The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard has announced the introduction of  a HECS style fee support system for the VET sector.


Under the new system, VET diploma students will face no upfront fees for, and will have access to interest-free loans to be paid back once their income reaches a certain level (currently $47,196 per year).


If all states and territories agree to the offer of expanded access to VET FEE-HELP, and the maximum take-up is achieved, up to $155 million could be loaned each year to subsidised higher level VET students. This could support as many as 60,000 higher level VET students with student loans each year.


Under the Government’s offer to the states and territories, interest-free, deferred loans will be available to all students studying publicly subsided diplomas and advanced diplomas. Students seeking to undertake higher level VET qualifications will have the choice of an income contingent loan to pay those fees if they are unable or don't want to pay for tuition fees upfront.