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House of Representatives

Higher Education Support Amendment (2009 Budget Measures) Bill 2009

Explanatory Memorandum

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Education the Honourable Julia Gillard MP)

OUTLINE

Schedule 1 of the Bill will amend the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA) to revise the maximum funding amounts in:

·
section 30-5 for the Commonwealth Grant Scheme;
·
section 41-45 for Other Grants; and
·
section 46-40 for Commonwealth Scholarships

to reflect supplementation for indexation increases and Budget decisions.

Schedule 1 of the Bill will amend section 30-5 of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA) to provide for changes to the maximum grant amounts under the Commonwealth Grant Scheme (CGS) for 2010 and 2011 to take account of indexation and measures in the 2009 Budget. These measures include new grants for performance funding in 2011 onwards, increases to the CGS funding clusters to replace amounts currently provided as grants through Other Grants under Part 2-3 for the purpose of assisting with the cost of providing the practicum component of teacher education and the workplace reform program. The Schedule deletes paragraph 30-5(h) of HESA to remove the maximum amount for 2012 to take account of the 2009 Budget measure to introduce a demand driven system of Commonwealth supported places in 2012 with no overall limit on the number of student places that may be funded under the CGS.

Schedule 1 of the Bill will amend section 41-45 of HESA to vary the maximum payments for grants under Part 2-3 of HESA to take account of indexation and 2009 Budget measures. The maximum amounts under Part 2-3 will be adjusted to reflect cessation of the Learning and Teaching Performance Fund and Workplace Productivity Program, new arrangements for quality and standards, the transfer of funding for the previous Improving the Practical Component of Teacher Education and Workplace Reform programs to the CGS, funding for new programs to support equality of opportunity and structural adjustment, increased funding for continuing research programs and the introduction of two new programs, Sustainable Research Excellence in Universities and Joint Research Engagement.

Schedule 1 of the Bill will amend section 46- 40 of HESA to decrease the maximum grants payable under this part to take account of 2009 Budget measures to replace certain Commonwealth Scholarships with revised student income support arrangements and increase Australian Postgraduate Awards.

Schedule 2 of the Bill will amend section 30-15 and section 33-10 of HESA to include a new funding cluster for 'education'. The amount for the new education cluster will be increased to reflect the transfer of funds from the Improving the Practical Component of Teacher Education Program. The amounts for all funding clusters will be increased to reflect the transfer of funding from the Workplace Reform Program and to reflect indexation.

Schedule 3 of the Bill will amend section 33-25 of HESA to increase from 5 per cent to 10 per cent the maximum additional funding an eligible higher education provider can receive for over enrolment when calculating the adjustment to its basic grant amount. This gives effect to a 2009 Budget measure.

Schedule 4 of the Bill will amend section 41-10 of HESA to vary the purposes for which Other Grants may be made and the eligibility for those grants to reflect 2009 Budget decisions. The Table in section 41-10 will be amended to remove grants for the purposes of enhancing learning and teaching in higher education to reflect cessation of the Learning and Teaching Performance Fund and to assist with the cost of providing the practicum component of teacher education, funding for which is being transferred to the CGS, and to include grants for the purpose of supporting structural adjustment.

Schedule 5 of the Bill will change the maximum student contribution amounts for 2010 to reflect indexation and the 2009 Budget measure to increase the maximum amount for commencing students undertaking education and nursing from the 'national priority' to the 'band 1' amount.

Schedule 6 of the Bill will amend section 137-15 to give effect to a 2009 Budget measure to remove the OS-HELP loan fee from 2010.

Schedule 7 of the Bill will amend section 198-20 to give effect to a 2009 Budget measure to apply new indexation arrangements to maximum student contribution amounts in 2011, in advance of applying those arrangements more generally in 2012 onwards.


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