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  1. 2005 Higher Education Reform Initiatives (HERI) HERI Presentation HERI Presentation Overview for UNSW Staff UNSW Student ServicesOctober 2004

  2. Introduction: Today’s Focus • Higher Education Reforms (HESA 2003) • HERI Project • Presentation on Key Provisions • Impacts for UNSW Students and Staff • Presenters – from UNSW Student Services • Robert Morrell • Dianne Charnley • Emily Middleton • Liza McAra • Richard Sanchez HERI Presentation HERI Presentation

  3. Higher Education Reforms • Derive from the Australian Government’s Our Universities: Backing Australia’s Future Project (2002-3) • New provisions and requirements legislated through Higher Education Support Act (2003) • Revised twice to date • Third revision will be re-presented in parliament when it resumes. • There has been a certain ‘volatility’ in the requirements, and their interpretation HERI Presentation HERI Presentation

  4. Key Features • Universities able to set Student Contribution Rates within Commonwealth defined limits • Unit of Study (course) Census Dates • Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN) • Student Learning Entitlement (SLE) • Higher Education Information Management System (HEIMS) • Commonwealth Assistance: Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) & Commonwealth Learning Scholarships (CLS) • Transitional Arrangements • Remission responsibilities revert to universities HERI Presentation HERI Presentation

  5. New Terminology • Commonwealth supported students and places • Commonwealth student contributions & Student Learning Entitlement (SLE) • Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) • Equivalent full-time student load (EFTSL) • Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) • Pre-2005 student, Post-2005 student • Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN) • Course of study [see Glossary in HERI Fact Sheet] HERI Presentation HERI Presentation

  6. UNSW’s Response • HERI Project created • Managed by UNSW Student Services • Steering Committee includes ITS, Institutional Analysis, Academic Board and Faculty representatives • Focus Areas include: DEST interfaces, myUNSW services, Student Financials, Admissions & Student Records, Scholarships & Equity HERI Presentation HERI Presentation

  7. UNSW’s Response • Changes to be implemented over 2 years • In 2004 (for 2005) – high priority compliance requirements, including student financials, CHESSN, SLE, HEIMS interface, Commonwealth Learning Scholarships, Work Experience in Industry, DEST reporting • In 2005 (for 2005/6) – DEST reporting, matters requiring policy review (e.g. student financial support, academic calendar) HERI Presentation HERI Presentation

  8. Policy Challenges and Opportunities • Census Dates and Calendars • Unit of Study (Course) level census date provisions expose several hundred courses taught outside ‘standard’ session periods • Minor adjustments for 2005 • Academic Calendar to be reviewed in 2005 for 2006 • Financial Support Programs • Council has approved student contribution rate increases from 2006 • In line with Commonwealth Learning Scholarship provisions, UNSW to look at increasing financial support programs HERI Presentation HERI Presentation

  9. Commonwealth Supported Places • A higher education place for which the Commonwealth makes a contribution towards the cost of the student's education • Students pay a student contribution amount(previously known as HECS charge), which varies depending on courses undertaken. • Commonwealth supported students fall into two categories: • Australian citizens and holders of a permanent humanitarian visa • Are eligible for Government loans - called HECS-HELP (formerly HECS). • May defer their payment. Repay when earning $36,184 p/a for 2005 • May pay upfront with a 20% discount • New Zealand citizens and holders of permanent non-humanitarian visa • Are ineligible for HELP loans • Only pay upfront • Students must also have sufficient Student Learning Entitlement (SLE) to be eligible for a Commonwealth supported place. HERI Presentation HERI Presentation

  10. Student Learning Entitlement (SLE) • Eligible students are entitled to 7 EFTSL (Equivalent Full-Time Student Load) • All Australian Citizens & NZ Citizens and holders of permanent visas are eligible. • The Commonwealth has defined Ordinary, Additional & Lifelong SLE. • All Commonwealth supported students begin with 7 SLE from 2005. HERI Presentation HERI Presentation

