The government has cut more than 450 vocational courses from the student loan program to combat rorting.
IF YOU want to study how to be a butler, acupuncture for pets, energy healing, pilates, or how to be a religious minister, don’t expect to get a student loan from the government.
The Turnbull Government is cracking down on the vocational sector, releasing a list of 478 VET courses that will no longer be eligible for its new student loans program.
Students studying at TAFE or other vocational institutions including private colleges can currently apply for a VET FEE-HELP student loan similar to the HELP (also known as HECS) system for university students. The loan is only paid back once the student gets a job and starts earning a certain amount of money.
But rorting of this system has led the government to analyse the more than 800 courses being offered in the vocational education sector and identify the ones they think taxpayers shouldn’t be helping students to do.
Education and Training Minister Simon Birmingham today released a list of 478 courses that the government’s student loan program will no longer cover.
“We want to ensure that the courses that Australian taxpayers are subsidising and that we are encouraging students to study, will optimise employment outcomes,” he said.
“Currently there are far too many courses that are being subsidised that are used simply to boost enrolments, or provide ‘lifestyle’ choices, but don’t lead to work.”
Mr Birmingham said there were others on the list you’d expect employers to pay for.
At the moment students can undertake two-year diplomas for courses like veterinary acupuncture, energy healing, butler service management, ayurveda, how to care for horse hoofs, golf management and religious counselling.
Students will still be able to do these courses if institutions offer them, but they’ll no longer be able to get student loans for them.
Along those to be excluded are a number of police-related courses including undercover operations, forensic investigation, police witness protection and police negotiation.
Alternative therapies also took a hit including courses on reflexology, mind body medicine, kinesiology, clinical hypnotherapy, shiatsu and oriental therapies, traditional Chinese medicine remedial massage, clinical aromatherapy, audiometry, as well as holistic counselling and flower essence therapy.
Our four-legged friends were also left out in the cold, with veterinary acupuncture, veterinary Chinese herbal medicine and veterinary western herbal medicine expected to be cut.
But no courses in the areas of engineering, information technology, natural and physical sciences, agriculture or environment will be impacted.
The government’s trimmed-down list of 347 courses it continues to support was released today.
Mr Birmingham said courses were assessed based on whether the skills were in demand.
“The Turnbull Government has run a test over all of the different diploma-level and above qualifications that are out there to ensure they are on at least two state and territory skills needs list,” Mr Birmingham said.
“And we’ve looked at other areas of high economic need, such as STEM skills or agricultural skills, to make sure the list represents our national economic priorities.”
Most of the courses being excluded from student loans fell under health, society and culture, or management and commerce subjects.
New loans to these courses will be closed off at the end of 2016.
The government also announced last week that it would cap the amount it would allow students to borrow for different courses.
Institutions will be able to charge more but students will only be able to get a loan for either $5000, $10,000 or $15,000 depending on the subject.
“We want to make sure that as much as possible we’re driving prices down in a sector that has seen incredible inflation of prices in recent years,” Mr Birmingham said.
The government will also introduce tougher barriers to entry for providers, mandatory student engagement measures, a prohibition on the use of brokers to recruit students and a stronger focus on students successfully completing courses.
Course restrictions for providers and loan caps will begin from January 2017.
Australians will have two weeks to give their feedback on the list and the government will also consult with stakeholders to finalise the list. Here is an overview of the changes:
SOCIETY AND CULTURE
149 courses excluded, 23 included
Out: Courses include diploma in justice, ministry (Christian studies, youth work, pastoral care, pastoral counselling), dance movement therapy, explosive ordnance manufacture, practical Rabbinics, advanced Jewish studies and education for women, multicultural ministry, academic and corporate English, chaplaincy, sport coaching, defence paralegal services, recreational vehicles, court operations, government investigations, youth ministry, fraud control, humanitarian services (communicable diseases, nutrition, relief operations, water sanitation, reproductive health and HIV/AIDS), racing services (racing administration) and Talmudic studies.
Advanced diplomas in counselling and family therapy, transpersonal counselling, policing, defence public affairs, undercover operations, forensic investigation, police witness protection, police negotiation,
Graduate diplomas in relationship counselling, family dispute resolution, arts psychotherapy, positive behaviour support and ontological coaching.
Graduate certificates in community advocacy, family violence work, coding Aboriginal languages for indigenous literacy, radiation security, statutory child protection, Grof depth psychotherapy, bereavement counselling and intervention and crime scene investigation.
In: Courses in counselling, youth work, sport development, library and information services, child, youth and family intervention, legal services, sport and recreation management, youth justice, community services, government, outdoor recreation, community development, leisure and health, mental health, translating, fitness, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island legal advocacy, financial counselling, correctional administration, alcohol and other drugs, racing services (steward).
