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Overseas Students Charge Amendment Bill 1992

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House: House of Representatives Portfolio: Employment, Education and Training

Purpose To increase the amount of contribution in 1993 for students covered by the overseas student charge scheme.

Background Overseas students who commenced study before 1 January 1990 are required to contribute towards the cost of their education by the Overseas Student Charge Act 1979 (the Principal Act). The percentage of the total cost of the course that must be contributed depends on the time when the students commenced their course. If they commenced a tertiary course before 1 January 1986 (or 1 January 1987 for TAFE courses), they are required to contribute 32% of the total cost. If the course was commenced between 1 January 1986 and 31 December 1987 (1 January 1987 and 31 December 1987 for TAFE courses) they are required to contribute 45% of the total cost. For courses commenced after 31 December 1987, the contribution rate is 55%. However, the Principal Act does not express the liability in terms of a percentage of cost, but as a dollar amount. As a result, there is a need to increase the contribution amounts contained in the Principal Act as costs increase. This is done through a yearly amendment Bill, similar to this Bill. There are two types of courses for the purpose of the charge, the higher cost courses of medicine, veterinary science and dentistry, and other courses. The contribution for the former is higher than for the latter.

It was announced in the 1989- 90 Budget that the scheme would be replaced by a full fee paying program, with the students currently subject to the charge continuing under the overseas student charge scheme. As a result, the number of people covered by the scheme will continue to decline until those who are subject to the scheme complete their studies.

Main Provisions Clause 3, which will amend section 6 of the Principal Act, contains the new changes. For courses of medicine, veterinary science and dentistry (Class A courses) commenced before 1 January 1986, the cost will be $5 954 per annum. For other courses commenced before that date, the cost will be $5 161 per annum.

For courses commenced between 1 January 1986 and 31 December 1987, the cost for Class A courses will be $8 109 per annum and $7 269 per annum for other courses.

For courses commenced after 1 January 1988, the cost will be $9 732 per annum for Class A courses and $8 892 per annum for other courses and for enrolment as a non- degree higher education student. Costs for TAFE courses will be $719 per annum for courses commenced before 1 January 1987; $1 011 per annum for commencements between 1 January and 31 December 1987; and $1 236 per annum for commencements after that date.

A fee of $428 per annum will apply for secondary education courses commenced after 1 January 1991.

Bills Digest Service 12 October 1992 Parliamentary Research Service

This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the Bill.

Commonwealth of Australia 1992.

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Published by the Department of the Parliamentary Library, 1992.