  11. Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN) • Unique national student identifier for those students receiving Commonwealth assistance (i.e. through a Commonwealth supported place, a HELP loan or Commonwealth Learning Scholarship). • Commencing and Continuing students require CHESSNs. • Linked to the student for the remainder of student’s academic life. • UNSW UG Commonwealth supported students – give informed consent to UAC to apply on their behalf. • UNSW UG Honours & PG Commonwealth supported students – give UNSW informed consent through myUNSW to apply on their behalf. • SLE and HELP balances are tracked through HEIMS using the CHESSN. HERI Presentation HERI Presentation

  12. Higher Education Information Management System (HEIMS) • Web based portal • Students • www.goingtouni.gov.au • Public portal – info about university offerings and student contribution costs. • Private portal – info about each student’s SLE, HELP balance & scholarships • Universities • Info about provider performance, payments & competitive funding initiatives. • Check student SLE & FEE-HELP (after informed consent) • DEST reporting interface HERI Presentation HERI Presentation

  13. Commonwealth Assistance: HELP & CLS • Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) replaces HECS & PELS • Commonwealth Learning Scholarships (CLS) HERI Presentation HERI Presentation

  14. Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) • Suite of loans funded by the Commonwealth Government for Australian citizens and holders of an Australian Permanent Resident (PR) humanitarian visa • HECS-HELP – Loans for eligible Commonwealth supported students to pay their student contributions (replaces HECS) • FEE-HELP – Loans for eligible fee-paying students to pay their tuition fees (replaces PELS) • OS-HELP – Loans to assist Commonwealth supported students to study overseas HERI Presentation HERI Presentation

  15. HECS-HELP • Enables students in a Commonwealth supported place to defer payment of their student contributions until they have completed their studies or when their income reaches $36,184/year for 2005 HERI Presentation HERI Presentation

  16. HECS-HELPNew Students in 2005 • New students in 2005 who are Australian citizens or holders of an Australian PR humanitarian visa will be eligible for HECS-HELP and will be entitled to a 20% discount if they choose to pay their student contribution amounts up-front. • New students in 2005 who are New Zealand citizens or holders of an Australian PR non-humanitarian visa can still apply for a Commonwealth supported place at UNSW, but they will not be eligible for HECS-HELP and must pay their student contribution amounts up-front (without a discount). HERI Presentation HERI Presentation

  17. HECS-HELP: Current Students • Current students, (i.e. those enrolled pre-2005) including New Zealand citizens and holders of an Australian PR non-humanitarian visa, can generally continue under present HECS arrangements until the end of 2008. • Current students will, however, be affected by amendments to the discount for up-front HECS payments and the bonus for voluntary repayments. Changes to the repayment thresholds from 2004-05 will also apply to everyone with a HECS debt. HERI Presentation HERI Presentation

  18. HECS-HELP vs HECS • HECS-HELP is different from HECS in the following ways: • Discount for up-front payments of student contributions will change from 25% to 20%; • Bonus for voluntary repayments will change from 15% to 10%; • Repayment thresholds will change. The minimum threshold will increase to $36,184 in 2005; and • NZ citizens and holders of Australian PR non-humanitarian visas will not be able to access HECS-HELP and therefore are unable to defer payment of their student contribution amount or receive discounts for up-front payment. HERI Presentation HERI Presentation

  19. FEE-HELP • Loan for eligible fee-paying students to pay their tuition fees • Maximum lifetime limit of $50,000 • For undergraduate & postgraduate programs • Undergraduate FEE-HELP loans subject to 20% loan fee • Local students in full-fee paying places who are Australian citizens or holders of an Australian PR humanitarian visa are eligible for FEE-HELP. • Local students who are New Zealand citizens or holders of an Australian PR non-humanitarian visa are not eligible for FEE-HELP. HERI Presentation HERI Presentation

  20. OS-HELP • Loan to assist eligible Commonwealth supported students who wish to study one or two study periods overseas. • Commonwealth supported students who are Australian citizens or holders of an Australian PR humanitarian visa are eligible for OS-HELP. • Up to $5,000 per study period • 20% loan fee applicable HERI Presentation HERI Presentation

