Government help for Australian students discriminates against those studying with a private provider, the country’s private college peak body has said.
In its pre-budget submission to Treasurer Wayne Swan, the Australian Council for Private Education and Training argued that OS-HELP, a loan scheme designed to help students complete part of their courses abroad, should be extended to those in private higher education.
“[When] students choose to study with a private provider, they get access to a government-backed loan but they pay higher administration costs and fees. They don’t have any government subsidy for their study in Australia. And they have no government support to do a portion of their degree offshore,” said ACPET chief executive Claire Field.
Three days later, on 14 February, the government introduced legislation that would see loans for students undertaking study in Asia—but not those from private providers—increased to AU$7,500 in 2014, AU$1,250 more than for other destinations.
“The Government is committed to supporting Australian students to gain the Asian literacy skills they, and Australian businesses, will need to take full advantage of the opportunities presented by the Asian Century,” science minister Chris Bowen said in a statement.