Release type: Media Release


Successful tuition protection program to expand

  • The Tuition Protection Service (TPS) for international students will be expanded to protect VET Student Loans and non-university higher education (NUHEP) FEE-HELP students.
  • The new tuition assurance arrangements will begin on 1 January 2019.

  • Providers will pay levies to fund tuition assurance arrangements as required.

The Tuition Protection Service (TPS) will be expanded to protect VET Student Loans and
non-university higher education FEE-HELP students from the closure of training facilities.

Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Training, Karen Andrews, said the new tuition assurance arrangements would begin on 1 January 2019, and help build greater community confidence in the education sector.

“This is about protecting students no matter where they study,” Minister Andrews said.

“The new arrangements we’re looking to legislate will mean that if a study provider closes, the government will give students the support they need to continue their studies. That could be with another provider in a similar course, or, if a similar course isn’t available, students may receive a re-credit for units of study commenced but not completed.”

Consistent with the current TPS, the new arrangements will also see providers pay levies, which will be used to support students and providers.

Minister Andrews said the expanded TPS would also fund an incentive payment paid to VET Student Loans providers and NUHEPS who are enrolling students as a replacement provider.

“Where an institution closes we’ll offer incentives to other providers to take those students on,” Minister Andrews said.

“A skilled workforce is the cornerstone of Australia’s future economic growth, and the new levy system is simply insurance against failure and loss of reputation.

“The Liberal National Government has been working closely with the higher education and training sector to ensure we have a system that can take us into the future with confidence.”

The new arrangements will be managed by a statutory appointed Director, who will be supported by an independent Advisory Board. The Australian Government Actuary will provide expert advice on the levies, which will be based on a provider’s data from the previous years’ and reviewed annually.

Under the expanded TPS, TAFEs will pay an administrative levy, while private providers will pay the administrative levy, and a risk levy and surcharge.  

The current international TPS arrangements will continue as a dedicated service for international students, with its own quarantined account and the same protections and support through refunds and placements.


  • VET Student Loans has been in operation since January 2017.

  • At the end of 2017, around 144 providers operated as approved course providers under the VET Student Loans program, including 23 TAFEs and 109 private providers.

  • There are around four million students enrolled in VET studies around Australia.

  • FEE-HELP has been available to Higher Education Providers since 2005.

  • At the end of 2017 over 65,000 students at NUHEPs accessed FEE-HELP via
    81 providers.