Recently, the Australian Government announced a regulatory fee relief package of $27.8 million to support the education sector, including an extension of fee relief for vocational education and training (VET) providers until 1 July 2022, with further extensions until the end of 2022 for ELICOS only providers.
The Minister for Education and Youth, the Hon Alan Tudge MP, and the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, the Hon Alex Hawke MP, announced the regulatory fee relief package for VET providers and accredited course owners until 1 July 2022. Additional grants are included in the funding, with ELICOS-only providers to be given additional support with fee relief for the duration of 2022.
The additional fee relief provides incentives for institutions and students and ensures international students are not disadvantaged from or prevented from returning to study in Australia.
The announcement means some fees and charges will be waived for:
- VET providers and accredited course owners until 1 July 2022
- ELICOS providers until 31 December 2022.
Fee relief was first introduced in April 2020 as part of a package of measures to support the sector. The introduction of ASQA’s full cost recovery will also be delayed a further 6 months to 1 July 2022.
Australian Government data (as at August 2021) shows international student enrolments are down 17 per cent overall compared to August 2019, the ELICOS sector has experienced the greatest decline in enrolments at 71 per cent for that same period.
The changes are targeted to not only support international students but are also a crucial component of supporting the VET sector in our economic recovery, to help us retain and attract skilled workers.