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Www.monash.edu.au Gerard Toohey Director, Student Administration Monash University VSU Roundtable discussion - Who's doing what with VSU? ATEM Victorian.

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Presentation on theme: "Www.monash.edu.au Gerard Toohey Director, Student Administration Monash University VSU Roundtable discussion - Who's doing what with VSU? ATEM Victorian."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gerard Toohey Director, Student Administration Monash University VSU Roundtable discussion - Who's doing what with VSU? ATEM Victorian Branch Conference, 5 May 2006

2 2 Overview Legislative requirements DEST interpretative advice for 2006 transition year DEST pool of funds for transition What are institutions doing in Semester 2 of 2006? What are institutions doing for 2007?

3 3 Higher Education Support Act Requiring membership of certain organisations or payment of certain amounts (1) A higher education provider must not: (a) require a person to be or to become a member of an organisation of students, or of students and other persons; or (b) require a person enrolled with, or seeking to enrol with, the provider to pay to the provider or any other entity an amount in respect of an organisation of students, or of students and other persons; unless the person has chosen to be or to become a member of the organisation.

4 4 Higher Education Support Act 2003 (2) A higher education provider must not require a person enrolled with, or seeking to enrol with, the provider to pay to the provider or any other entity an amount for the provision to students of an amenity, facility or service that is not of an academic nature, unless the person has chosen to use the amenity, facility or service.

5 5 Higher Education Support Act 2003 (3) Subsection (2) does not apply to an amount that the higher education provider requires the person to pay if the amount is for goods or services that: (a) are essential for the course of study in which the person is enrolled or seeking to enrol; and (b) the person has the choice of acquiring from, but does not acquire from, a supplier other than the higher education provider; and

6 6 Higher Education Support Act 2003 (c) either: (i) are goods that become the property of the person that are not intended to be consumed during the course of study; or (ii) consist of food, transport or accommodation associated with provision of field trips in connection with the course of study.

7 7 DEST – interpretative transition advice dentSupport/VoluntaryStudentUnionism.htm 2006 should be viewed as a transitional year for VSU. The Australian Government decided on this arrangement as a result of the late passage of the legislation and to give higher education providers time to implement VSU. From 2007, VSU will apply to all students studying with a higher education provider

8 8 DEST – interpretative transition advice Q: Can a student be required to become a member of a student union or to pay student union or amenities fees (compulsory fees) for studies undertaken in 2006 before 1 July? A: The Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA) does not require any student, including a student enrolled for a period of study before 1 July 2006, to become a member of a student union or to pay compulsory non-academic fees (‘compulsory fees’). Any decision to impose such a requirement is a decision of the higher education provider.

9 9 DEST – interpretative transition advice continued A student enrolled for the first half or the full year in 2006, may continue under pre-VSU arrangements for the full year and therefore be required by their higher education provider to become a member of a student union or be charged compulsory fees by their higher education provider. The higher education provider is responsible for a decision to impose any such requirement.

10 10 DEST – interpretative transition advice continued Amendments to the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act) last year make it clear that a higher education provider will not breach the VSU provisions of HESA if the tuition fee charged to an overseas student includes an amount that is used to fund the specific services required under the ESOS Act and its National Code. Overseas students are otherwise to be treated in the same way as domestic students under the VSU provisions. They cannot be required to pay a separate amenities fee or student union fee other than under the transitional arrangements.

11 11 DEST – interpretative transition advice Q: Can a student undertaking their first study period for 2006, starting on or after 1 July, be required to become a member of a student union or to pay compulsory fees? A: No. A higher education provider cannot require a student to become a member of a student union or to pay compulsory fees in these circumstances (other than those referred to above for overseas students). Any attempt to do so will be a breach of the VSU provisions.

12 12 DEST – interpretative transition advice Q: Can a higher education provider require a student who has studied in 2006 before 1 July to become a member of a student union or to pay compulsory fees for studies commencing on or after 1 July? A: Yes. However, in these circumstances, any requirement by a higher education provider for a student to become a member of a student union or to pay compulsory fees must be made before 1 July 2006 (eg, by issuing before 1 July 2006 an invoice requiring payment). Whether or not a higher education provider requires a student to become a member of a student union or to pay compulsory fees in this situation is a decision for that provider.

