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Tuesday, 23 April 1985
Page: 1358

Senator ZAKHAROV —Can the Minister for Education inform the Senate of the financial arrangements which are available in the Australian Capital Territory for the tertiary students who may need to take out loans to supplement their tertiary education assistance scheme allowances?

Senator RYAN —The arrangements in institutions in the Australian Capital Territory would be similar to those in institutions throughout Australia. I am just looking to see whether I have any specific information. Every tertiary institution has been allocated an amount of money. Honourable senators will recall that that money was got by reducing the per capita non-needs based subsidy to residential colleges. The institutions themselves have been asked to draw up procedures for making the loans available to the students, although guidelines were issued from the Tertiary Education Commission to the institutions. Those guidelines emphasised the need to give priority to students who needed to live away from home and who had difficulty meeting their accommodation expenses, whether those accommodation expenses were at a residential institution or in private accommodation. The guidelines also stipulated that there ought to be student representation on the committees that make the decisions about the allocation of funds and that students should have access to those funds either on a loan basis with a no-interest condition of repayment, on a loan basis with a subsidised interest repayment or, in some cases of extreme need, by an outright grant to the student which would not require repayment. To date I have not had a specific report from the institutions but I hope that students are benefiting from this more equitable use of funds available for accommodation needs than was the case in the past. I will ask the Tertiary Education Commission for a specific report from institutions in the Australian Capital Territory-the Australian National University and the Canberra College of Advanced Education-and I will make that information available to Senator Zakharov.