Explanatory MemorandumCirculated By Authority of the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, the Senator the Honourable Chris Evans MP)
This Bill will amend the Higher Education Support Act 2003 to allow higher education providers to charge a compulsory student services and amenities fee. The fee will be capped at $250 per student per annum (indexed to $254 in 2011, and thereafter indexed annually). The Bill provides for the establishment of a new component of the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP): Services and Amenities-HELP (SA-HELP), which will provide eligible students with an option to access a loan for the fee through SA-HELP if they wish. In addition, the Bill will require higher education providers that receive funding for student places under the Commonwealth Grant Scheme, to comply with new benchmarks from 2011 onwards, for the provision of information on and access to basic student support services of a non-academic nature; and requirements to ensure the provision of student representation and advocacy.