  21. Commonwealth Learning Scholarships (CLS) • Introduced to assist students from low socio-economic backgrounds • For Australian citizens or holders of Australian PR humanitarian visas • Commonwealth Education Costs Scholarships (CECS) to assist with general education costs   • Commonwealth Accommodation Scholarships (CAS) to assist with accommodation costs. HERI Presentation HERI Presentation

  22. Transitional Arrangements Impacts for Continuing HECS and PELS Students HERI Presentation HERI Presentation

  23. Impacts for Current HECS Students • The term ‘HECS student’ ceases and is replaced by the term ‘Commonwealth Supported Student’ • HECS charges will now be known as Student Contributions • Students commence using their Student Learning Entitlement (SLE) • Commonwealth Supported students can receive assistance by: • deferring their student contributions to the ATO under the new loan scheme called HECS-HELP; or • pay upfront but now receive a 20% discount; or • if an Australian Permanent Resident who has met the residency requirements or is a NZ citizen, they pay their student contributions upfront with no discount. HERI Presentation HERI Presentation

  24. Impacts for Current HECS Students • Student Contribution levels will increase as in previous years by the indexed amount set by the government • Repayment of a current HECS debt and any future HECS-HELP debt to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will be combined and be subject to the new repayment thresholds • Students will receive a 10% discount for voluntary repayment to the ATO HERI Presentation HERI Presentation

  25. Pre-2005 Eligibility • In most cases a student with a HECS debt prior to 1/1/2005 and enrolled in a program of study either full time or part time, will be considered a pre-2005 student • Universities have been provided with guidelines for the determination of pre- and post-2005 students • Scenarios have been developed from these guidelines for reference by UNSW Student Services staff to help identify eligibility • Students should be referred to NewSouth Q for clarification of pre- and post-2005 eligibility HERI Presentation HERI Presentation

  26. Pre-2005 Eligibility • As part of the Transitional Arrangements for Pre-2005 HECS students, all continuing students must complete a Pre 2005 Commonwealth Assistance form (CAF) to be Commonwealth Supported in 2005 • All continuing Australian Permanent residents (AUSPR’s) who pay 100% upfront must now complete a CAF to be Commonwealth Supported • Continuing students will be required to complete forms as part of the myUNSW online enrolment process to ensure all forms are completed as required by legislation • Pre-2005 students do not need to re-supply their tax file number in order to defer their student contributions to the ATO • This is a change from previous advice – communicated to universities on 15 October 2004 HERI Presentation HERI Presentation

  27. Pre-2005 Eligibility • A student remains eligible under the Pre 2005 criteria and student contributions levels until the end of 2008, unless they: • discontinue their enrolment without formal leave of absence; or • complete their current program; or • complete another award at the same level as their current program; or • choose to study under the new student contribution scheme. HERI Presentation HERI Presentation

  28. Impacts on PELS Students • From 2005, the Postgraduate Education Loan Scheme (PELS) will be replaced by FEE-HELP • The major differences are: • Maximum lifetime loan limit of $50,000 • Students are subject to new repayment thresholds of a current PELS debt and combined FEE-HELP debt to the ATO • Voluntary repayments to the ATO will now receive a 10% discount HERI Presentation HERI Presentation

  29. Impacts on PELS Students • As part of the transitional arrangements all continuing students with a PELS debt must complete a FEE-HELP form to be eligible to continue to defer their tuition fee debt to the ATO • The FEE-HELP form will be available for completion electronically as part of their 2005 online enrolment • Pre-2005 students do not need to re-supply their tax file number in order to defer their tuition fees to the ATO • We are currently working on a plan to support distance and flexible delivery students to ensure they have the opportunity to complete a FEE-HELP form HERI Presentation HERI Presentation

  30. Changes to Permanent Resident Eligibility • Students with a HECS or PELS debt prior to 2005 will be eligible for HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP until the end of 2008, unless they: • Discontinue their enrolment without formal leave of absence; or • complete their current program; or • complete another award at the same level as their current program; or • They meet the residency requirements (the three year rule) and have not taken out Australian Citizenship. HERI Presentation HERI Presentation

