The Turnbull Government’s VET Student Loans (VSL) program is well targeted and has addressed the flaws that existed under the former VET FEE-HELP scheme, a review into the methodology for determining the approved courses and loan caps has confirmed.
Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills Karen Andrews today responded to the findings of a review undertaken to ensure the program is well placed to support the ongoing skills development needs of Australian workplaces.
The review included the release of a public discussion paper, receipt of more than 300 written submissions, and extensive consultations.
“The review confirms the current VSL course list and loan caps are successfully balancing industry needs, employment outcomes and student choice, while ensuring the student loans program remains fiscally sustainable and focused on the needs of students,” Minister Andrews said.
“In addition, the capping of loans to $5,000, $10,000 or $15,000 has limited the excessive price gouging experienced under VET FEE-HELP.
“These findings clearly show the effectiveness of the Government’s reforms in weeding out unscrupulous providers and curbing the unsustainable growth that characterised the former VET FEE-HELP program.”
Minister Andrews said the review found little evidence to suggest a need to vary the current VSL settings at this stage.
“While there was no compelling evidence to warrant significant change to the loan cap amounts at this early stage of the program, annual indexation in line with CPI mean the caps for 2018 will be $5075, $10,150 or $15,225, and the Government will continue to monitor its operation.
“Over time, as more data becomes available and the evidence base surrounding the behavioural response to the policy settings increases, there may be an opportunity to make further refinements to the methodology and ensure this program continues to meet the needs of students and industry.”
The list of VSL eligible courses will be updated in line with requirements that they must be current, on at least two state or territory skills lists, or are science, technology, engineering or mathematics related, or are tied to a licenced occupation requirement.
For more information, visit: www.education.gov.au/vet-student-loans/VSLmethodology