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Higher Education

So it’s the time of year in Victoria, Australia for VCE students to be considering what they want to do after year 12 and consequently put in applications for further education if this is the desire. Mature age students too may be applying for TAFE and University courses.

Adjustments to funding by the government are going to affect these mature age students as of 2011. Up until now, TAFE courses have been the cheaper form of gaining a qualification by a large sum. When I completed my Diploma of Horse Studies in 2004, the course had cost me around $1500 for the two years – including texts! Currently, my Degree costs this per semester – and that’s carrying out a part time load.

As of 2011, any person over the age of 20 years that has a qualification and chooses to undertake another course of a lower qualification will be penalised in that they have to pay full fees. For example, if someone has completed a Diploma in a particular area or perhaps even a Degree and they decide on a career change, they could be affected. They may choose perhaps to go on and do a Certificate III or IV in Horse Studies or something similar and end up having to pay full fees.

This could be somewhere around $14/hour and for a course that has a total of around 800 hours to complete the subjects required to gain the qualification, the result is that this mature age student ends up paying in excess of $11,000 for a lower qualification than they already have.

No doubt this is to encourage up skilling, with the view that people should always be aiming for a higher qualification than they currently have. However, this doesn’t encourage career changes. Perhaps one possible way around this for those who are quick to act and have some prior experience in the field they want to gain a qualification is to contact your local provider and find out if you can be registered on the books this year and given RPL for those relevant subjects and then be carried over as a student to next year.

Either way, if you’re considering studying for next year whether it’s part time, full time, alongside work or not, now is the time to put those considerations into action.

“They say that princes learn no art truly, but the art of horsemanship. The reason is, the brave beast is no flatterer. He will throw a prince as soon as his groom.” – Ben Johnson

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