  31. Changes to Permanent Resident Eligibility • A current Postgraduate student who is a Permanent Resident (PR) and does not have a PELS debt prior to 2005, will not be eligible for FEE-HELP unless they hold a Humanitarian Visa • As with PELS, New Zealand Citizens are not eligible for FEE-HELP • Commencing students with a PR status who have been granted a Commonwealth Supported place will only be eligible to defer or pay upfront with discount if they are a holder of a Humanitarian visa; or • If they do not meet that requirement they are still eligible for Commonwealth Assistance but must pay 100% upfront. HERI Presentation HERI Presentation

  32. Impacts on UGRD ADFA students • Most UGRD ADFA students are considered to be ‘Employer Funded’. • They will not consume SLE • They will not need a CHESSN • A small number of UGRD ADFA students currently occupy HECS places. They will be considered to be Commonwealth Supported in 2005. • They will consume SLE • They will need a CHESSN • Australian citizens or holders of an Australian PR humanitarian visa will be eligible for HECS-HELP • New Zealand citizens or holders or an Australian PR non-humanitarian visa will not be eligible for HECS-HELP and will pay 100% upfront • They need to fill out relevant forms for Commonwealth Support. HERI Presentation HERI Presentation

  33. Impacts on PGRD ADFA students • Some PGRD ADFA students are considered to be ‘Employer Funded’. • They will not consume SLE • They will not need a CHESSN • PGRD ADFA who are not considered to be ‘Employer Funded’. • They pay tuition fees set by the University • Australian Citizens or holders of Australian PR humanitarian visas may pay their fees upfront or obtain FEE-HELP. Those with FEE-HELP will need a CHESSN and need to fill out a FEE-HELP form. • New Zealand Citizens or holders of Australian PR non-humanitarian visas will not be eligible for FEE-HELP and must pay upfront. HERI Presentation HERI Presentation

  34. Commonwealth Assistance Notice • Students to date have been issued with a Notice of Liability for HECS and PELS after the census date. • At UNSW the Notice of Liability has been issued in the same format as the Fee statement and students have been able to view these on myUNSW. • This notice is now being replaced by the Commonwealth Assistance Notice (CAN) and is in a new format. The fee statement will remain the same. • The CAN will be issued on myUNSW within 28 days of the census date to students who receive Commonwealth assistance or have a FEE HELP or OS-HELP Debt. • Students will have access to view and print their CAN on myUNSW. HERI Presentation HERI Presentation

  35. Commonwealth Assistance Notice • One notice will be issued each semester and will include the following details for each career and program of study: • Courses • Study load • Student Learning Entitlement usage • Student Contribution Amount or Tuition Fee amount • Upfront payments • Loan fee amount (for UGRD FEE-HELP and OS-HELP) • HELP Debt (HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP or OS-HELP) • Students have 14 days from date of issue of the CAN on the web to advise the Student Financials office if there are any discrepancies. HERI Presentation HERI Presentation

  36. Commonwealth Assistance Notice • Students will be informed that they are required to access their CAN on the web as they do their fee statement. • Should a student have a problem accessing their CAN or fee statement, they should be referred to NewSouth Q for assistance. HERI Presentation HERI Presentation

  37. Transitional Arrangements • From the end of 2008 all students will be subject to the new arrangements, regardless of whether they have completed their program of study. HERI Presentation HERI Presentation

  38. Impacts for Staff • HERI’s key changes are around the study and financial commitments of students with the University • Greatest impacts for staff in central student services units • Staff who interact with students need to know basics and when to refer students to NewSouth Q • Faculty, program Office, School Office, Academic Advisors • Staff in other service units • Planned activities: training, further briefing sessions, myUNSW updates HERI Presentation HERI Presentation

  39. Further Information and Enquiries • Higher Education Reforms Initiatives at UNSW https://my.unsw.edu.au/student/HERI/Introduction.html • DEST Backing Australia’s Future http://www.backingaustraliasfuture.gov.au/ • DEST Student Gateway – Going to Uni http://www.goingtouni.gov.au/ • Fees and Student Contributions Di Charnley Head of Student Financials d.charnley@unsw.edu.au Ext. 53087 • HERI at UNSW Robert Morrell Assistant Registrar r.morrell@unsw.edu.au Ext. 51919 HERI Presentation HERI Presentation