Subsidies stand for TasTAFE students

 TasTAFE chief executive Stephen Conway
TasTAFE chief executive Stephen Conway

TASTAFE students that look to take advantage of the federal government's plan to defer course costs will still be eligible for subsidies.

The vocational education and training Fee-HELP scheme, which is the same as that already offered at some training providers interstate and all universities, will be offered to TasTAFE students for the first time under the National Partnership Agreement on Skills Reform announced in the federal budget.

Students undertaking diploma and advanced diploma qualifications will be eligible for the scheme.

According to TasTAFE chief executive Stephen Conway, Tasmania is one of the few states in the country where subsidies will remain in place.

He said the full cost of a course was still heavily subsidised by the federal government and equates to just $1.98 per hour the student has to pay.

Mr Conway said he expected to see a large take-up of VET Fee-HELP in 2015 but prospective students were already asking for the forms and the institution was expecting a small uptake with mid-year enrolments this year.

"The experience on the mainland is that even those students who are able to access a concession rate, they prefer to not pay anything at all, they want to hold onto their cash and defer fees to VET Fee-HELP," he said.

"Experience on the mainland has also shown that VET Fee- HELP increases uptake of higher level qualifications."

Students will have to begin paying back their loan once they earn an income just over $53,000.


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