Wednesday, 26 August 2020
Higher Education (Up-front Payments Tuition Protection Levy) Bill 2020; Second Reading
That this bill be now read a second time.
I'm also introducing the Higher Education (Up-front Payments Tuition Protection Levy) Bill 2020 that gives effect to the upfront payments tuition protection levy. This levy is part of the new tuition protection arrangements to protect domestic higher education students who pay for their study costs upfront in the event of a provider ceasing to deliver a course or closing.
The levy framework reflected in the bill has been developed by the Australian Government Actuary and is broadly consistent with the levy structure used by the successful Tuition Protection Service for international students, and students accessing HELP and VET student loans.
The bill imposes a levy on private higher education providers that have domestic students who pay for their higher education study costs upfront. The levy has three components—an administrative component, determined by an annual legislative instrument made by the minister, a risk rated premium component, and a special tuition protection component, which the higher education tuition protection director sets annually by legislative instrument. The Treasurer is required to approve the legislative instrument made by the higher education tuition protection director.
The strong governance arrangements of the TPS, including an advisory board, and flexibility in the levy framework, will ensure the levy settings can respond to emerging trends in the higher education sector, and reward low-risk providers through imposing lower levies. This is essential as it ensures sustainability of the government's tuition protection model, rewards providers when the sector is stable, and encourages providers to do the right thing by their students.
I commend the bill.