13 13 DEST – interpretative transition advice Q: Is a higher education provider permitted to enforce collection of compulsory fees on or after 1 July 2006 if the requirement to pay was made (eg, invoiced) prior to 1 July for a student that has studied in 2006 before 1 July? A: Yes, even if the student does not have to pay until after 1 July The act of requiring payment (eg, issuing the invoice) was undertaken by a higher education provider before 1 July 2006.

14 14 DEST – interpretative transition advice continued Under HESA, higher education providers may determine their own enrolment policies, provided they treat students fairly and take into account other requirements of HESA. It is open to providers to determine and enforce penalties for non-payment of compulsory fees, provided they comply with the VSU provisions and HESA. If a higher education provider does not act before 1 July 2006 to require payment in respect of an amount (whether the payment is to be made before, on or after 1 July), action taken by the provider on or after 1 July that does amount to requiring payment in respect of that amount would be in breach of the VSU provisions.

15 15 DEST – interpretative transition advice Q: Is a higher education provider permitted on or after 1 July 2006 to adjust (up or down) a compulsory fee assessment that was made and issued (eg, invoiced) prior to 1 July for a student who has studied in 2006 before 1 July? A: Yes, provided the notification (eg, invoice) is issued on the basis that there is an amount payable that may subsequently be adjusted taking into account the study load actually undertaken by a student. However, if the adjustment process involves a new requirement to pay (eg, issuing of a new or replacement invoice) on or after 1 July 2006, a higher education provider would be in breach of the VSU provisions.

16 16 DEST – interpretative transition advice Q: Is a higher education provider permitted on or after 1 July 2006 to continue to collect instalment payments on compulsory fees for a student who has studied in 2006 before 1 July? A: Yes, provided that the requirement to pay was made (eg, invoiced) before 1 July 2006 on the basis that there is an amount which must be paid and this amount can be paid by instalments.

17 17 DEST – interpretative transition advice Q: Can a higher education provider’s residential colleges and halls require the payment of compulsory student resident club fees as a condition of residing in the residential colleges or halls after 1 July 2006? A: Yes. Residential colleges or halls owned by religious or charitable bodies are not covered by the VSU provisions of HESA as the entity is not a higher education provider as defined under HESA.

18 18 DEST – interpretative transition advice continued In the case of residential colleges and halls that are owned or controlled by a higher education provider, the VSU provisions of HESA do not apply to charges in respect of a student’s choice to reside in a residential college or hall, including any compulsory student residence club fee. This is on the basis that a higher education provider is not requiring students enrolled with it to reside in its residential colleges or halls. Students are choosing to do so.

19 19 DEST – transition funding for Sporting and Recreational Facilities The transition fund will assist institutions listed in Table A of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 to adjust to the changed funding environment by facilitating a shift from reliance on compulsory fees for maintenance and construction of sporting and recreation infrastructure to other mechanisms, including: Partnerships with the community; Working with local businesses; Expansion of membership to include other student bodies (e.g. New Apprentices and Technical and Further Education students); and Fee for service arrangements.

20 20 DEST – transition funding for Sporting and Recreational Facilities continued Funding will be available for eligible universities over the period 2007 to The total funding available for the programme is $80 million over 3 years: $40 million in 2007; $30 million in 2008; and $10 million in 2009.

21 21 DEST – transition funding for Sporting and Recreational Facilities Call for submissions in response to discussion paper The VSU Transition Fund Discussion Paper seeks views from universities, relevant organisations within them and the communities within which they are located, on several aspects of the programme including eligibility criteria within the priorities outlined in the paper. The paper proposes that funding be allocated through a competitive selection round or rounds, with institutions submitting proposals which would address one or more of the funding priorities.

22 22 DEST – transition funding for Sporting and Recreational Facilities continued Universities that have previously relied primarily on compulsory student fees for constructing and maintaining sporting and recreational facilities will be a priority under the Fund but additional considerations, such as the needs of newer and regional universities where communities have limited access to alternative facilities, could also be taken into account. Responses to the discussion paper should be submitted to the Department of Education, Science and Training by the close of business, Monday 15 May Focus groups will be held with the universities, relevant organisations within them and the communities within which they are located during June 2006.

23 23 What are institutions doing in Semester 2 ? Invoicing, or not? Due date for payment? Adjustment up or down after 1 July?

24 24 What are institutions doing for 2007 ? Determination of services to be offered? How are those services provided and by whom?


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