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Higher Education and Research Reform Amendment Bill 2014

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2013-2014

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

Higher Education and Research Reform Amendment Bill 2014

 

 

( 1 )     Schedule  1 , Part  4 , page 53 (after line 12) , at the end of the Part, add:

204A  Chapter 9

Repeal the Chapter, substitute:

CHAPTER 9 CONDITIONS RELATING TO TUITION FEES FOR OVERSEAS AND OTHER NON-COMMONWEALTH SUPPORTED STUDENTS

 

9.1       PURPOSE

 

9.1.1       The purpose of this chapter is to prescribe requirements for subsection 36-55(1) of the Act (which sets a condition of grants under the Commonwealth Grant Scheme) relating to tuition fees charged for persons who are not Commonwealth supported students, so that fees for Commonwealth supported students and Commonwealth contribution amounts are not used by providers to subsidise such persons.

Note that t he Commonwealth contribution amounts under the Commonwealth Grant Scheme are intended as a benefit to students, primarily as a subsidy towards the costs of teaching and learning, enabling higher education providers to charge Commonwealth supported students a lower tuition fee.

 

9.5       REQUIREMENTS

 

9.5.1      The tuition fee for a person who is not a Commonwealth supported student for a unit of study must not, except in exceptional circumstances, be less than the sum of:

a)   the highest tuition fee that the provider would charge a Commonwealth supported student for the same or a comparable unit; and

b)   the Commonwealth contribution amount under section 33-10 of the Act for the same or a comparable unit.

 

9.5.5      However, the tuition fee for a person who is enrolled in an employer reserved place for the unit must not, except in exceptional circumstances, be less than the difference between:

a)   the sum described in subsection 9.5.1; and

b)   the employer contribution amount.

 

9.5.10    Some examples of exceptional circumstances for subsections 9.5.1 and 9.5.5 are if the person is an overseas student who:

a)   is undertaking study in Australia as part of a formal exchange programme; or

b)   is undertaking study in Australia towards a higher degree by research after being awarded a scholarship for that study on the basis of merit following a competitive application process.

Note that the Department will monitor the tuition fees charged for non-Commonwealth supported students on a risk managed basis, including investigation of complaints from students. If providers cannot demonstrate compliance with the requirements of this section and provide explanations for exceptional circumstances where the requirements do not apply, action may be taken under Part 2-5 of the Act to reduce a grant or require an amount of it to be repaid.

 

9.10       CATEGORIES OF NON-COMMONWEALTH SUPPORTED STUDENTS

 

9.10.1    This chapter applies to all students who are enrolled with a higher education provider but are not Commonwealth supported students, including but not limited to:

a)   overseas students; and

b)   postgraduate students in non-Commonwealth supported places; and

c)   students enrolled in employer reserved places; and

d)   students enrolled on a non-award basis; and

e)   students who choose not to be Commonwealth supported.

[tuition fees for non-Commonwealth supported students]