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Australian Student Tuition Assurance Scheme (ASTAS)
ASTAS ensures that any Australian student displaced from a course, due to a member's inability to continue the course, is relocated efficiently and with minimal disruption to a comparable course with another member or approved provider.
The scheme provides members with a low-cost solution to fee protection legislation and is a significant marketing tool in attracting prospective students.
It satisfies the requirements of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 and has been approved by ASQA as an alternative fee protection measure under the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 (Standard 7.3 Relating to Schedule 6). Confirmation of ASQA's approval is available on their website.
ACPET's ASTAS is also approved by the Training Accreditation Council Western Australia (TAC). TAC approved the ACPET ASTAS as a learner fee protection measure under Schedule 6 - arrangement number 2 (All other RTOs) of the Standard for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015.
- must be a member of ACPET
- must deliver approved programs leading to an accredited award, and
- must not have been refused coverage, or had specific courses refused coverage, in the Scheme or a similar Scheme.
- citizen or permanent resident of Australia
- enrolled in approved programs leading to an accredited award
- tuition fees paid in advance for a period of ten weeks or more.
- a course not commencing on the agreed starting date
- a course ceasing to be provided after it has started
- the full course not being delivered because a sanction has been imposed on the provider.
Newly allocated providers:
- will charge no additional tuition fee for the portion of the previous course (for which full payment has been made) are entitled to charge their normal tuition fee for any portion of a course not previously paid for by the student to the original provider.
If no member offers a comparable course:
- ACPET will undertake the necessary financial and administrative arrangements to commission or obtain access to an appropriate course. Additional financial provisions will be required to enable ACPET to cover courses not offered by other providers.
- meeting any relocation expenses
- the purchase of any texts or materials required by the new provider.
ASTAS scheme fees are based on the annual gross turnover realised from tuition fees from Australian students in the last financial year.