Tuition Protection Service - Higher Education

HELP Provider Information

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.

TPS Advisory Board - draft advice and recommendations for the 2020 HELP Tuition Protection Levy

On 13 May 2020, the TPS Advisory Board (HELP Tuition Protection Fund Advisory Board) finalised its draft advice to the TPS Director (HELP Tuition Protection Director) regarding the settings for the 2020 HELP Tuition Protection Levy. A copy of the draft advice is available here.

This is the first year for the HELP Tuition Protection Levy following legislative changes that went into effect earlier this year to expand the Tuition Protection Service to domestic HELP students.

The Board has sought to provide its proposed levy settings notwithstanding the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The purpose of this approach is to give providers an understanding of what the levy might look like in a normal situation had the pandemic not occurred. The intention is for the levy to be affordable for providers while slowly building the appropriate amount of funds for sustainability - the Australian Government's initial seed funding has assisted in this regard.

HELP providers and peak bodies are invited to provide feedback and comments on the settings by Friday 5 June 2020 to operations@tps.gov.au. Any feedback will be considered by the TPS Advisory Board at its meeting scheduled for 24 June 2020.

The TPS Director held a consultation session with providers on 29 May 2020. The session provided an overview of the Board's advice and the risk factors, and stepped providers through how the risk premium and levies are calculated. A copy of the presentation is available 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.

TPS Information Sessions

The Tuition Protection Service Director has now completed TPS information sessions for VSL and HELP providers on the newly expanded TPS arrangements and consultation for the risk rated premium components of the new levies.

A recording of the webinar (including the presentation slides) is now available for VSL and HELP providers here: http://publish.viostream.com/app/s-n3ifbsx

We apologise if you had any difficulties viewing or hearing the web stream of the webinar on 1 April 2020.

Tuition Protection Arrangements for HELP Providers

From 1 January 2020, the Australian Government expanded the successful Tuition Protection Service (TPS) for international students to include similar protections for domestic students accessing HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP loan, or VET Student Loan, at a private education provider.

All non-exempt HELP providers are required to participate in the HELP Tuition Protection arrangements. The HELP Tuition Protection arrangements impose obligations and requirements on providers; and provide assistance and protections for HELP students in the event their private higher education provider defaults.

The tuition protection arrangements are sector-funded and underpinned by a sustainable provider levy framework. The levy framework - developed by the Australian Government Actuary - will cover the long-term costs of tuition assurance by requiring all non-exempt HELP providers to contribute annual levies commensurate with their size and risk.

In the event of a provider default, HELP students will be assisted to continue their studies 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.

TAFEs and other Government-owned providers are exempt from the tuition protection arrangements, with the exception of obligations relating to providing information about replacement courses and obligations of replacement providers. These providers are required to provide tuition protection assistance to students in the event they default.

'Table A' Universities are exempt from all tuition protection requirements.

HELP providers' obligations continue when they act as replacement providers for students displaced under the Interim Tuition Assurance arrangements.

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