELP assistance
requested. In the case of FEE HELP assistance, there may be several units uploaded
from the one provider. The most expensive unit will be presented first, and then the
second most expensive unit will be presented, and so on.

If the most expensive unit presented first has a value greater than the FEE-HELP balance,
then the FEE-HELP balance will be fully consumed by the cost of this unit. Any amount
not covered by FEE-HELP becomes the responsibility of the student to discharge directly
with the provider. Alternatively, if the most expensive unit presented first has a value
less than the remaining FEE-HELP assistance available, then the FEE-HELP balance will be
partially consumed by the cost of this unit and the next most expensive unit will be
presented, and so on, until the FEE-HELP balance is fully consumed.

56.2          HEIMS outputs for entitlement management
The HEIMS outputs detailed below are intended to assist a provider monitor student
entitlements. HEIMS outputs are generated from data reported by providers (see part
48.1). As a result of the agreed arrangements for data submissions by providers, there
will be a delay between a student consuming their entitlement and DEEWR being able to
provide output alerts based on the reported information.

The Australian Government can only make payments to providers in respect of their
Commonwealth assisted students if those students are entitled to that assistance.
Payments cannot be made on behalf of students who have exceeded their entitlements.
DEEWR recommends that a provider institutes its own processes to ensure that students
have sufficient entitlements to enable access to Commonwealth assistance for their units.

SLE and FEE-HELP output alerts to providers

SLE output alert

When a condition related to a student‘s ordinary SLE balance has been met, providers will
be alerted by an output initiated from HEIMS. When a student‘s ordinary SLE balance
drops below a pre-defined value (e.g. 1.5 EFTSL), following the processing of the Student
Load/Liability File, an output alert will be supplied to a provider. The information
available for each student will include the ordinary SLE usage and balance.

Information on additional SLE use and balance for a course of study or for multiple
courses of study and lifelong SLE use and balance will be available following further
HEIMS development.

FEE-HELP output alert




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Providers will be alerted via an output from HEIMS when a condition related to a
student‘s FEE-HELP balance has been met. When a student‘s FEE-HELP balance drops
below 40% of the FEE-HELP limit, following the processing of the Student Load/Liability
File, an output alert will be supplied to the provider. The information available about
each student includes the FEE-HELP use and balance.

Entitlement management request

This process may be initiated by a provider to allow it to request entitlement information
for a nominated set of students. This process will require the provider to supply data to
identify the group of students for whom information is required. To lodge an entitlement
management request a provider must supply data for the nominated group of students
for whom information is required (i.e. a set of CHESSNs and confirming data).

The information returned for each student currently includes:

    ordinary SLE usage and balance;

    FEE-HELP usage and balance;

    Commonwealth Scholarships use and balance; and

    OS-HELP use and balance.

Information on additional SLE usage and balance for a course of study or for multiple
courses of study and lifelong SLE use and balance will be available following further
HEIMS development.


Section 57                  Commonwealth Higher Education
                            Student Support Number
                            (CHESSN)
57.1          What is a CHESSN?
The CHESSN is a unique identifier that a provider must use in communications with the
Australian Government concerning a person who:

    is enrolled, or seeking to enrol, in a unit of study with the provider; and

    has indicated that they are seeking Commonwealth assistance under HESA for the
       unit, or is a Commonwealth supported student for the unit [HESA – s169-30].

This CHESSN will remain linked to the student for the remainder of their academic life for
the purposes of managing the:

    Student Learning Entitlement (SLE) (see part 29.1);

    Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) (see part 42.1); and



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    Commonwealth Scholarships.

The CHESSN is limited in its use to monitoring Commonwealth assistance to eligible
higher education students, including the provision of data to the ATO regarding HELP
debts.

Students also use their CHESSN to access information on their use of Commonwealth
assistance through the Going to Uni website at: www.goingtouni.gov.au.




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Section 58                  CHESSN allocation
58.1          Who must be allocated a CHESSN?
All students who are:

    Commonwealth supported (which includes students seeking HECS-HELP and OS-
       HELP assistance) (see part 24.2);

    accessing FEE-HELP (see part 44.8) assistance; or

    in receipt of a Commonwealth Scholarship;

must have a Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN).
Collectively, these students are known as Commonwealth assisted students.

Research Training Scheme (RTS) students and overseas students are not allocated a
CHESSN.

58.2          CHESSN for tertiary admission centre applicants
When applicants apply for admission to a provider through a tertiary admission centre
(TAC), they will be asked to consent to personal, identifying information being provided
to the Australian Government for the allocation of a CHESSN.

A subset of the applicant‘s personal information is matched against existing Higher
Education Information Management System (HEIMS) data to check whether a CHESSN
has previously been allocated to the applicant.

If a CHESSN already exists for an applicant, it is retrieved from the HEIMS database. If
the HEIMS data-matching process determines that the applicant does not yet have a
CHESSN, HEIMS will generate one and store it within its database, along with the
applicant‘s personal details.

HEIMS sends the CHESSN for each applicant, and any Student Learning Entitlement
(SLE) usage and balance (see part 29.1), back to the TAC over the CHESSN interface.
The TAC will transfer successful students‘ details, including CHESSNs, to the provider for
storage in its student administration system.

58.3          CHESSN for direct applicants
A direct applicant is an applicant who submits an application for admission directly to the
provider. Direct applicants are asked to consent to personal, identifying information
being provided to HEIMS for the allocation of a CHESSN. Direct applicants who fail to
provide their consent will need to be advised that they will not be eligible for
Commonwealth assistance unless they provide their consent.

The direct applicant‘s details are entered into the provider‘s student administration
system. The provider sends a subset of data on a consenting direct applicant to HEIMS

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to obtain a CHESSN, SLE usage and balance (see part 29.1) and FEE-HELP balance (see
part 44.6).

The direct applicant‘s personal data are matched against existing HEIMS system data to
check whether a CHESSN has previously been allocated to the direct applicant. If a
CHESSN already exists for a direct applicant, it is retrieved from the HEIMS database. If
the HEIMS data matching process determines that the direct applicant does not yet have
a CHESSN, HEIMS will generate one and store it within its database, along with the direct
applicant‘s personal details.

HEIMS sends the CHESSN for each direct applicant, and any SLE usage, SLE balance and
FEE-HELP balance back to the requesting provider through the CHESSN interface. If the
direct applicant has not used any SLE previously, then zero will be returned as their SLE
usage. If the direct applicant has not obtained any FEE-HELP assistance previously, the
FEE-HELP limit (see part 44.6) will be returned.

A provider is not required to delete CHESSNs from its system for direct applicants who do
not complete the enrolment process, or who withdraw on or before the census date.

58.4          Process for managing CHESSN duplicates
Whenever a TAC or provider submits a request for a CHESSN, the student data is
compared to that already stored in the system. If no acceptable match is found, a new
CHESSN is created. If an acceptable match is found, an existing CHESSN is returned.

While the data matching tool reduces the number of duplicate CHESSNs issued, it cannot
eliminate their occurrence. DEEWR has developed a CHESSN duplicate management
function in the HEIMS administration system that allows TACs and providers to submit
information to DEEWR on CHESSN duplicates.

There are two types of CHESSN duplicates:

    Type 1 duplicate is when a single person has been issued with more than one
       CHESSN. This can occur, for example, when a student applies to study through a
       TAC and a provider, and supplied different personal information.

    Type 2 duplicate is when two people are issued with the same CHESSN. This can
       occur, for example, when two people have very similar personal information (for
       example, twins).

TACs and providers are able to resolve duplicate student records by using the web
browser for CHESSN duplicate processing. DEEWR will confirm a master CHESSN in the
case of type 1 duplicates, and issue a new CHESSN for one of the students in the case of
type 2 duplicates.

If a TAC or a provider does not have access to the HEIMS administration system for
processing CHESSN duplicates, it should email HEIMSHelpdesk@dest.gov.au for
information on how to register to use this facility.




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58.5          How are students notified of their CHESSN?
CHESSNs are notified to students in their CANs (see part 14.2) [see 2.5 of the Administration
Guidelines].




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Electronic Communications
Section 59                    Overview
A provider may communicate electronically with its students if the provider complies with
the requirements of the Electronic Transactions Act 1999 (ETA), the Higher Education
Support Act 2003 (HESA) and Chapter 5 of the Administration Guidelines.

The requirements in the Administration Guidelines [see Appendix A] only relate to
information that HESA requires or permits to be given between students and providers.
The ETA does not apply to information that is not covered by HESA and its guidelines,
such as enrolment forms.

Electronic communication of documents, forms, notices and requests (‗information‘)
includes facsimile, email, web-based communication or any other form of electronic
communications specified by the provider [Administration Guidelines – 5.5], as long as the
method of electronic communications provides a reliable means of assuring the
maintenance of the integrity of the information [ETA – s11]

59.1           What can be communicated electronically?
‗Information‘ that is required or permitted under HESA to be given between the student
and the provider, may be communicated electronically using an information system. This
includes:

    requests for Commonwealth assistance (see part 13.1);

    requests for the correction of a notice (see part 14.5);

    notification, by a student, of his or her Tax File Number (TFN), or the provision of a
       certificate from the Commissioner of Taxation stating that the student has applied
       for a TFN (see part 46.3);

    notification, by a student, that he or she does not wish to be Commonwealth
       supported for a unit of study (see part 25.5); and

    Commonwealth Assistance Notices (CANs) (see part 14.1).

Information technology requirements

The information system used for providing or receiving electronic communications must
be:

    accessible by students. To be accessible, the provider must have:

     -    informed students by direct communication to the students or by way of the
          provider‘s publications, that communication will occur by electronic means
          using the information system; and


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     -    given the students authority to use the information system;

    able to store the information so that it is readily accessible by the student and can
       be made available for subsequent reference and printing. For example, a student
       should be able to access or print the information.

Online access to electronic CANs

Providers must ensure that the electronic CAN is accessible by a student during the
period in which the student is enrolled in the unit of study for which the provider was
required to initially issue a CAN under subsection 169-5(1) of HESA. The provider‘s
obligation to provide online access to the CAN ceases when the person is no longer
enrolled in the relevant unit of study, such as, by completion of the unit.

It should be noted that a new and separate obligation for the provider to provide online
access is created each time the person enrols in further units of study for which the
provider must issue a new CAN in respect of these new units of study under subsection
169-5(1) of HESA.

59.2          What are specific requirements for the
              electronic communication of information from a
              student to a provider?
Where providers receive information required or allowed by HESA from students
electronically, they will need to comply with the provisions of the ETA and paragraphs
5.5.1 and 5.10 of the Administration Guidelines. This includes:

    requests for Commonwealth assistance (see part 59.3 below);

    a request for the correction of a notice (see part 13.5);

    notification, by a student, of his or her Tax File Number (TFN), or the provision of a
       certificate from the Commissioner of Taxation stating that the student has applied
       for a TFN (see part 59.7); and

    notification, by a student, that he or she does not wish to be Commonwealth
       supported for a unit of study (see part 24.5).

