Explanatory Memorandum(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Education, Science and Training, the Honourable Julie Bishop MP)
Schedule 3 - Corrections to information affecting entitlements
Item 1 inserts proposed new subsection 110B which provides that despite any other provision of the Higher Education Funding Act 1988 , the Commonwealth is not, and is taken never to have been, liable to:
- lend an amount to a person under the Higher Education Funding Act 1988 ; or
- apply any amount in making a payment to an institution under the Higher Education Funding Act 1988 in discharge of a liability of the person;
because of information given to an institution by the person after the commencement of section 1 to the Higher Education Legislation Amendment (2007 Measures No. 1) Act 2007 .
The intention of this amendment is to clarify that students can no longer establish entitlement to assistance provided under the Higher Education Funding Act 1988 .
Division 169 sets out the administrative requirements on higher education providers.
Item 2 inserts proposed new section 169-35 which deals with the 6 week cut off for corrections affecting entitlement to Commonwealth assistance.
Proposed section 169-35 provides that if:
- more than 6 weeks after the census date for a unit of study undertaken with a higher education provider, a person gives the provider information in writing (the correct information ) that establishes that information contained in or accompanying the person's request for Commonwealth assistance was incorrect; and
- the correct information establishes that the person was entitled to a particular kind of Commonwealth assistance;
this Act applies as if the person had never been entitled to that particular Commonwealth assistance.
The purpose of this amendment is to allow a person to be eligible for assistance that was not available on the basis of the original request for Commonwealth assistance only if the corrected information is provided, in writing to their provider, within 6 weeks after the census date for a unit of study.
The Act previously assumed that if further information establishes that a person is entitled to a particular form of assistance (when previously the person was not entitled to any assistance), or a different form of assistance (when previously the person was entitled to another form of assistance), then that is the assistance the person is entitled to. Proposed new section 169-35 modifies this assumption so that a person cannot establish an entitlement to Commonwealth assistance on the basis of information provided more than 6 weeks after the census date.
The other assumption underlying this amendment is that if further information establishes that the person is not entitled to assistance, then the person is not entitled to any assistance at all.
The reason for the delayed commencement of this item is to allow the Department of Education, Science and Training sufficient time to advise the higher education sector and other relevant bodies of the changes and to allow sufficient time to update the respective administrative requirements.
Item 3 inserts subitem 1(2A) which provides that a person cannot establish for the purposes of subitem 1(1) that he or she is a contributing student within the meaning of Chapter 4 of the Higher Education Funding Act 1988 , or not an excepted student, more than 6 weeks after the census date for the unit.
Item 4 is a technical amendment to reflect the insertion of subitem 6(2) by item 5.
Adds a new subitem 6(2) which provides that a person cannot establish for the purposes of subitem 6(1) that he or she is an eligible student, within the meaning of section 98B of the Higher Education Funding Act 1988 , more than 6 weeks after the census date for the unit.
The purpose of items 3 and 5 is to allow students six weeks from the census date to correct information so as to establish an entitlement to Commonwealth assistance.
Item 6 is an application provision which provides that the amendments made by items 2 to 5 apply in relation to a census date that occurs on or after the commencement of this item.