MANAGEMENT AND COMMERCE
119 excluded, 38 courses included
Out: Courses include diploma in leadership, visual merchandising, share trading and investment, business (public relations), conveyancing, leadership coaching and mentoring, property services (asset and facility management), golf management, payroll management, positive psychology and wellbeing, customer engagement, customs broking, purchasing, general insurance, credit management, carbon management, superannuation, insurance broking, matériel logistics, securitisation, public safety (human source management), personal care development and promotion, executive coaching for personal development, La Moda marketing and visual communications, financial markets, loss adjusting, contract management, personal trusts, venue management, hyperbaric operations, pulp and paper process management, public safety (search and rescue coordination or police dog handling), retail leadership, workplace inspection (mining, explosives, petroleum and gas), applied gemology (valuation), maintenance management, life insurance, document control, butler service management, local government (elected member), blood services (inventory and distribution of blood and blood components), unionism and industrial relations, recordkeeping, consultancy, international freight forwarding, bus and coach operations, franchising,
In: Courses in business, business administration, leadership and management, project management, logistics, accounting, property services (agency management) human resources management, salon management, security and risk management, financial planning, finance and mortgage broking, international business, bankings services management, community sector management, quality auditing, automotive management, event management, local government (operational works), holiday park and resort management, hospitality management, procurement and contracting, marketing and communication.
89 courses excluded, 14 included
Out: Courses include diploma in fitness coaching, reflexology, mind body medicine, kinesiology, nutrition and dietetics for personal trainers, clinical hypnotherapy, shiatsu and oriental therapies, leadership in expressive arts and group work, community health, sound and vibration therapy, integrated somatic psychotherapy, oncology massage therapy, energy healing (stream), breastfeeding management, modern psychology, food coaching, contemporary pilates and teaching, veterinary nursing (dental), health coaching, dementia care leadership, life coaching, equine podiotherapy, Polestar pilates studio and rehabilitation method, indigenous lifestyle health promotion, specialised Bowen therapy, public safety (biosecurity response management), nutrition (non-clinical adviser), traditional Chinese medicine remedial massage, clinical aromatherapy, yoga teaching, clinical hypnotherapy, audiometry and applied health (rebirthing/breathwork therapy).
Advanced Diploma of myotherapy, ayurveda, therapeutic arts in counselling, health science (soft tissue therapy), holistic counselling and flower essence therapy, holistic classical yoga practices, Aboriginal specialist trauma counselling and medical ultrasonography.
Graduate Certificate in applied pharmacy practice, consumer and community engagement, kinesiology for language, literacy and numeracy, medical and forensic management of adult sexual assault, radiation safety, continence promotion and management, wound management, advising on chronic disease self management and asthma management.
Graduate Diploma of cosmetic nursing, dermal therapies, animal biomechanical medicine, veterinary acupuncture, oral medicine, veterinary Chinese herbal medicine, essential surgical skills, veterinary western herbal medicine, diagnostic medical ultrasound (general discipline), fixed orthodontics and aesthetic orthodontics (sequential aligner therapy).
In: Courses in nursing, remedial massage, work health and safety, dental technology, animal technology, dental prosthetics, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander primary health care, veterinary nursing and paramedical science.
57 courses excluded, 13 included.
Out: Courses include diploma in musical theatre, professional writing and editing, jewellery and object design, ceramics, dance (elite performance), styling (fashion, image and media), journalism, broadcast technology, screen acting, cinemagraphic makeup, circus arts, social media marketing, floristry design, creative arts in Christian ministry and fashion styling. Also qualifications in classical ballet and professional screenwriting.
In: Courses in graphic design, screen and media, visual arts, live production and technical services, furniture design and technology, photography and photo imaging, music industry, live production and management services, creative product development.
26 courses excluded, 5 included
Out: Courses include diploma of education, TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), education (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander), dance teaching and management, yoga teaching and facilitation. Other qualifications include those in Rudolf Steiner Education, Alexander Technique Teaching, home economics education, teaching students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), digital education and healthcare simulation.
In: Courses in early childhood education and care, school age education and care, vocational education and training, adult language, literacy and numeracy practice, training design and development.
ARCHITECTURE AND BUILDING
15 excluded, 8 included.
Out: Courses include those in fire systems design, stained glass and leadlighting, building design (architectural) and building and construction (management).
In: Courses in building and construction, interior design and decoration, building design, local government (planning), building surveying.
FOOD, HOSPITALITY AND PERSONAL SERVICES
15 excluded, 2 included
Out: Courses in intense pulsed light and laser hair reduction, hairdressing creative
leadership, agribusiness, cosmetic laser and light therapies, cosmetic dermal science, spa (management), dermal sciences and therapies, meat processing (meat retailing), funeral services management, personal concierge services, entrepreneurship for food and wine.
In: Diploma of beauty therapy and diploma of meat processing
8 excluded, 1 included
Out: Courses in liberal arts, tertiary preparation, Christian leadership coaching, life coaching, workplace and business coaching, English proficiency, tertiary transition and works skills for career advancement and management.
In: Diploma of Auslan