The requirement or permission for this information to be given in writing by the student
is met if the student gives the information to the provider by means of electronic
communications and all of the following circumstances prevail:

    Information system requirements: the information system used for providing
       the information must be:

     -    compliant with the information technology requirements in part 59.1;

     -    secure – see security and back-up measures at part 59.9;




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      -     able to generate a printable receipt for the student (see ―Issue of a receipt‖ at
            part 59.6).

     Information technology requirements: the information is given by the student
        to the provider is in accordance with instructions prescribed by the provider. For
        example, the provider may require a notice from a student that can be provided
        by email or facsimile to be sent to a particular email address or facsimile number.

     Verification of receipt: the student must be able to verify that the provider has
       received the information in accordance with any requirements for verification that
       the provider may have.

      A provider should inform students of the procedures they will need to follow
      regarding the electronic submission of information. For example, a provider should
      inform a student what he/she should do if they do not receive a confirmation of
      receipt of the information within the specified period.

     Signed documents: where a document is required to be signed, a method is used
        to identify the person and indicate the person‘s approval of the information (for
        specific requirements regarding unique identifiers and requests for Commonwealth
        assistance see part 59.3 below).

[ETA – ss9, 10 & 11, Administration Guidelines – 5.5 & 5.10]


59.3             Further details for the electronic submission of
                 a request for Commonwealth assistance and
                 other documents required to be signed
For documents that students are required to sign under HESA, such as the request for
Commonwealth assistance (see part 13.1), students are deemed to have met the
requirement to sign the document if they use a unique identifier, issued by their provider,
to identify themselves and indicate their approval of the conditions and requirements set
out in the request for Commonwealth assistance or other document. [ETA – s10,
Administration Guidelines – 5.5, 5.5.1(d) & 5.10]


59.4             Issuing unique identifiers to students
A provider must have in place a method the student can use to uniquely identify themself
in the communication and indicate approval of the information in it. A unique identifier
can be in the form of a Personal Identification Number (PIN) or a username/password
combination, or in a form as determined by the provider. A student‘s Commonwealth
Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN) (see part 58.1) cannot be used as
the unique identifier.

In issuing the unique identifier, the provider must ensure it uses a reliable method of
verifying a person‘s identity [ETA – s10(b)]. The provider must:

      a)    first verify the identity of the person to whom the identifier is to be issued; and




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     b    take all reasonable precautions to ensure that there is no unauthorised access
     to, or use of, the identifier; and

     c)   ensure that the student is advised that, apart from the higher education
     provider‘s obligations under paragraphs a) and b), the student is personally
     responsible for protecting the identifier.

A provider may issue the student a unique identifier that can be multi-functional. That is,
a student can use the unique identifier to submit their electronic request for
Commonwealth assistance and for other enrolment processes. A student‘s unique
identifier does not need to remain the same for the period of their enrolment.

59.5           Verifying a student’s identity
The unique identifier and other details should be immediately matched with other data on
the provider‘s system in order to validate the name and the identifier. If the information
provided by the student does not match the data on the provider‘s system, the form
should be rejected and a message provided to the student stating that there is an error
and advising of any follow-up action required.

59.6           Requirements for electronic forms
Key requirements for electronic forms are described below.

Inclusion of a date field

Students who complete an electronic form are not required to date the form. A provider
must include a date field that is automatically generated by the system when the student
submits the form. This date field must be included in the E-CAF File (see part 13.4) as
this represents the submission date.

Submission of the form

A provider must ensure that students have reasonable access to the relevant student
information booklet (see Appendix A – student information products), either in hard copy
or by electronic means, to assist students when completing the electronic forms.

A provider should give students the opportunity to re-read the information they have
provided online and correct any errors if necessary.

If the provider is satisfied that the student has made an error in completing the form, the
student should be provided with an opportunity to correctly complete and resubmit the
form.

[HESA – s169-10]

Issue of a receipt

An information system that students use to submit a request for Commonwealth
assistance form must be able to generate a printable receipt for the student. A provider


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may determine the format of this receipt. However, Tax File Numbers (TFN) must not be
printed on the receipt issued to the student.

59.7          TFN requirements for electronic forms
Students completing an electronic form, and who supply a TFN, will need to have a valid
TFN (see part 46.8). Students who do not provide a valid TFN will be required to
complete the paper form. Students who have obtained a certificate from the ATO stating
they have applied for a TFN are required to complete a paper form. If the TFN is
available on or before the census date, an electronic form may be submitted at that time
to replace the paper form. For further information on the TFN requirements (see part
46.1).

59.8          Retrieval of information
A provider must store all electronic forms, notices, documents, and other information in
such a way that they can be reproduced and retrieved. A provider may use the paper
form as a template for inputting stored data into the related fields and generating a hard
copy. The hard copy of the electronic form does not need to be in the same format as
the current paper form but should reflect what the student has submitted or had the
opportunity to submit. DEEWR can provide electronic versions of the design of the forms
to providers who wish to use them.

59.9          Storage of data
The information system must store the information so that it is readily accessible by the
student and can be made available for subsequent reference.

A provider must store the data in a dataset. Information provided by students, in
particular TFNs, must be in a secure database. The storage and security of TFNs must
comply with the Privacy Commissioner‘s Tax File Number Guidelines 1992 [see Appendix
A].

Security and back-up measures

A provider must ensure a student‘s information can only be accessed by a person
authorised by the provider to access that information.

A provider should ensure that back-up measures are in place to cater for situations where
computer malfunctions occur. In such cases, if a student is unable to complete an
electronic form, the provider must instruct the student to complete a paper form.

Submission of the E-CAF File

A provider that has chosen to use an electronic form must submit an Electronic
Commonwealth Assistance Form File (E-CAF File) to DEEWR twice a year (see part 48.1).
With each transfer of the E-CAF File, a provider is also required to submit a Transmission
Report (Appendix I) to the ATO.




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59.10         What are specific requirements for the
              electronic communication of information from a
              provider to a student?
Where providers are sending any written information, documents, forms, requests and
notices (‗information‘) required or allowed by HESA to students electronically, they will
need to comply with the provisions of the ETA and paragraphs 5.5 and 5.10 of the
Administration Guidelines. The information likely to be sent would include a
Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) (see part 14.1).

In accordance with section 9 of the ETA and paragraph 5.5.2 of the Administration
Guidelines, the requirement for a provider to give a student a CAN or other information in
writing is met if the information is provided by means of electronic communications and
all of the following circumstances prevail:

    the information system used for providing the information electronically must be
       compliant with the information system requirements in 59.1 and

    the student consents to receiving the CAN electronically [ETA - 9(1)(d), 11(1)(c),
       11(2)(e)]. It is up to providers to determine the means by which they obtain the
       student‘s consent. A provider may wish to obtain the student‘s consent through
       enrolment documentation.

Privacy

Where personal information of a student is stored on an information system, the provider
is required to comply with the Privacy Act 1988 and Division 179 of HESA (see part 51 for
privacy obligations).




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Re-Crediting And Remission
Section 60                  What can be re-credited or
                            remitted?
Students who withdraw from their studies after the census date can apply in certain
circumstances to have their:

    Student Learning Entitlement (SLE) re-credited (see section 33.8) [HESA – s79-1];

    FEE-HELP balance re-credited (see part 44.14) [HESA – s104-25 & 104-30];

    HECS-HELP debt for a unit consisting wholly of work experience in industry (WEI)
       remitted (see part 43.12) [HESA - s36-22]; or

    up-front payment of a student contribution in respect of a unit consisting wholly of
       WEI refunded (see part 28.5) [HESA – s36-22].

Remission of debts under HEFA

Under HEFA (s 106L), a person could apply in writing to the Secretary for remission of
HECS/PELS/BOTP debt in special circumstances. The lodgement deadline for such an
application was 12 months after a person‘s withdrawal day in relation to a unit in the
person‘s course of study for the semester. The time limit for applications to remit debts
due to special circumstance incurred under HEFA has lapsed. There is no discretion for
the Minister for Education to waive this time limit. There are no other provisions under
HEFA for the Minister to waive a debt and no other statutory basis exists within the
Minister‘s portfolio to do so (see Section 62 for information about waivers of debts
incurred under HEFA which have now become HELP debts).

Note: There should be no remissions relating to pre-2005 debts except in the rare cases
of where an application that was made within the 12 month period had not been
finalised, including as a result of a review and appeal to the Administrative Appeals
Tribunal, or remissions that were finalised in previous years but not reported.

The forms provided in Appendix M and N are for notifying the ATO and DEEWR of any
variations to pre-2005 debts (see part 48.3).

60.1          Re-crediting of a person’s SLE
A provider must, in special circumstances (see part 61.3), re-credit a person‘s SLE (see
part 33.8) with an amount equal to the equivalent full-time student load (EFTSL) value of
the unit of study.

If a person‘s SLE is re-credited, any HECS-HELP debt they acquired for the unit must be
remitted [HESA – s137-5(4)] and the provider must repay this amount to the Commonwealth
[HESA – s36-20(b)]. Providers must refund any up-front payments the person made in
respect of the unit [HESA – s36-20(a)].


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60.2          Re-crediting of a person’s FEE-HELP balance
A provider must, in special circumstances (see part 61.4), re-credit a person‘s FEE-HELP
balance (see part 44.14) with an amount equal to the amount of FEE-HELP assistance
that the person received for the unit of study [HESA – s104-25(1)].

If a person‘s FEE-HELP balance is re-credited, any FEE-HELP debt they acquired for the
unit must be remitted [HESA – s137-10(4)] and the provider must repay any amounts of
FEE-HELP assistance for the unit to the Commonwealth [HESA – s110-5]. A provider has the
discretion to refund any up-front payments the person made in respect of the unit in
accordance with its own rules, which should be accessible to the student.

60.3          Remission or refund with regards to WEI units
A provider must, in special circumstances (see part 61.3) remit a person‘s HECS-HELP
debt and/or refund their up-front payments in relation to a unit of study consisting wholly
of WEI [HESA – s36-22] (see part 17.1 for information on WEI, part 43.12 for information on
HECS-HELP debts, and part 28.5 for information on up-front payment refunds).

If a provider remits a person‘s HECS-HELP debt for a unit that consisted wholly of WEI,
the provider must repay this amount to the Commonwealth and must refund any up-front
payments the person made in respect of the unit [HESA – s36-22(2)].




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Section 61                      The re-crediting and remission
                                process
61.1            Advising students of the process
If a person withdraws from a unit of study after the census date the provider should
advise the person that they may apply, in writing to the provider, for a re-credit,
remission or refund, whichever is relevant to the person (see part 61.4).

A guide to special circumstances decision making is provided at Appendix Q.

61.2            When can a person apply for a re-credit or a
                remission?
A person may apply to the provider for a re-credit of SLE or FEE-HELP balance (or a
remission of HECS-HELP debt in the case of a unit of study consisting wholly of WEI) if
they withdraw from their unit after the census date or the person has not completed the
requirements for the unit [HESA – s79-1 & 104-25]. A person‘s HECS-HELP debt in relation to
a unit is taken to be remitted if their SLE is re-credited [HESA – s137-5(4)] and a person‘s
FEE-HELP debt in relation to a unit is taken to be remitted if the person‘s FEE-HELP
balance is re-credited [HESA – s137-10(4)].

