16. Employer reserved places

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16.1 - What is an employer reserved place?

An ‘employer reserved place’ is a place, in a course of study, made available under a restricted access arrangement. A ‘restricted access arrangement’, for a course of study, means an arrangement that:

  • is entered into between the provider and an employer or industry body; and
  • limits or restricts enrolments in some or all of the places in the course [HESA Schedule 1]

If requested by the department, a provider must be able to produce evidence of the arrangement and details about the limitation or restriction on enrolment.

Example of a program utilising employer reserved places

The Women in STEM Cadetships and Advanced Apprenticeships Program promotes equality of opportunity in higher education by providing grants to higher education providers and their participating partner employers, to improve the participation of women in STEM Fields of Education.The program has the potential to support nearly 600 women working in paid employment to undertake higher education study in a STEM field at either the Diploma, Associate Degree or Advanced Diploma qualification level.

Established under the Other Grants Guidelines (Education) 2012, the program allocates employer reserved places to approved providers to deliver approved courses over the 2021 to 2024 calendar years, working in collaboration with industry partners.

16.2 - Can a student be Commonwealth supported?

Students in an employer-reserved place for a unit of study cannot be Commonwealth supported for that unit [HESA paragraph 36-15(1)(a)].

16.3 - Funding and tuition fee arrangements

A provider must determine the tuition fee for students undertaking units of study in employer reserved places. The tuition fee must be such that the sum of the tuition fee and any employer contribution towards the unit is greater than, or equal to, the highest student contribution being charged by the provider for that unit [HESA subsection 36-55(2)].

Eligible students in an employer reserved place may request FEE‑HELP to meet the cost of all or part of their tuition fees [part 31.4].