Review of the VET Student Loans Eligible Course List and Loan Caps methodology

For: 

This page will be used to communicate information about the Government's Review of the VET Student Loans Eligible Course List and Loan Caps. The Government will review the methodology for determining both the eligible courses and loan caps. The review will invite submissions and conduct public consultations, and is expected to be completed within the third quarter of 2017 with a view to any changes being implemented from 1 January 2018.

Students can only access VET Student Loans for approved courses. The VET Student Loans (Courses and Loan Caps) Determination 2016 available at www.legislation.gov.au, sets out the approved courses and loan caps which apply to all approved providers

In February 2017, the Government began a comprehensive review of the methodology of the VET Student Loan courses list and loan caps.

The Department of Education and Training is currently undertaking public consultations with stakeholders on a discussion paper. Public submissions for the review closed on 30 May 2017. If you have any questions relating to the review please contact the department at VSLMethodology@education.gov.au

Frequently Asked Questions

VET Student Loans are income contingent loans provided by the Australian Government to students to support them undertake high quality training for skills that are aligned to workplace needs.

VET Student Loans are only available for approved courses. Courses are approved if they are current (in other words, not superseded), and on at least two state and territory subsidy lists, or are a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) course (as defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the Office of the Chief Scientist in recent publications) or tied to licensing requirements for a particular occupation.

Courses that are approved for loans, and the caps on the loan amounts that students can borrow per course, are set by the Government. This is in addition to the process to approve which Registered Training Organisations can deliver a VET Student Loan eligible course and limits apply to how many students replying on a loan can be enrolled in that course using a loan.

In setting limits on which courses students can pay for using VET Student Loans, and the amount students can borrow, the Government is seeking to ensure that students are not incurring an inflated level of debt for a course, and that loans are only being provided for courses that are closely aligned to the skills that employers need in their workplace, thereby enhancing the opportunities for graduates to work, and to repay the money lent to them by taxpayers.

The current methodology for approving courses looks at those which have a high national priority, meet industry needs, contribute to addressing skills shortages and align with strong employment outcomes.

Exemptions to this methodology are currently available for listed and not-for-profit providers who can provide evidence of good employment outcomes, employer support, and a track record of student progression and completion through a particular course.

There are 350 approved courses on the VET Student Loans (Courses and Loan Caps) Determination 2016 which all approved training providers can offer. An additional 34 courses are listed in Schedule 3 of the Determination, which can only be offered by the specified training providers.

Loan caps apply to all approved courses. There are three loan cap bands of $5000, $10,000 and $15,000, which apply irrespective of whether the course is being delivered face-to-face, online, or via mixed delivery modes. Exceptions to this methodology apply to courses in the aviation training package, which are allocated to a separate $75,000 band due their higher cost of delivery. In response to feedback that the $10,000 loan cap band originally assigned to nursing courses in the draft course list did not reflect the cost of delivering those courses, the Government increased the Diploma and Advanced Diploma of Nursing courses cap to the $15,000 band.

The Government will review the methodology for determining both the approved courses and loan caps. The review will examine, consult widely with stakeholders and consider:

  • methodologies for determining eligible courses
  • methodologies for determining loan caps
  • appropriate processes to update the eligible course list and loan caps.

In doing so, consideration will be given to ensuring the program is well placed to support the ongoing skills development needs of Australian workplaces. The review will also explore basing loan cap amounts on the efficient cost of delivering quality training.

The review will invite submissions and conduct public consultations, and is expected to be completed within the third quarter of 2017 with a view to any changes being implemented from 1 January 2018.

For any questions about the review process please email VSLmethodology@education.gov.au