A person cannot apply for a re-credit or a remission if they have successfully completed
the unit. A student who receives a fail grade is considered not to have successfully
completed the requirements of the unit.

An application for a re-credit or a remission must be made, in writing, within 12 months
of the withdrawal date, or, if the person has not withdrawn, within 12 months of the end
of the period of study in which the unit was, or was to be, undertaken. Where a provider
allows a person to defer completion of their studies, the twelve month period applies
from the end of the extended period. A provider has the discretion to waive this
requirement if it is satisfied that the application could not be made within the time limits

[HESA – s79-10, 79-15, 36-22(5) & (6) and 104-35].


In accordance with the fairness provisions of HESA, providers should have policies in
place to determine under what circumstances the 12 month requirement will be waived
and what evidence must be provided by applicants [HESA-s19-35]. These policies should
make it clear that the ‗special circumstances‘ test (as set out in s79-5 and explained in
Chapter 5 of the Guidelines for Student Learning Entitlement made under section 238-10
of HESA) does not apply to decisions about whether to extend the time to make an
application.

Providers should note that in circumstances where the application is made out of time,
and the provider does not extend the time limit, the applicant should be advised that the
application has been rejected as being out of time and provided with written reasons why
the time limit was not extended. The provider should not address the merits of the
application.

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Decisions solely about extensions of time are not reviewable decisions under HESA.
Therefore where a provider declines to consider an application because it was made out
of time, there is no obligation under HESA to provide the student with the opportunity to
seek reconsideration of the decision. However, if a provider refuses to consider an
application because it was made out of time but still addresses the ‗special
circumstances‘ criteria, the Tribunal may take the view that the decision is a ‗reviewable
decision‘ that can be reconsidered and reviewed.

Although there is no obligation under HESA to provide the student with the opportunity to
seek reconsideration of a decision not to extend time, providers should consider carefully
whether, as a matter of procedural fairness, they should allow students to access their
internal appeals and complaints process for review of such a decision.

61.3           When must a provider re-credit or remit?
A provider must re-credit or remit if the provider is satisfied that special circumstances
apply to the person that were:

    beyond the person‘s control; and

    did not make their full impact on the person until on, or after, the census date; and

    made it impracticable for the person to complete the requirements for the unit in the
      period during which the person undertook, or was to undertake, the unit.

     [HESA – s79-5, s36-22(3) and s104-30]

Chapter 5 of the Student Learning Entitlement Guidelines specify the circumstances in
which a provider will be satisfied that special circumstances apply to the person (see part
61.4).

The person‘s application may include any independent supporting documentation, for
example, a letter from the person‘s doctor or counsellor, to support the person‘s claims.

Each application should be examined and determined on its merits. The provider should
consider the person‘s claims, together with any supporting documentary evidence that
substantiates these claims.

61.4           Special circumstances
Chapter 5 of the Student Learning Entitlement Guidelines [see Appendix A] specifies
circumstances in which a provider will be satisfied that special circumstances apply to the
person. This section summarises these requirements. More detailed guidance for
decision making is available at

Appendix Q.

Special circumstances do not include, for example:

    lack of knowledge or understanding of requirements under the schemes; or


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    a person‘s incapacity to repay a HELP debt, as repayments are income contingent
       and the person can apply for a deferral of a compulsory repayment in certain
       circumstances [HESA – ss154-45 & 79-5].

Beyond a person’s control

Section 5.5 of the Student Learning Entitlement Guidelines specifies that circumstances
are beyond a person‘s control if a situation occurs that a reasonable person would
consider is not due to the person‘s action or inaction, either direct or indirect, and for
which the person is not responsible. This situation must be unusual, uncommon or
abnormal.

For example, a lack of knowledge of how HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP works is not
considered beyond a person‘s control.

Do not make full impact until on or after the census date

Section 5.10 of the Student Learning Entitlement Guidelines specifies that circumstances
do not make their full impact on the person until on or after the census date for the unit
if the person‘s circumstances occur:

    before the census date, but worsen after that day;

    before the census date, but the full effect or magnitude does not become apparent
       until after that day; or

    on or after the census date.

Note: A person does not need to demonstrate that they were prevented from
withdrawing from the unit prior to the census date.

Pre-existing conditions

A pre-existing condition is not necessarily a basis to reject an application to re-credit a
person‘s SLE or FEE-HELP balance.

For example, a person may have an illness (or other underlying, pre-existing condition or
incapacity) prior to the census date for a unit of study, but a reasonable expectation that
they will recover and be able to complete the requirements of the unit.

A delegate must consider whether the person‘s condition changed on or after the census
date and when the full effect or magnitude of the circumstances became apparent, taking
into account any additional circumstances (including continuation of a pre-existing
condition) that may have affected the person on or after the census date.

Impracticable for the person to complete the unit of study requirements

Circumstances that make it impracticable for the person to complete the requirements for
their unit may include:




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    medical circumstances. For example, where a person‘s medical condition has
      changed to such an extent that he or she is unable to continue studying;

    family/personal circumstances. For example, death or severe medical problems
       within a family, or unforeseen family financial difficulties, so that it is
       unreasonable to expect a person to continue studies;

    employment related circumstances. For example, where a person‘s employment
       status or arrangements have changed so that the person is unable to continue his
       or her studies, and this change is beyond the person‘s control; or

    course related circumstances. For example, where the provider has changed the
       unit it had offered and the person is disadvantaged by either not being able to
       complete the unit, or not being given credit towards other units or courses.

A person is unable to complete the requirements for a unit, for example, if the person is
unable to:

    undertake the necessary private study required, or attend sufficient lectures or
       tutorials or meet other compulsory attendance requirements in order to meet their
       compulsory course requirements; or

    complete the required assessable work; or

    sit the required examinations; or

    complete any other course requirements because of their inability to meet the
       above.

Consideration should also be given to whether at the time the person‘s special
circumstances emerged, it was already not practicable for the student to meet the
requirements of the unit.

This situation may arise where a student has not met progressive requirements relating
to compulsory assessment and/or attendance at classes for the unit of study.

For example, a student may have failed to sit the final examination and/or a
special/supplementary examination on the basis of a special circumstance that applied at
the time of the examination. If that student has not met the ongoing compulsory
requirements of the unit of study, their failure to sit the final examination (and/or the
special examination) does not of itself make it impracticable for them to complete the
unit of study.

In this case the provider may make a decision not to re-credit the person‘s SLE or re-
credit the person‘s FEE-HELP balance.

Note: These requirements for continuous assessment and attendance would need to be
stated explicitly in the university‘s rules prior to the commencement of the unit (and
substantiated if the need arises).




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61.5          Academic review and re-credit of SLE or FEE-
              HELP balance
A provider should have in place procedures that allow for revision of a person‘s academic
grades independent of re-crediting of their SLE, re-crediting of their FEE-HELP balance, or
refund of upfront payments.

Decisions relating to HELP loans and the Student Learning Entitlement (SLE) are made by
providers as the delegate of the Secretary of DEEWR. On the other hand, decisions
relating to academic standing are a matter entirely for the provider. The granting of a
withdrawal without academic penalty does not have to lead automatically to the re-credit
of SLE, the remission of a HELP debt or the reimbursement of fees.

61.6          Timeframe for making decisions
A provider should consider the person‘s application as soon as practicable. Chapter 5 of
the Student Learning Entitlement Guidelines specifies that a provider must publish the
timeframe within which it will consider applications for the re-crediting of a person‘s
Student Learning Entitlement (SLE), and within which it will notify applicants of its
decision. A provider should also publish this information for persons applying for re-
crediting of their FEE-HELP balance, or the remission or refund of their student
contributions for units considered to be wholly work experience in industry.

61.7          Notifying students of the decision
A provider must notify the person of its decision and the reasons for making the decision
[HESA – ss79-15, 104-40 & 36-22(7) & (8)].


Chapter 5 of the Student Learning Entitlement Guidelines specifies that a provider must
also advise the applicant of their rights for a review of the decision if the applicant is
unsatisfied with the outcome [HESA – s209-10]. The student must be advised that the time
limit for applying for a review of a decision is 28 days from the day the person first
received notice of the decision [HESA – s209-10(2)].

61.8          Notifying DEEWR of the decision
Where a decision results in the re-crediting of a person‘s Student Learning Entitlement
(SLE) or FEE-HELP balance, the remission of a person‘s HELP debt, and/or the refund of a
person‘s up-front payments, the provider must notify DEEWR through the Revisions File
(see part 48.3). The provider is required to repay to the Commonwealth any amounts of
HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP assistance the provider received from the Commonwealth on the
person‘s behalf [HESA – s36-20, 36-22 & 110-5].




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Section 62                    Review of decisions
62.1           Provider review of decision
A provider must have review procedures for reconsidering decisions relating to a person's
Commonwealth assistance [HESA – s19-45(1)(c)]. The review procedures must be published,
publicly available, and up-to-date. They must comply with any requirements of the
Higher Education Provider Guidelines [Higher Education Provider Guidelines – Chapter 4], and HESA
[HESA – ss19-45, 19-50 & 19-55]. A detailed Code of Practice for giving notice of a person‘s
right to review is at Appendix R.

The minimum requirements for a provider's review procedures are that they should
inform students how to submit a valid request for review and provide details of the
letters, including the required content of the letters, that providers are required to send
to a person who has requested the review of a decision.

A provider may include other review procedures with which its review officers must
comply, provided that these procedures are consistent with HESA requirements. These
other review procedures must not limit a person‘s right to apply for a review of a
decision.

Request for reconsideration of decision

A person has the right to apply for a reconsideration of a decision to not re-credit or
remit [HESA - s209-10] (see part 61.6). The time limit for applying for a reconsideration of
a decision is 28 days from the day the person first received notice of the decision, or such
longer period as the reviewer allows [HESA – s 209-10(2)]. The person must state the
reasons why they are applying for a reconsideration [HESA – s 209-10(3)].

Reconsideration of decisions made out of time

Where an applicant applies to a provider to reconsider a decision not to re-credit or
remit, and the application is outside of the 28 day time limit, the provider is not obliged
to reconsider the decision [HESA-s209-10(2)]. When deciding whether to accept an out-of-
time application for reconsideration, a provider should take into account reasons provided
by the applicant for making a late application and the amount of time that has expired.
The ‗special circumstances‘ test does not apply to decisions about whether to extend the
time to seek reconsideration of a decision.

If the provider does not extend the time limit, the applicant should be advised that the
application for reconsideration of the decision has been rejected because it was made out
of time and provided with written reasons why the time limit was not extended. The
provider should not address the merits of the application for reconsideration.

Decisions solely about extensions of time are not reviewable decisions under HESA.
Therefore where a provider declines to reconsider an application because the appeal was
made out of time, there is no obligation under HESA to refer the student to the AAT.
Providers should consider carefully whether, as a matter of procedural fairness, they



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should allow students to access their internal appeals and complaints process for review
of a decision not to extend time.

