Ever since the demise of the failed VET FEE-HELP scheme there have been concerns about how effective the replacement scheme VET Student Loans (VSL) has been. The Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) is looking at a possible redesign.
February 2022 saw the release of a consultation paper aimed at “making a series of improvements to streamline the VSL program and optimise the user experience.”
Consultations were “encouraged” until 11 March 2022. Nevertheless, what’s on the agenda and being proposed?
According to the paper, the aims of the redesign process are to:
- “improve the user experience, both for students and providers
- optimise program utilisation
- increase program performance by improving processes and removing inefficiencies and unnecessary complexity
- maintain program integrity and student protections and the effective management of risk
- support VSL reform and any future expansion.”
Some of the changes being considered include “streamlining provider approvals processes and establishing enhanced provider supports” as well as “simplifying data reporting arrangements.”
In addition, making structural program changes that promote a risk-based approach to program operation are suggested, along with looking at ways to enhance provider monitoring “to support more targeted program controls.” Costs of both applying for and offering VSL programs also seem to be being reviewed.
A staged approach to changing VSL is proposed, and maybe if you are involved in the VSL keeping abreast of the consultation process and its outcomes, will be a good idea. This can be done through the dedicated website for the redesign or by contacting the dedicated mailbox to make contributions and provide feedback: [email protected].
It appears consultations and engagement with key stakeholders will be ongoing throughout this year and into 2023.