Tuition Protection Service - Higher Education

HELP Student Overview

TPS Advisory Board's draft advice regarding the HELP Tuition Protection Levy

The TPS Advisory Board (in its capacity as the Higher Education Tuition Protection Fund Advisory) has released its draft advice to the Higher Education Tuition Protection Director regarding the 2021 HELP Tuition Protection Levy. The advice relates to the risk rated premium and special tuition protection components of the levy.
The draft advice can be viewed here.

While the inaugural HELP Tuition Protection Levy was waived in 2020 following a decision by Government, the proposed levy parameters were made public last year. Some small changes are proposed to make adjustments for COVID-19 impacts and on account of some of the sector's feedback on the proposed settings for the 2020 levy.

Your feedback on the risk rated premium and special tuition protection components of the new Up front Payments Tuition Protection Levy is also welcomed. One option would be for the Up-front Payments levy settings to mirror the HELP settings. However, it may be appropriate to consider some differences to recognise some of the different features of certain Up-front Payments higher education providers compared with HELP providers.

Providers are invited to provide any comments on the draft advice to operations@tps.gov.au by Friday 21 May 2021. The Board will take into account all feedback received before finalising its advice at its meeting on Wednesday 9 June 2021.

New Tuition Protection Arrangements for Fee Paying Students

From 1 January 2021, students who pay their fees directly to their provider will be eligible to access tuition protection assistance.

Domestic up-front fee-paying students studying higher education with private education providers are eligible for tuition protection assistance if the course has not commenced, or ceases after commencement but before completion, and the student has not previously withdrawn.

If you are a domestic up-front fee-paying student who is unable to complete your course due to your higher education provider defaulting (ceasing to commence or deliver your course or closing entirely), you will be assisted under tuition protection arrangements.

If your provider defaults, your provider is required to offer you the choice of either:

a) assistance to move to another education provider who is delivering the same or a similar course. You can complete your studies at this new provider and not be charged for replacement units, OR

b) getting a refund of the tuition fees for the units of study you had paid for and were unable to complete when your provider defaulted.

However, if your provider fails to assist you the Tuition Protection Service (TPS) will contact you directly. The TPS will offer you the option to either receive a refund of tuition fees for affected parts of the course, or assistance to move to a similar replacement course.

The TPS can be contacted at: administrator@tps.gov.au or phone 1300 980 434.

Waiver of the 2020 Domestic TPS Levies

On 30 September 2020, the Minister for Education and the Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business announced the waiver of the 2020 HELP Tuition Protection Levy and the 2020 VSL Tuition Protection Levy, in support of the Covid-19 economic recovery.

For more information, please see the Ministers' press release, click here.

COVID-19 Information

The TPS understands that the current COVID-19 situation may be concerning for some students and providers. Providers and students are encouraged to stay up-to-date on current advice, and consider flexible approaches to support the continuity of education and training delivery.

Information for students and providers about COVID-19 is available on the Department of Education, Skills and Employment's website.

Tuition Protection Arrangements for HELP Students

'Tuition protection' refers to the protections and assistance available to support FEE-HELP or HECS-HELP (HELP) students, VET Student Loans (VSL) students and international students, in the event that their education provider defaults (ceases delivering a course or closes entirely).

This page contains information about tuition assurance for HELP students at private providers. In the event of a course or provider default, HELP students will be assisted to continue their studies with a replacement provider in an equivalent or similar course or receive a loan re-credit for the units of study they had received a HELP loan for and were undertaking when their provider defaulted.

Further information for students is available on the Higher Education FAQs page.

Non-FEE-HELP/HECS-HELP Students

If you are a VET student or provider, and would like information about tuition protection, please visit the VET TPS page.

If you are an international student or international education provider, and would like information about the Tuition Protection Service, please visit the International Student TPS Page.

Further information for students is available on the Higher Education FAQs page.