The Higher Education Provider Guidelines (Chapter 4) require that a provider
must acknowledge receipt of the request for reconsideration. This
acknowledgement must also:

    inform the person 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 [HESA - s209-10(6)];

    inform the person of their right to apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal
       (AAT) for a review of the reviewable decision that has been confirmed, varied or
       set aside under section 209-5 or 209-10 of HESA; and

    provide the contact details of the closest Administrative Appeals Registry and the
       approximate costs of lodging an appeal with the AAT.

Note: Providers need to inform applicants that an application to the AAT must generally
be made within 28 days from the date that the applicant receives the provider‘s decision.

A provider must also:

appoint a review officer who is not the same officer who made the original decision and
who occupies a position that is senior to that occupied by the original decision maker
[HESA – s209-1(d)];


    notify the person, in writing, of the reviewer‘s decision and the reviewer‘s reasons
       for making the decision (the reviewer‘s available options are to confirm the
       decision, vary the decision, or set the decision aside and substitute a new
       decision);

    advise the person of their right to appeal to the AAT for a review of the reviewer‘s
       decision if the person is unsatisfied with the outcome

     [Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 – s27A];   and

    provide the person with the contact details and address of the nearest AAT registry.

Providers may find it useful to maintain an up-to-date register of appointments of review
officers.

62.2           Review by the AAT
A person may make an application to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for a
review of a provider‘s decision to refuse to re-credit or remit, and may supply additional
information to the AAT that they did not previously supply to the provider (including the
provider's reviewer).

The Secretary of DEEWR, or his or her delegate, will be the respondent for cases that are
before the AAT. When DEEWR receives notification of application to the AAT it may

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choose to review the original decision. Once DEEWR has received notification from the
AAT that the person has applied for the review under section 37 of the Administrative
Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (AAT Act), the Secretary must, within 28 days, lodge the
following documents with the AAT:

    a statement setting out the findings on material questions of fact, referring to the
       evidence or other material on which those findings were based and giving the
       reasons for the decision; and

    every document or part of a document that is in the reviewer‘s possession or under
       the reviewer‘s control and is considered by the reviewer to be relevant to the
       review of the decision by the AAT.

Upon receipt of a notification from the AAT, DEEWR will notify the provider(s), in writing,
that a request for review has been lodged. To enable DEEWR to meet the 28-day
timeframe, a provider MUST, within a further 5 business days of being requested,
provide DEEWR with copies of all the documents it holds that are relevant to the appeal.
These documents should be sent to DEEWR by courier or Express Post. The provider
should keep any originals and copies of the documents in accordance with their normal
record keeping practices.

Under section 209-5(2)(b) of HESA, a provider may still reconsider matters that are
before the AAT (i.e. at any time up until the AAT makes a final decision) and must advise
DEEWR if a decision is made to re-credit or remit. However, until a person withdraws
their AAT appeal, or the appeal is dismissed or otherwise dealt with by the AAT, DEEWR
is still required to comply with the requirement under section 37 of the AAT Act to lodge
the statement, and relevant documents described in the two dot points above, with the
AAT. Therefore, a provider must still forward all relevant documents to DEEWR within
the 5 business days, unless advised not to do so by DEEWR. DEEWR will deal with cases
from that point and advise the provider of the outcome.




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Section 63                   Waiver of HELP debts
A waiver is a special concession granted to a person that extinguishes a debt owed to the
Commonwealth. This means that the debt is completely forgiven and can no longer be
recovered by the Commonwealth.

The waiver of debt power is found in section 34(1)(a) of the Financial Management and
Accountability Act 1997. It allows the Finance Minister to waive amounts owing to the
Commonwealth. The waiver of debt power has been delegated to officials within the
Department of Finance and Deregulation.

The waiver of debt power is discretionary. This means there is no automatic entitlement
to a waiver of debt. Debts are usually waived where the decision maker considers
recovery of the debt would be inequitable or cause ongoing financial hardship and that
other options are not appropriate.

Financial hardship exists when payment of the debt would leave a person unable to
provide food, accommodation, clothing, medical treatment, education or other necessities
for the person or their family, or other people for whom they are responsible.

However, even if the person demonstrates financial hardship, the decision maker may
still consider their debt should not be waived.

The waiver of debt mechanism is generally an avenue of last resort and is used only
where there is no other viable avenue to provide redress.

People are not required to repay their HELP debt until their income is above the minimum
compulsory repayment threshold provided for in HESA. If receiving the annual HELP
information statement from the ATO is causing a person concern, they may request that
the statement not be sent to them by contacting the ATO on 1300 650 225.

HESA provides a safeguard for individuals who use HELP to undertake their studies, to
ensure that their liability for repayment is proportional to their earnings and to avoid any
undue financial burden.

Indexation is applied to the HELP debt to maintain the value of the debt in real terms.
Indexation is not interest, but is based on changes in the Consumer Price Index. The
ATO is required by legislation to calculate and apply indexation yearly to the part of the
HELP debt that has remained unpaid for 11 months or more. It is not possible to stop
the calculation of indexation on the HELP debt.

Further information on waivers and waiver application forms can be obtained from the
Special Financial Claims Section, Department of Finance and Deregulation
http://www.finance.gov.au/financial-framework/discretionary-compensation/debt-
waiver.html

or by telephone on 1800 227 572.

Applications may be sent to:


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    Special Claims and Land Policy Branch

    Department of Finance and Deregulation

    John Gorton Building

    King Edward Terrace

    PARKES ACT 2600.

If there is a dispute between a person and a provider about whether a debt may be due
to an administrative error that has occurred in relation to withdrawal from a unit(s) or
course of study the person should seek assistance through the provider‘s formal
grievance procedures. If the grievance cannot be resolved then the person could seek the
assistance of the State Ombudsman.




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Section 64                 Freedom of Information
All documents created or held by DEEWR with regard to Commonwealth support and the
Higher Education Loan Program are subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI
Act). Unless a document falls under an exemption provision, it will be made available to
the general public if requested under the FOI Act.

All Freedom of Information requests received by the DEEWR are referred to the Freedom
of Information Coordinator in the Litigation and External Review Section of the Legal,
Investigations and Procurement Group, in the DEEWR's National Office. Decisions
regarding requests for access will be made by the Department‘s authorised FOI decision-
maker in accordance with the requirements of the FOI Act.




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Appendices
A – Contacts and links
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR)

Email enquiries:

    Enquiries on general administration of student support policies - aip@deewr.gov.au

    Student contact and enquiry form can be accessed at www.sfes.deewr.gov.au

    Enquiries on HEIMS and the CHESSN - heimshelpdesk@deewr.gov.au

    Enquiries on data specifications - university.statistics@deewr.gov.au

    Enquiries about the Commonwealth Grant Scheme - cgs@deewr.gov.au

    Enquires about HELP advance payments - fep@deewr.gov.au

Postal address:

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

GPO Box 9880

CANBERRA ACT 2601

Student enquiry line: 1800 020 108

Internet: www.deewr.gov.au/HigherEducation/pages/default.aspx




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For questions on:            Contact

    Commonwealth            Director
       supported students    Institutional and Student Funding COMMS Tertiary
                             Frameworks Group
    Student Learning
       Entitlement           aip@deewr.gov.au

    HECS-HELP

    OS-HELP

    pre-2005 students

    census dates

    cross-institutional
       students

    work experience in
      industry

    electronic
       communications

    re-crediting and
       remitting

    HELP payment
       arrangement

    domestic fees policy    Director
    FEE-HELP                Institutional and Student Funding COMMS Tertiary
    enabling courses        Frameworks Group

    employer reserved       aip@deewr.gov.au
       places
    overseas student fees
    exemption and fee
       scholarships
    third party
       arrangements
    incidental fees




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For questions on:              Contact

    Commonwealth Grant        Director
       Scheme                  Institutional and Student Financing – Policy Unit Higher
    Regional Loading          Education Group
    Enabling Loading          cgs@deewr.gov.au
    Medical Loading
    Transitional Loading
    Transitional Cost
       Program
    National Institutes
    Demand Driven System

    HEIMS development         Director
    reporting requirements    Higher Education Business Development Section
    Course Information        Information Services Group
       System                  heimshelpdesk@deewr.gov.au
    Going to Uni website
    CHESSN allocation
    HEPCAT
    Data specifications

    how to become a higher    Director
       education provider      Private Providers Unit Tertiary Frameworks Branch
    Tuition Assurance         ppinquiries@deewr.gov.au
       Arrangements
    Accreditation issues

    Commonwealth Register     See:
       of Institutions and     www.cricos.deewr.gov.au/Contacts/CRICOSContacts.aspx
       Courses for Overseas
       Students (CRICOS)

    HELP advance payments     Director
    Unipay                    Financial Estimates and Payments Unit Funding and
                               Student Support Branch Higher Education Group
                               fep@deewr.gov.au

Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)

Internet: http://www.aat.gov.au/

Phone: 1300 366 700

Australian Capital Territory



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     Deputy Registrar

     Administrative Appeals Tribunal

     4th Floor, Canberra House

     40 Marcus Clarke Street

     CANBERRA CITY ACT 2600

     Ph: 02 6243 4611

Victoria

     Deputy Registrar

     Administrative Appeals Tribunal

     Level 16, HWT Tower

     Southgate

     40 City Road

     SOUTHBANK VIC 3006

     Ph: 03 9282 8444

South Australia

     Deputy Registrar

     Administrative Appeals Tribunal

     11th Floor, Chesser House

     91 Grenfell Street

     ADELAIDE SA 5000

     Ph: 08 8201 0600

Tasmania

     Deputy Registrar

     Administrative Appeals Tribunal

     Ground Floor, Edward Braddon Building

     Commonwealth Law Courts


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     39-41 Davey Street

     HOBART TAS 7000

     Ph: 03 6232 1712

New South Wales

     Deputy Registrar

     Administrative Appeals Tribunal

     Level 7, City Centre Tower

     55 Market Street

     SYDNEY NSW 2000

     Ph: 02 9391 2400

Queensland and Northern Territory

     Deputy Registrar

     Administrative Appeals Tribunal

     Level 4, Harry Gibbs Building

     Commonwealth Law Courts

     119 North Quay

     BRISBANE QLD 4000

     Ph: 07 3361 3000

Western Australia

     Deputy Registrar

     Administrative Appeals Tribunal

     Level 5

     111 St Georges Terrace

     PERTH WA 6000

     Ph: 08 9327 7200

Australian Taxation Office (the ATO)


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Internet: http://www.ato.gov.au/

Postal address for CAFs

     Higher Education Loan Accounts unit

     Australian Taxation Office

     PO Box 9977

     Chermside QLD 4032

For questions on:

    HELP debts

    Compulsory and voluntary repayments

    Indexation

Enquiry line: 1300 650 225

Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC)

Internet: http://www.immi.gov.au/
For questions on:                 Contact

    visas (such as whether a     DIAC national enquiry line: 131 881
       particular class of visa
       is a permanent visa)
    Australian citizenship

Privacy Act 1988 considerations prevent DIAC from providing information about the visa
status of individuals to providers for the purpose of determining HELP eligibility without
the consent of the applicant. Any request for such information from a provider enrolment
officer should be in writing and accompanied by:

    a signed authorisation from the applicant;

    the applicant‘s full name;

    the applicant‘s date of birth; and

    the applicant‘s current visa and passport number.

