The federal government will secure university funding for domestic education and introduce discounted online courses as part of an aid package designed to support the university sector in coping with the COVID-19 crisis.
Universities and other colleges have been asking for assistance since the pandemic began, warning that their viability is threatened by billions in lost revenue. The disruption has also forced providers to fund a quick move to online delivery and assist international students in financial difficulties.
The newly announced aid package will guarantee funding to universities this year based on the expected level of Commonwealth-supported domestic enrollment before the crisis in student numbers declines. Normally, the amount of funding allocated would be adjusted during the year based on changes in enrollments.
The government will seek to increase revenue for universities and private colleges by creating new certificates for six-month, discounted online courses. The courses are geared towards national focus areas and are designed to teach people new skills during the recession and period of social distancing.
“This provides ballast to the university sector to support and support it through the coronavirus pandemic,” said Education Minister Dan Tehan.
“For those who have lost their job or would like to use this time for a transition or retraining in the workforce, we have created a diploma certificate for the first time and are expanding the diploma certificates.”
Courses begin in May and focus on areas of focus such as nursing, teaching, counseling, math, English, languages, agriculture, allied health, IT, engineering, environmental studies, and science. Students can get HELP loans for the courses, which cost either $ 1,250 or $ 2,500.
Mr Tehan said the package could potentially support 20,000 places for the online courses across the sector, but availability will vary between institutions. Some universities have postponed their enrollment deadlines for this semester and are waiting for final confirmation of the decline in student numbers.