Higher education institutions will be offering cut price courses starting in May to fill skill shortages to assist the economic rebound once the coronavirus pandemic has run its course.
Education Minister Dan Tehan says the initiative will also provide people with the opportunity to re-skill or advance their careers after the economic disruption caused by COVID-19.
The online courses will run for six months in what are deemed to be “areas of national priority”, such as in nursing, teaching, counselling, IT and science.
“There has been a disruption to the economy, so we are providing an opportunity for people to re-skill or to look at other areas to advance their careers,” Mr Tehan said.
He said the Morrison government will guarantee funding for universities at current levels, even if there is a fall in domestic student numbers, which will provide greater flexibility in the use of these funds than ever before.
Tertiary and international education providers will also get regulatory fee relief so they can better support domestic and international students, as well as providing exemptions from loan fees under FEE-HELP and VET Student Loans.
Mr Tehan said these reforms would incentivise students and universities to align with the needs of industry to meet the skill demands for the new economy that will emerge from the pandemic.
“This plan will help Australians who have lost their job or are looking to retrain,” he said.
“It will also provide a revenue stream for universities and private providers to assist their financial stability.”
He said like the rest of the Australian community, the higher education sector has taken a financial hit because of the coronavirus.
The Morrison government has committed to provide universities with more than $18 billion this year.
Coronavirus: what you need to know
How is coronavirus transmitted?
The human coronavirus is only spread from someone infected with COVID-19 to another. This occurs through close contact with an infected person through contaminated droplets spread by coughing or sneezing, or by contact with contaminated hands or surfaces.
How can I protect myself and my family?
World Health Organisation and NSW Health both recommend basic hygiene practices as the best way to protect yourself from coronavirus.
Good hygiene includes:
Clean your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser;
Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or your elbow;
Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms;
Apply safe food practices; and
Stay home if you are sick.
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