Requests for such information may be faxed to the following DIAC office numbers:


Australian Capital Territory      02 6248 0479
New South Wales                   02 8862 6096


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Victoria                       03 9235 3300
Queensland                     07 3136 7152
South Australia                08 7421 7653
Western Australia              08 9415 9286
Tasmania                       03 6281 9579
Northern Territory             08 8981 6245

Commonwealth Ombudsman

Internet: www.comb.gov.au

Phone: 1300 362 072 (Calls from mobile phones are charged at mobile phone rates)
Email: ombudsman@ombudsman.gov.au

Offices in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.
(Please refer to website for details.)

Useful links

Legislation

    Archives Act 1983

    www.comlaw.gov.au/ComLaw/Management.nsf/all/bytitle/67006C7F5F7571CCCA25
    6F710006F05D?OpenDocument

    Higher Education Funding Act 1988

    www.comlaw.gov.au/ComLaw/Management.nsf/all/bytitle/80AD4947E7D25AC7CA25
    6F710007216D?OpenDocument

    Higher Education Support Act 2003

    www.comlaw.gov.au/ComLaw/Management.nsf/all/bytitle/0370B2F0E97D5A7CCA25
    6F72002361F4?OpenDocument

    Higher Education Support (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments)
       Act 2003

    www.comlaw.gov.au/ComLaw/Management.nsf/all/bytitle/95B026D1E5B98277CA25
    6F7200255142?OpenDocument

    Higher Education Legislative Amendment (Budget Measure 2007) Act 2007

    www.comlaw.gov.au/comlaw/legislation/act1.nsf/asmade/bynumber/CFC002824D92
    6EBFCA25730D007BEDE3?OpenDocument

    Higher Education Support Amendment (2008 Budget Measures) Act 2008




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    www.comlaw.gov.au/comlaw/Legislation/Act1.nsf/0/5BADACF102E661BFCA2574790
    07DBADE?OpenDocument

    Higher Education Support Amendment (2009 Budget Measures) Act 2009

    www.comlaw.gov.au/ComLaw/Legislation/Act1.nsf/0/FBFFB370C4C836A4CA25763A
    007C6C68?OpenDocument

    Electronic Transactions Act 1999

    http://www.comlaw.gov.au/ComLaw/legislation/actcompilation1.nsf/current/bytitle/
    11866D05A55BE8F6CA25730200002C72?OpenDocument&mostrecent=1

    Privacy Act 1988

    www.comlaw.gov.au/ComLaw/Management.nsf/all/bytitle/32AA97DFE9AA8326CA25
    6F7100071D25?OpenDocument

Other websites

    Going to Uni

    www.goingtouni.gov.au

    AEI – international education network:

    www.aei.gov.au

    Study in Australia:

    www.studyinaustralia.gov.au

    Privacy

    www.privacy.gov.au/

    Administrative Appeals Tribunal

    http://www.aat.gov.au/

List of guidelines and determinations

The following guidelines and determinations are available at:
www.dest.gov.au/sectors/higher_education/publications_resources/summaries_brochure
s/resources_for_student_administrators.htm

Guidelines

    Administration Guidelines

    Commonwealth Grant Scheme Guidelines


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    Commonwealth Scholarship Guidelines

    FEE-HELP Guidelines

    Higher Education Provider Guidelines

    HECS-HELP Benefit Guidelines

    OS-HELP Guidelines

    Student Learning Entitlement Guidelines

    Other Grants Guidelines

    Tax File Number Guidelines

    Transitional Arrangements for Students Guidelines

    Tax File Number Guidelines for Higher Education Providers and Open Universities
       Australia

    Privacy Commissioner‘s Tax File Number Guidelines

Determinations

    Ministerial determination under HESA s19-95(1)

    Ministerial determination under HESA s36-15(2)

    Ministerial determination under HESA s36-35(1)(b)

    Ministerial determination under HESA schedule 1 – definition of enabling course

Information products for students

For orders, please email aip@deewr.gov.au or phone 1800 020 108. These products
are also available online at www.goingtouni.gov.au.

Commonwealth supported students

    Information for Commonwealth supported students booklet (A5 size)

FEE-HELP

    FEE-HELP Information booklet (A5 size)

OS-HELP

    OS-HELP statement of terms and conditions (DL size)

    Support for overseas study – OS-HELP brochure (DL size)


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Request for Commonwealth assistance forms

    Request for Commonwealth support and HECS-HELP (A3 size, folded to A4)

    Request for FEE-HELP assistance (A3 size, folded to A4)

    Request for FEE-HELP assistance – Open Universities Australia (A3 size, folded to
       A4)

    OS-HELP debt confirmation (A4 size)




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B – Acronyms
AAT         Administrative Appeals Tribunal

APA         Australian Postgraduate Award

BOTP        Bridging for Overseas-Trained Professionals

BOTPLS      Bridging for Overseas-Trained Professionals Loan Scheme

CAS         Commonwealth Accommodation Scholarships

CECS        Commonwealth Education Costs Scholarships

CGS         Commonwealth Grant Scheme

CHESSN      Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number

CPI         Consumer Price Index

CRICOS      Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students

DEEWR       Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

DIAC        Department of Immigration and Citizenship

ECAF File   Electronic Commonwealth Assistance Form File

EFTSL       Equivalent Full-Time Student Load

FBT         Fringe Benefit Tax

HECS        Higher Education Contribution Scheme

HEFA        Higher Education Funding Act 1988

HEIMS       Higher Education Information Management System

HELP        Higher Education Loan Program

HESA        Higher Education Support Act 2003

IPP         Information privacy principle

IPRS        International Postgraduate Research Scholarships

ITAA        Income Tax Assessment Act 1936

MBES        Merit-Based Equity Scholarships

OUA         Open Universities Australia (formerly Open Learning Australia)
(OLA)

OLDPS       Open Learning Deferred Payment Scheme

OS-HELP     Overseas Study – Higher Education Loan Program

PELS        Postgraduate Education Loan Scheme

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PIN        Personal Identification Number

RTS        Research Training Scheme

SLE        Student Learning Entitlement

TAC        Tertiary admissions centre

TAFE       Technical and Further Education

TCA        Higher Education Support (Transitional Provisions and Consequential
           Amendments) Act 2003

TFN        Tax File Number

VET        Vocational Education and Training

WEI        Work experience in industry




                                                                                 182
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C – Request for Commonwealth support and
                HECS-HELP
Contact DEEWR (Appendix A) for copies of the approved form.

NOTE THAT THIS IS A SAMPLE COPY OF THE FORM ONLY.




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D – Request for FEE-HELP assistance
Contact DEEWR (Appendix A) for copies of the approved form.

NOTE THAT THIS IS A SAMPLE COPY OF THE FORM ONLY.




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E – Request for FEE-HELP assistance – Open
                Universities Australia
Contact DEEWR (Appendix A) for copies of the approved form.

NOTE THAT THIS IS A SAMPLE COPY OF THE FORM ONLY.




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F – OS-HELP debt confirmation
Contact DEEWR (Appendix A) for copies of the approved form.

NOTE THAT THIS IS A SAMPLE COPY OF THE FORM ONLY.




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G – Permanent visas
When does a person become the holder of a permanent visa?

Non-citizens applying for a permanent visa within Australia become the holder of a
permanent visa on the date on which they are granted that visa for the first time or at a
date or event specified in the visa [Migration Act 1958 – s68].

Non-citizens applying for a permanent visa outside Australia become the holder of a
permanent visa on the date on which they enter Australia for the first time after the
Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has approved their visa.

Sample evidence of permanent visa




Note that the provision of a Tax File Number (TFN) by a student must NOT be taken as
proof of permanent residence status.



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Permanent humanitarian visa subclasses

Holders of permanent humanitarian visas should give their provider documentation, such
as their permanent visa, to demonstrate their eligibility for Commonwealth assistance.

Table 1 contains a list of permanent humanitarian visa subclasses. Pre-1989 visa
subclasses may not appear on this list. To confirm pre-1989 visa subclasses, contact
DIAC (Appendix A).

Table 1     Permanent humanitarian visa subclasses

Permanent humanitarian visa                Subclass title
subclass - current list

200                                        Refugee

201                                        In-Country Special Humanitarian

202                                        Global Special Humanitarian

203                                        Emergency Rescue

204                                        Woman At Risk

CD 851                                     Resolution of Status

866                                        Protection (Residence)

-

Permanent humanitarian visa                Subclass title
subclass - historical list*

205                                        Camp Clearance – obsolete code

206                                        Lebanese Concession – obsolete code

207                                        Soviet Concession – obsolete code

208                                        East Timorese in Portugal, Macau or
                                           Mozambique – obsolete code

209                                        Citizens of Former Yugoslavia (Displaced
                                           Persons) – obsolete code

210                                        Minorities in Former USSR – obsolete code

211                                        Burmese in Burma – obsolete code

212                                        Sudanese – obsolete code

213                                        Burmese in Thailand – obsolete code

214                                        Cambodian – obsolete code

215                                        Sri Lankan (Special Assistance) – obsolete
                                           code


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Permanent humanitarian visa                          Subclass title
subclass - current list

216                                                  Ahmadi – obsolete code

217                                                  Vietnamese – obsolete code

803                                                  Refugee (After Entry) – obsolete code

807                                                  Compassionate (Humanitarian Grounds) –
                                                     obsolete code

809                                                  PRC Citizen – obsolete code

810                                                  Refugee – obsolete code

817                                                  Protection (Permanent Entry After Entry)
                                                     Visa – obsolete code

This table shows the list of current and historical permanent humanitarian visa
subclasses. The current classes are: Refugee, In-Country Special Humanitarian, Global
Special Humanitarian, Emergency Rescue, Woman At Risk, Resolution of Status and
Protection (Residence).
Current at: November 2010
*Visa subclass codes no longer issued by DIAC.
A person who holds a permanent humanitarian visa with one of these obsolete subclass codes continues to be
eligible for Commonwealth assistance.

Other permanent visa subclasses

Holders of permanent visas should give their provider documentation, such as their
permanent visa, to demonstrate their eligibility for Commonwealth assistance.

Table 2 contains a list of permanent visa subclasses, excluding permanent humanitarian
visa subclasses.

