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Job-ready Graduates Package

The Australian Government introduced the Job-ready Graduates Package, changing funding arrangements and student protections in higher education. If you're undertaking a Commonwealth supported place or using HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP, these changes impact you.

We're here to help

The Job-ready Graduates Package – higher education reforms changes funding arrangements and student protections. The package delivers university funding arrangements, with a better integrated system, improved transparency, as well as more opportunities for regional, remote and Indigenous students.

We've compiled some of the most popular questions regarding the new reforms to help you better understand how the changes may impact you.

Visit the Department of Education Frequently Asked Questions

How do these changes impact students who access Commonwealth assistance (eg. have a Commonwealth supported place or use HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP)?

There are new student protections in higher education designed to prevent students incurring debt for a course that they are not well suited to. When you accept a CSP or use Commonwealth assistance through HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP, there are new requirements you need to be aware of. Not meeting these throughout your study will impact your eligibility for Commonwealth assistance.

  • You must be assessed as being academically suited to your course, be a genuine student and actively engaging in your course.
  • You must maintain a satisfactory completion rate in your units. You’ll be considered to have a low completion rate if you have a fail rate of more than 50 per cent of the units of study you have attempted. This is calculated after you have attempted eight or more units of study in a bachelor level or higher course (or four or more units in a higher education course lower than a bachelor course). Please note that recognition of prior learning and withdrawn late and withdrawn fails are included.
  • You have a limit of seven years to study in a Commonwealth supported place (or part-time equivalent), this is referred to as your Student Learning Entitlement (SLE).
  • You must provide us with your Unique Student Identifier (USI), which is your Government education number for life.

What is a Commonwealth supported place?

A Commonwealth supported place (CSP) is a university place for which the Government pays a proportion of your tuition fees. Students enrolled in these places contribute to part of the cost of their course. This is referred to as a 'student contribution'. Sometimes you may hear it referred to as HECS or CSP. CSP students may also be eligible for HECS-HELP to help pay for their studies.

What is HECS-HELP?

HECS-HELP is an Australian Government loan program that helps eligible Commonwealth supported place (CSP) students pay their tuition fees. If you're eligible for a HECS-HELP loan, the Government will pay your tuition fees on your behalf until you're able to repay your loan from your employment income.

What is FEE-HELP?

FEE-HELP is an Australian Government loan program that helps eligible students enrolled in full fee paying places, pay their tuition fees. If you're eligible for a FEE-HELP loan, the Government will pay your tuition fees via a loan, which you'll repay when your taxable income reaches the applicable thresholds.

What is a low completion rate?

A 'low completion rate' is when you have a fail rate of more than 50 per cent of the units of study you have attempted, after you have attempted eight or more units of study in a bachelor level or higher course (or four or more units in a higher education course lower than a bachelor course).

Find out more about the low completion rate conditions

What happens if I have a low completion rate?

If you have a low completion rate in 2022 or thereafter, you will not be eligible for Commonwealth assistance (studying in a CSP or using a HELP loan for your tuition fees).

If you have a low completion rate:

  • Enrolled in a CSP, you will lose your CSP, but you can continue your course by paying the full fee paying rate upfront. If you choose to pay upfront and increase your completion rate to 50 per cent or higher, you will be eligible to return to a CSP and access HECS-HELP (if eligible), for your remaining studies in your course, subject to the satisfactory completion rate.
  • You can apply to transfer to a new course. If you change to a new course, your previous completion rate will not carry over and you'll be able to access Commonwealth assistance for your new course. The University will need to determine if you are academically suited to your new degree prior to any transfer.
  • You can apply for one or more of the units that you did not complete to not be counted towards this completion rate. You'll need to prove 'special circumstances' impacted your ability to complete the units, other conditions such as when the circumstance occurred and the extent to which the circumstance made it impracticable for you to complete the unit applies.

What is the Unique Student Identifier?

The Unique Student Identifier (USI) is a number you obtain from the Government that becomes your individual education number for life. When you enrol in any university, TAFE or other nationally recognised training organisation, you’ll need to provide your USI.

Find out more about getting your USI

What is the Student Learning Entitlement for Commonwealth supported places?

The Student Learning Entitlement (SLE) is a limit on the length of time you can be enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place (CSP). The limit is seven years of full-time study or part-time equivalent.

Find out more about the Student Learning Entitlement

How much does a course cost?

Our fees estimator can give you an indication of what your course fees could be, letting you make an informed decision about investing in your future.

Find out more about our Fee estimator

Get in touch

Want to know more about how these reforms will impact a particular course or want help applying for that course? Speak to our friendly advisers one-on-one.

Domestic students
1800 693 888
myfuture@deakin.edu.au
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