Table 2        permanent visa subclasses, excluding permanent humanitarian visa
               subclasses

Permanent visa                Subclass title
subclass - Historical
list

100                           Spouse

101                           Child

102                           Adoption

103                           Parent

104                           Preferential Family

105                           Skilled Australia Linked


                                                                                                       189
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Permanent visa          Subclass title
subclass - Historical
list

106                     Regional Linked

110                     Interdependency

111                     Authority to Return

113                     Aged Parent

114                     Aged Dependent Relative

115                     Remaining Relative

116                     Carer

117                     Orphan Relative

118                     Designated Parent

119                     Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme

120                     Labour Agreement

121                     Employer Nomination Scheme

122                     Business (Joint Venture)

123                     Business (General)

124                     Distinguished Talent (Australian Support)

125                     Distinguished Talent and Special Service (Independent)

126                     Independent

127                     Business Skills (Business Owner)

128                     Senior Executive

129                     Business Skills (State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner)

130                     Business Skills (State/Territory Sponsored Senior Executive)

131                     Investment-linked

132                     Business Talent

134                     Skill Matching

135                     State/Territory – Nominated Independent

136                     Skilled – Independent

137                     Skilled – State/Territory – nominated Independent

138                     Skilled – Australian Sponsored


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Permanent visa          Subclass title
subclass - Historical
list

139                     Skilled – Designated Area - sponsored

143                     Contributory Parent

150                     Former Citizen

151                     Former Resident

152                     Family of New Zealand Citizen

154                     Return Class A

155                     Five Year Resident Return

156                     Return Class C

157                     Three Month Resident Return

158                     Return Class E

175                     Skilled - Independent

176                     Skilled - Sponsored

431                     Restricted Passport

800                     Territorial Asylum

801                     Spouse

802                     Child

804                     Aged Parent

805                     Skilled

806                     Family

808                     Confirmatory (Residence)

811                     Pilot

812                     December 1989

813                     Special Equivalent 1989

814                     Interdependency

815                     Chinese (Former 437 TEP)

816                     Special Permanent Entry Visa

818                     Highly Qualified On-shore Permanent Entry Visa

819                     Aged Parent


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Permanent visa          Subclass title
subclass - Historical
list

831                     Prospective Marriage Spouse

832                     Close Ties

833                     Certain Unlawful Non-citizens

834                     Permanent Resident of Norfolk Island

835                     Remaining Relative

836                     Carer

837                     Orphan Relative

838                     Aged Dependent Relative

840                     Business Owner

841                     Senior Executive

842                     State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner

843                     State/Territory Sponsored Business Executive

844                     Investment Linked

845                     Established Business in Australia

846                     State/Territory Sponsored Regional Established Business in
                        Australia

BL851                   Resolution of Status

852                     Witness Protection (Trafficking)

855                     Labour Agreement

856                     Employer Nomination Scheme

857                     Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme

858                     Distinguished Talent

859                     Designated Parent

861                     Skilled – Onshore Independent New Zealand Citizen

862                     Skilled – Onshore Australian-sponsored New Zealand Citizen

863                     Skilled – Onshore Regional-sponsored New Zealand Citizen

864                     Contributory Aged Parent

880                     Skilled – Independent Overseas Student


                                                                                     192
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Permanent visa              Subclass title
subclass - Historical
list

881                         Skilled – Australian-sponsored Overseas Student

882                         Skilled – Designated Area-sponsored Overseas Student

883                         Skilled – Designated Area-sponsored

885                         Skilled - Independent

886                         Skilled - Sponsored

887                         Skilled - Regional

890                         Business Owner (Residence)

891                         Investor (Residence)

892                         State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner (Residence)

893                         State/Territory Sponsored Investor (Residence)
Current at: November 2010




                                                                                   193
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H – Sample Certificate of Application for a TFN
Note that this is only a sample of the form.




                                                  194
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I – E-CAF File transmission report




                                     195
AIP March2011




J – Wording for informed consent
I understand that:

    [name of provider or tertiary admission centre] is collecting the information in this
       form for the purpose of assessing my entitlement to Commonwealth assistance
       under the Higher Education Support Act 2003 and allocation of a Commonwealth
       Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN) to me;

    [name of provider or tertiary admission centre] will disclose this information to the
       Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) for
       those purposes;

    DEEWR will store the information securely in the Higher Education Information
      Management System;

    DEEWR may disclose the information to the ATO; and

    [name of provider or tertiary admission centre] and DEEWR will not otherwise
       disclose the information without my consent unless required or authorised by law.




                                                                                        196
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K – New Zealand citizens
Most New Zealand citizens, who arrive in Australia, are the holders of a temporary visa
called a Special Category Visa (SCV). This is not a permanent visa. Although a SCV
allows its holder to visit, live and work in Australia indefinitely, it does not give them
access to HELP loans.

Following the 2001 changes to social security arrangements for New Zealanders, the
Department of Immigration and Citizenship may issue a Certificate of Status of New
Zealand Citizens in Australia-Form 1162 to New Zealand citizens who were:

    in Australia on 26 February 2001 as SCV holders; or

    outside Australia on 26 February 2001, but were in Australia as an SCV holder for at
       least one year in the two years prior to that date, and subsequently returned; or

    who have a certificate, issued under the Social Security Act 1991, stating that they
      are residing in Australia on a particular date.

This certificate certifies the status of its holder as a permanent resident in Australia for
the purposes of accessing certain social security payments, but does not give the holder
access to HELP loans.




                                                                                          197
AIP March2011




L – Sample Tax File Number letters from the ATO
Sample letter if Tax File Number incorrect

Higher Education Loan Program –

section 190–15 notice of incorrectly notified tax file number

For your action

The tax file number (TFN) provided to you by the following student could not be matched
with our records:

     Student name:

     Date of birth:

     Student identification number:

     Period:

In accordance with section 190–15 of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA
2003), the above-named student has been advised that they have not provided you with
their correct TFN.

The student has been further advised, in accordance with section 193–5 of the HESA
2003, that they have 28 days to provide you with their correct TFN or a certificate from
us that they have applied for a TFN, otherwise their enrolment as a Commonwealth
supported student may be cancelled and/or they will not be entitled to HECS-HELP
assistance.

More information

If you need more information, please phone 1300 650 225 between 8.00am and
6.00pm, Monday to Friday.

Sample letter when correct Tax File Number provided

Higher Education Loan Program –

withdrawal of section 190–15 notice

For your action

We refer to our notice sent to you on (Date) for the following student in accordance with
section 190–15 of the Higher Education Support Act 2003:

     Student name:

     Date of birth:

                                                                                      198
AIP March2011


     Student identification number:

This notice advised that we were unable to match the tax file number (TFN) provided to
you by the above-named student with our records.

This student has now provided further details enabling us to identify their correct TFN as
(correct TFN). Accordingly, we wish to withdraw the section 190–15 notice.

More information

If you need more information, please phone 1300 650 225 between 8.00am and
6.00pm, Monday to Friday.




                                                                                       199
AIP March2011




M – To Australian Tax Office – proforma for
                variation of debt due to
                administrative error (HECS, PELS,
                OLDPS, BOTPLS)
Note: this form is only for variations of debts due to administrative error that were
incurred before 1 January 2005.




                                                                                        200
AIP March2011




N – To DEEWR – proforma for variation of debt
              due to an administrative error
              (PELS and BOTPLS)




                                                201
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O – List of occupations and the relevant assessing
                authorities that are approved for
                identifying bridging study for
                overseas-trained professionals
This list is based on FEE-HELP Guidelines with minor amendments advised by authorities.
The FEE-HELP Guidelines will be updated in early 2011, and the updated list will be
available on www.goingtouni.gov.au.

Accountants

CPA Australia ABN 64 008 392 452

All States and Territories


Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia ABN 50 084 642 571

All States and Territories


National Institute of Accountants ABN 81 004 130 643

All States and Territories


Architects

Architects Accreditation Council of Australia ABN 83 465 163 655

All States and Territories


Cadastral Surveyors

Institution of Surveyors, Australia ABN 39 917 817 054

All States and Territories


Dentists

Australian Dental Council ABN 70 072 269 900

All States and Territories


Dieticians


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AIP March2011


Dieticians Association of Australia ABN 34 008 521 480

All States and Territories

Legal Practitioners - Barristers and Solicitors

NSW     Legal Profession Admission Board ABN 50 581 255 931

VIC     Council of Legal Education

QLD     Legal Practitioners AdmissionsBoard ABN 53 925 175 583

SA      Board of Examiners, C/-Legal Practitioners‘ Registry ABN 16 305 983 353

WA      The Legal Practitioners AdmissionBoard ABN 23 127 312 585

TAS     Board of Legal Education

ACT     Legal Practitioners Admission Board

NT      Legal Practitioners Admission Board

Medical Practitioners (General)

Australian Medical Council ABN 19 814 243 263

All States and Territories


Nuclear Medicine Technologists

Australian & New Zealand Society of Nuclear Medicine ABN 42 512 102 604

All States and Territories


Occupational Therapists

Council of Occupational Therapists Registration Boards (Aust and NZ) Inc

ABN 50 377 833 627

All States and Territories


Optometrists

Optometry Council of Australia and New Zealand ABN 38 074 875 111

All States and Territories


Pharmacists


                                                                                  203
AIP March2011


Australian Pharmacy Council ABN 45 568 153 354

All States and Territories


Physiotherapists

Australian Physiotherapy Council ABN 28 108 663 896

All States and Territories


Podiatrists

Australasian Podiatry Council ABN 24 008 488 748

All States and Territories


Radiographers

Australian Institute of Radiography ABN 26 924 779 836

All States and Territories

Registered Nurses
NSW    Nursingand Midwives Board of New South Wales ABN 41 356 382 097

VIC    Nurses Board of Victoria ABN 96 394 267 286

QLD    Queensland Nursing Council ABN 31 518 972 839

SA     Nurses Board of South Australia ABN 61 964 469 696

WA     Nurses and Midwives Board of WA ABN 70 013 199 477

TAS    Nursing Board of Tasmania ABN 33 786 914 844

ACT    ACT Nursing and Midwifery BoardABN 79 033 475 573

NT     Nursing and Midwifery Board of the Northern Territory ABN 43 327 327 719

School Teachers
NSW    NSW Institute of Teachers ABN 82 075 742 456

VIC    Victorian Institute of Teaching ABN 12 386 253 536

QLD    Queensland College of Teachers ABN 49 750 572 133

SA     Teachers Registration Board of South Australia ABN 18 376 765 315




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AIP March2011



WA     Western Australia College of Teaching ABN 81 079 785 270

TAS    Tasmanian Teachers Registration Board ABN 26 237 631 294

ACT    ACT Department of Education and Training ABN 71 506 957 312

NT     Teacher Registration Board of the Northern Territory ABN 84 085 734 992


Social Workers

Australian Association of Social Workers ABN 93 008 576 010

All States and Territories

Speech Pathologists

Speech Pathology Australia ABN 17 008 393 440

All States and Territories

Veterinarians

Australasian Veterinary Boards Council Inc ABN 49 337 540 469

All States and Territories

This information was current at the time of publication, but it may have been changed
since this time. Check www.goingtouni.gov.au for up to date information.




                                                                                        205
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P – Student cohorts
Under arrangements applying under HESA until November 2006, providers could
establish student cohorts and specify different student contribution amounts and/or
tuition fees to apply to the students in the cohort (a cohort being all students who
commenced a course of study in a particular year). Providers were required to set
contributions or fees for the cohort (for all years the cohort would operate) in the year
prior to the cohort beginning. The provider must have published this information by 1
October in the year prior to the cohort commencing its course of study.

he amendments to HESA in the Higher Education Legislation Amendment (2006 Budget
and Other Measures) Act 2006 increased flexibility for providers in the setting of student
contributions and tuition fees and repealed the provisions relating to student cohorts,
effective on 4 November 2006. Savings provisions were included in the amendments to
preserve conditions relating to existing student cohorts. This means that where a
provider has a student cohort, it continues to operate under the previous provisions
unless it is revoked.

If a provider wishes to utilise the current fee flexibility measures for determining different
prices, the saved determination in relation to the student cohort must be revoked.
Information on revoking student cohorts can be found in parts 49.7 to 49.10 and further
information on fee flexibility under current arrangements can be found in part 27.2.

Preserving student cohorts

If a student cohort was established prior to 4 November 2006, and the provider
determined a different student contribution amount or tuition fee for the student cohort
(referred to as the saved determination), the student contribution amount or tuition fee
for the unit will continue to be as specified in the saved determination. The student
cohort‘s student contribution amount or tuition fee will continue to apply where:

a)   the person is in the student cohort to which the saved determination relates; and

b)   the saved determination has not been revoked; and

c)   the unit forms part of a course of study with the provider who made the saved
     determination; and

d)   the person is undertaking the unit with the provider; and

e)   the person satisfies any conditions that apply to the cohort under the saved
     determination.

[HESA note 2 Table A sub-items 13 & 14].

What conditions apply to student cohorts?

Student cohorts are subject to the student contribution amounts, tuition fees and
conditions determined and published prior to commencement of the cohort‘s course of
study.

                                                                                          206
AIP March2011


The student contribution amount or tuition fee that continues to apply to the student
cohort is the amount determined and published by 1 October in the year prior to the
cohort‘s commencement of its course of study (the saved determination). This amount
must be the same for all students in that student cohort.

The saved determination applies for the duration of the cohort‘s course of study, subject
to any limit on the time for which the cohort amount applies and subject to revocation of
the student cohort (see part 49.9 in relation to revoking a saved determination in relation
to a student cohort).

The same unit offered over different time periods may have a different student
contribution amount or tuition fee, but only if this was specified and published before
commencement of the course.

For example:

     If a provider specified that the tuition fee (or student contribution amount) for Maths
         101 was $5,000, this would apply for the duration of the course, subject to any
         time limit.

     However, the provider could have specified that the tuition fee (or student
        contribution amount) for Maths 101 (2006) was $5,000 and for Maths 101 (2007)
        was $5,100.

The student contribution amounts or tuition fees specified for the student cohort continue
to apply for the period of time which was determined and published by the provider by 1
October in the year prior to commencement of the cohort.

It should be noted that a provider could only have determined conditions related to the
period of time for which the cohort amount is to apply, and cannot have set other
conditions, such as conditions relating to campus location or equity groups, to further
limit access to a cohort amount [Higher Education Provider Guidelines – chapter 7 before repeal See
Version 3, registered 27/11/06].


What was required to be published regarding student cohorts?

Providers that established different student contribution amounts or tuition fees for
cohorts of students prior to the repeal of the cohorts sections in HESA must have
published and made publicly available:

     sufficient information to enable a student to work out his or her student contribution
        and/or tuition fee for a unit of study that is part of his or her cohort‘s course of
        study; and

     any conditions that are to apply in relation to that cohort.

This information must have been published and made available by 1 October of the year
before the cohort commenced its course of study [HESA – s19-97 & FEE-HELP Guidelines (for OUA)
(before repeal)].




                                                                                                 207
AIP March2011


A provider cannot vary its published student cohort information. For information on
revoking a student cohort (see part 49.7).




                                                                                      208
AIP March2011




Q – Guide to ‘special circumstances’ decision
                making
Introduction

This guide is intended to assist higher education providers assess an application for a re-
credit of SLE or FEE-HELP balance and remission of a person‘s HELP debt (See sections 0
and 0).

1.   Under the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA) a person can make an
     application to have their SLE or FEE-HELP balance re-credited. Re-crediting results
     in remission of the HELP debt, Different provisions of HESA apply depending on the
     type of HELP debt that a person has incurred. When deciding whether a person is
     entitled to have their debt remitted a delegate should note that the decision can
     only be made where a specific provision of HESA permits or requires the delegate to
     make that decision.

What Part of the Act?

     Before making a decision, it is important for the delegate to identify which
     provision of HESA permits or requires him/her to make that decision.

2.   The following table sets out the provision of HESA that apply in making a decision
     about whether a person‘s SLE/FEE-HELP balance debt should be re-credited or debt
     remitted:
If person seeks re-credit/remission of his or her:                   Refer to section:

student contribution amount or HECS-HELP debt for a unit wholly      Subsection 36-22(1)
consisting of work experience.

Student Learning Entitlement (SLE)                                   Section 79-1



FEE-HELP -Higher Education Providers                                 Subsection 104-25(1)


FEE-HELP –Open Universities Australia                                Subsection 104-25(2)

VET FEE-HELP                                                         Schedule 1A 46(2)



3.   Regardless of which provision of HESA applies, when deciding whether a person is
     entitled to have their SLE/FEE-HELP balance re-credited or debt remitted, a delegate
     must consider the following:

       a. Have the threshold criteria been met? (see Step One) and

       b. Do special circumstances apply? (see Step Two)


                                                                                        209
AIP March2011


     PLEASE NOTE:

     In the illustrative examples provided below, the sections of HESA that apply to re-
     crediting a person‘s SLE have been used.

     When writing the reasons for a decision, providers must refer to the section/s of
     HESA that specifically apply to a person‘s circumstances.

     This will depend on the type of HELP debt that the person has incurred.

     Refer to paragraph 1 above (see table) for further guidance.

Step One:      Have the threshold criteria been met?

4.   For a person to have their SLE or FEE-HELP balance (or VET FEE-HELP balance)
     re-credited, they must satisfy ALL of the criteria in the relevant section of the Act
     (listed at paragraph 3).

     Note: The term ―threshold criteria‖ is used to describe all those criteria listed in a
     particular section (listed at paragraph 3) except Special Circumstances. Threshold
     criteria include such things as ‗was the student enrolled in the unit‘. Example 1
     below illustrates the threshold criteria for re-crediting a person‘s SLE are those in
     paragraphs (a), (aa), (ab), (b), (d) and (e).

5.   Before determining whether ‗special circumstances‘ apply to the person, the decision
     maker needs to satisfy themselves that all of the ‗threshold‘ criteria have been met.
     Depending on the type of debt that is being considered, the relevant threshold
     criteria appear in the sections of HESA listed at paragraph 2.

     Example 1:     HESA Section 79-1 - Re-crediting a person’s SLE

     The threshold criteria are highlighted in bold

     (1) A higher education provider must, on the *Secretary‘s behalf, re-credit a
         person‘s *SLE with an amount equal to the *EFTSL value of a unit of study if:

          (a) the person has been enrolled in the unit with the provider; and

          (aa) the unit would, if completed, form part of a *course of study
               undertaken with that provider or another higher education provider; and

          (ab) the unit does not wholly consist of *work experience in industry; and

          (b) the person has not completed the requirements for the unit during
              the period during which the person undertook, or was to undertake, the
              unit; and

          (c) the provider is satisfied that special circumstances apply to the person
              (see part 79-5); and




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          (d) the person applies in writing to the provider for re-crediting of the
          SLE; and

          (e) either:

               (i) the application is made before the end of the application
               period under part 79-10; or

               (ii) the provider waives the requirement that the application be made
               before the end of that period, on the ground that it would not be, or was
               not, possible for the application to be made before the end of that period.

6.   Determining whether the person satisfies the ‗threshold criteria‘ is a relatively simple
     factual analysis of the person‘s application and records.

7.   If a person does not satisfy any elements of the ‗threshold criteria‘, the decision
     maker needs to write a statement of reasons and refuse the person‘s
     application. The ‗threshold criteria‘ can be assessed in any order. Once it has been
     determined that a person does not meet one of these criteria, the analysis can stop
     as the failure to satisfy all criteria is fatal to the application.

8.   If a person meets the ‗threshold criteria‘, then the decision maker needs to turn
     their mind to whether they are satisfied that special circumstances applied to the
     person.

Step Two:      Do Special Circumstances Apply?

9.   The Special Circumstances test is defined in the following provisions/sections of the
     Act for each type of Commonwealth assistance. The specific provisions/sections to
     which a provider should refer will depend on the type of debt which the person
     seeks to re-credit/remit.
If a person seeks re-credit/remission of his or her:               Special
                                                                   Circumstances Test

student contribution amount or HECS-HELPdebtfor a unit             Subsection 33-22(3)
wholly consisting of work experience.

Student Learning Entitlement (SLE)                                 Section 79-5

FEE-HELP -Higher Education Providers                               Subsection 104-30(1)


FEE-HELP –Open Universities Australia                              Subsection 104-30(3)

VET FEE-HELP                                                       Schedule 1A 48

10. The Special Circumstances test under each of the above sections is substantively the
    same but a provider must refer to the correct section in its decision.

11. The test has three requirements, and all of those requirements must be satisfied
    (and supported with evidence) for Special Circumstances to be established.


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    Example: HESA s79-5 (test for re-credit a person‘s SLE due to special
    circumstances is highlighted in bold)

    79-5 Special circumstances

    (1) For the purposes of paragraph 79-1(1)(c), special circumstances apply to the
        person if and only if the higher education provider receiving the application is
        satisfied that circumstances apply to the person that:

         (a)   are beyond the person’s control; and

         (b)   do not make their full impact on the person until on or after the
               *census date for the unit of study in question; and

         (c)   make it impracticable for the person to complete the requirements
               for the unit during the period during which the person undertook,
               or was to undertake, the unit.

      NOTE: A provider MUST refer to the appropriate section(s) of the Act that
            specifically apply to a person‘s circumstances (see para 1 above).

12. In determining whether there are special circumstances, a provider should apply the
    Student Learning Entitlement Guidelines made on 21 July 2004 by the then Minister
    for Education, Science and Training, pursuant to section 238-10 of the Higher
    Education Support Act 2003.

13. The Student Learning Entitlement Guidelines provide some rules as to when
    circumstances are beyond a person‘s control and do not make their full impact until
    after the census date. Please note, the Guidelines apply to decisions made pursuant
    to provisions outlined in the first four rows of the table in paragraph 0 above.

14. The Guidelines do not explicitly cover special circumstances for VET FEE-HELP
    students (Schedule 1A 46(2)), although it is best practice to follow them anyway
    (see the fifth row of the table in paragraph 8).

Step 2.1 What are the relevant circumstances?

15. The Decision Maker needs to identify what the relevant circumstances are.

16. To do this, the Decision Maker will need to consider what information and evidence
    the person has provided in their Application and any further information available
    from the student‘s records.

Step 2.2 Are the circumstances beyond the person’s control?

17. The Decision Maker must then decide whether the circumstances identified at Step
    2.1 are beyond the person‘s control.

18. The Student Learning Entitlement Guidelines provide that:




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    5.5.1      The higher education provider will be satisfied that a person‟s circumstances
               are beyond that person‟s control if a situation occurs which a reasonable
               person would consider is not due to the person‟s action or inaction, either
               direct or indirect, and for which the person is not responsible.

    5.5.5      This situation must be unusual, uncommon or abnormal.

Step 2.3 Did the circumstances make their full impact on the person on or after
the census date for the unit in question?

19. The Decision Maker needs to:

    a.   Identify the relevant census date for the unit; then

    b.   Determine when the circumstances identified in Step 2.1 made their full impact
         on the student.

20. The Student Learning Entitlement Guidelines provide that:

    5.10.1     The higher education provider will be satisfied that a person‟s circumstances
               did not make their full impact on the person until on or after the census
               date for a unit of study if the person‟s circumstances occur:

         (a)    before the census date, but worsen after that day; or

         (b)    before the census date, but the full effect or magnitude does not become
                apparent until on or after that day; or

         (c)    on or after the census date.

Step 2.4 Did the circumstances make it impracticable for the person to complete
the requirements of the unit?

21. After deciding that Steps 2.1 to 2.3 have been satisfied, the Decision Maker must be
    satisfied that the circumstances identified in Step 2.1 made it impracticable for the
    person to complete the unit.

22. The Macquarie Dictionary defines ‗impracticable‘ as, “not practicable; that cannot be
    put into practice with the available means”. A decision maker should keep this
    definition in mind when deciding if a student‘s circumstances made it impracticable
    for him or her to complete a unit of study.

23. Consideration should also be given to whether at the time the person‘s special
    circumstances emerged, it was already not practicable for the student to meet the
    requirements of the unit. This situation may arise where a student has not met
    progressive requirements relating to compulsory assessment and/or attendance at
    classes for the unit of study.

24. For example, a student may have failed to sit the final examination and/or a
    special/supplementary examination on the basis of a special circumstance that
    applied at the time of the examination. However if that student has not met the


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    ongoing compulsory requirements of the unit of study, their failure to sit the final
    examination (and/or the special examination) does not of itself make it
    impracticable for them to complete the unit of study. The relevant circumstance that
    made it impracticable for them to complete the unit of study would then be that the
    student did not meet the ongoing compulsory requirements of the unit of study.

25. In the above example the provider may make a decision not to re-credit the
    person‘s SLE or FEE-HELP balance.

26. A provider‘s decision to refuse to re-credit some or all of a person SLE or FEE-HELP
    balance is a reviewable decision under Division of 206 of HESA. A provider MUST
    give a student a notice of review rights if they make a reviewable decision. A code
    of practice for notification of reviewable decisions and rights of review is at
    Attachment R.




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R – HESA - Code of Practice for notification of
              reviewable decisions and rights of
              review by the Administrative
              Appeals Tribunal (Code of
              Practice)
See also:

The Code of Practice for Notification of Reviewable Decisions and Rights of Review (Code
of Practice) published by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal sets out the requirements of
notices of review rights.
www.comlaw.gov.au/ComLaw/...nsf/0/.../AAT+Code+of+Practice.rtf

1.   Reviewable Decisions

Under Division 206 of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 the following decisions are
subject to review:
Reviewable decisions

Item   Decision                          Provision under    Decision maker
                                         which decision
                                         is made

1A     A decision that section36-22      section36-22       (a) the higher education
       does not apply to a person                           provider with whom the
                                                            student wasenrolled in the
                                                            unit; or
                                                            (b) if the *Secretary made
                                                            the decision that the section
                                                            does not apply—the
                                                            Secretary

1      Refusal to re-credit some or      section 79-1       (a) the higher education
       all of a person‘s *student                           provider with whom the
       learning entitlement for a unit                      student wasenrolled in the
       of study                                             unit; or
                                                            (b) if the *Secretary made
                                                            the decision to refuse the re-
                                                            crediting—the Secretary




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Reviewable decisions

Item   Decision                          Provision under    Decision maker
                                         which decision
                                         is made

2      Refusal to re-credit a person‘s   subsection 104-    (a) the higher education
       *FEE-HELP balance                 25(1)              provider with whom the
                                                            student wasenrolled in the
                                                            unit; or
                                                            (b) if the *Secretary made
                                                            the decision to refuse the re-
                                                            crediting—the Secretary

2A     Refusal to re-credit a person‘s   subsection 104-    (a) *Open Universities
       *FEE-HELP balance                 25(2)              Australia; or
                                                            (b) if the *Secretary made
                                                            the decision to refuse the re-
                                                            crediting—the Secretary

3      Deferral of making an             section154-45      the *Commissioner
       assessment or refusal to
       defer the making of an
       assessment




4      Amending the assessment or        section 154-50     the *Commissioner
       refusal to amend an
       assessment




4A     A determination                   section 157-20     the *Commissioner




5      A decision under Division 225     Division 225       the Minister
       (other than section 225-25),      (other than
       in relation to an external        section 225-25)
       Territory




This table shows the types of reviewable decisions of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal
and those who make the decisions.

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Note 1: The decisions referred to in items 1A, 1 and 2 of the table are made by a higher education provider on
the Secretary‘s behalf.
Note 2: The decisions referred to in item 2A of the table are made by Open Universities Australia on the
Secretary‘s behalf.

A higher education provider must provide a person with a Notice of Review Rights if they
make a reviewable decision.

An example of a notice is provided below:

THIS TYPE OF NOTICE SHOULD ONLY BE PROVIDED WHEN A REVIEWABLE DECISION
HAS BEEN MADE.

If you think this decision is wrong, you can request a reconsideration by someone who
was not involved in making this decision. You will need to make your request in writing
and must include the following information:

      the date of this decision; and

      why you are requesting a reconsideration.

You should also include any additional evidence that you think is relevant.

Send or deliver the reconsideration request to:

      [Insert address]

Time limits apply. Your application must be made within 28 days [or insert a greater time
period – but no less than 28 days: s 209-10 see s209-10(2).]

[insert name, position] will:

      review the original decision;

      assess any new evidence provided by you;

      provide you with a written notice of the decision.

If, after [insert name, position] has reconsidered the decision, you are dissatisfied with
the outcome, you may apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for a Review of
Decision. The application must be lodged at the AAT within 28 days of receiving notice of
*insert name, position+‘s decision. You will be provided with further information about
this process at the time you are notified of that decision.

Please see http://www.aat.gov.au/ for more information on this process.

A Higher Education Provider‘s decision (under section 79-1 of HESA) not to re-credit a
student‘s SLE, or remit their HELP debt, is an example of a ‗reviewable decision‘. The
person has a right to a reconsideration of this decision.

2.    Reconsideration of a Reviewable Decision

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The Secretary has delegated her power to reconsider these decisions to Higher Education
Providers. Accordingly, upon receipt of a request for reconsideration, the provider should
arrange for an officer of the Provider (other than the first Decision Maker) to reconsider
the matter and make a decision (under section 209-10 of HESA) either confirming,
varying or setting aside the reviewable decision.A 28 day time limit applies to
reconsideration of a person‘s request but the person reconsidering the matter can grant
an extension of time.

A reconsideration of a Reviewable Decision occurs when:

(a)    after the reviewable decision is made, the person seeks to have that decision
       reconsidered internally and have that decision confirmed, varied or set-aside under
       section 209-10 of HESA (this is done by another officer of the Provider than the first
       Decision Maker); or

(b) a reviewer* decides to reconsider the reviewable decision internally on his/her own
    motion and have that decision confirmed, varied or set-aside under section 209-05
    of HESA.

Where a reviewable decision has been reconsidered, the person is able to apply to the
AAT for a further reconsideration of the reviewable decision. These cases are managed by
the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

*see s209-1 and clause 94 of Schedule 1A of HESA

A higher education provider must provide a person with a Notice of Review Rights if
Rights if:

a decision is made under the following sections of the Higher Education Support Act 2003: 

       209-5 Reviewer may reconsider reviewable decisions

       209-10 Reconsideration of reviewable decisions on request 

       Schedule 1A 95 - Reviewer may reconsider reviewable VET decisions

       Schedule 1A 96 - Reconsideration of reviewable VET decisions on request.

An example of a notice of review rights when a reviewable decision has been
reconsidered is provided below:

THIS TYPE OF NOTICE SHOULD ONLY BE PROVIDED WHEN A REVIEWABLE DECISION HAS
BEEN RECONSIDERED

If you disagree with this decision you may apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal
for review. The application must be lodged at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal within
28 days of receiving this notice.

This time limit can be extended in limited circumstances by order of the Administrative
Appeals Tribunal.



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The AAT‘s address is: *insert postal address of nearest location]

If you apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for review of a decision, you may
have to pay an application fee of $682 (as at 17 September 2009). Please note that this
fee is subject to change and you should confirm the fee before you lodge an application.
[Providers should check the filing fee on the AAT website regularly as it reviewed at least
once a year]. Your application cannot proceed until you pay the application fee or the fee
has been waived. If you want to apply to have the fee waived, you will need to make an
application for fee waiver to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Please see http://www.aat.gov.au/ for more information on this process.

3.    Review by the AAT

Where a reviewable decision has been reconsidered, the person is able to apply to the
AAT for review of the reviewable decision.

The AAT send DEEWR a notice of application for review of decision. The Department is
required to lodge with the AAT:

(a)   a statement setting our the findings on material questions of fact, referring to the
      evidence or other material on which those findings were based and fiving the
      reasons for the decision; and

(b) every other document or part of a document that is in its possession or under its
    control and is relevant to the review of the decision by the AAT.

DEEWR is required to lodge the documents within 28 days of receiving the notice. DEEWR
will request the higher education provider to provide copies of all documents relevant to
the matter. These should be sent to DEEWR within 5 business days.

These documents should be sent to DEEWR by courier or Express Post, faxed or sent
electronically as attachments to an email (to the address/number/email address provided
by DEEWR in the request). Providers should keep any originals and copies of the
documents in accordance with their normal record keeping practices.




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S – Pre-2005 students
The transitional provisions that were in place for students who began their course of
study before 1 January 2005 and were covered by the Higher Education Contribution
Scheme (HECS) or Postgraduate Education Loan Scheme (PELS) [TCA - Parts 1 & 2 of Schedule
1] ended on 31 December 2008 regardless of whether a student had completed their
course [TCA Sch 1 s1(1)(b) & s6.1(b)].

This means that from 1 January 2009 onwards:

    only Australian citizens and permanent humanitarian visa holders are eligible for
       HELP loans [HESA - 90-5];

    the maximum student contribution amounts in HESA will apply to all Commonwealth
       supported students unless they are subject to other transitional arrangements;
       and

    New Zealand citizens and holders of a permanent visa (other than a permanent
       humanitarian visa) are not eligible for HELP (except for students undertaking a
       bridging course for overseas-trained professionals).

Students who were covered under the ‗pre-2005‘ transitional arrangements in 2008, who
had not completed their course when the pre-2005 transitional arrangements finished at
the end of 2008 may be covered by pre-2008 provisions (see part 5.2).




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