Free TAFE student questions & answers

Find answers to student questions about the Free TAFE for Priority Courses initiative, starting in January 2019.

Where can I do tuition-free priority courses?

You can study tuition-free priority courses at Victorian TAFE institutes, including Victoria University Polytechnic. The benefits of studying at VU Polytechnic are:

  • VU Polytechnic has a multi award-winning blended learning model which replaces paper-based theory with user-friendly eLearning that can be completed anytime, anywhere. This means you’ll spend more time honing your skills in practical face-to-face workshops and work placements.
  • You gain hands-on learning experiences using modern technologies including VR technology, humanoid robots, simulation equipment and computerised mannequins. These tools provide unique opportunities for you to connect what you’re learning on a real-world level.
  • As 1 of only 6 multi-sector universities in Australia, VU Polytechnic offers transitions between courses at all levels. We have established pathways into over 50 higher education degrees at Victoria University. You can start with a short course and finish with a masters.
  • You will have access to support services, including academic support and development and careers guidance to assist you in finding a job.
  • We’ve been delivering vocational education in the west of Melbourne for over 100 years, you can trust we’re here to stay.

Does it cover all my fees?

Only the courses on the tuition-free priority course list will be tuition fee-free, but there are many courses you can do at VU Polytechnic that are Victorian Government-subsidised. While some tuition fees may apply for Victorian Government-subsidised training, you may be eligible for a concession. If there’s a specific course or area you’re interested in, please contact us for more information.

What’s the difference between government-subsidised training and free TAFE?

Victorian Government-subsidised training is when the Government pays a large portion of the cost of your training if you are eligible, and you make a contribution, by paying fees. There are many subsidised courses you can do at VU Polytechnic. The courses on the tuition free priority course list are subsidised, but the Government will also pay your tuition fees, if you’re eligible.

I am doing training now in a course on the tuition-free priority course list. If I withdraw and re-enrol in 2019, can I still complete the course tuition-fee-free?

Yes. If you withdraw from the course you are currently undertaking that is on the free priority course list and re-enrol in the same course in 2019, you will have access to free TAFE. However, the fee waiver will only apply to the unfinished portion of your course and you will not be refunded for the already completed portion.

Once the last unit end date has passed, you can no longer withdraw from a unit/course in that calendar year. This applies regardless if it is the same or different training provider.

I already have a diploma but want to do a certificate IV in 2019. Am I eligible for an exemption?

If you hold a diploma and want to complete a certificate IV you do not meet the Skills First ‘upskilling’ criteria. VU Polytechnic may choose to grant you an eligibility exemption in order to undertake this course tuition-free. Get in touch to discuss your options, we’ll help you find the right course and talk you through your funding options to get you job-ready.

If I start a course in 2018 that is on the free TAFE list for 2019 and the course goes for 2 years, will the second year be tuition-fee-free?

No. This would be a continuation of a 2018 commencement and not a new commencement in 2019, therefore the course would not be tuition-fee-free.

If I start a free TAFE course in 2019 and it goes for more than 1 year, will the second year be tuition-fee-free?

Yes. Free TAFE waives tuition fees for the entire duration of your course, regardless of the length of time it takes you to complete the qualification.

I am studying now. Should I drop out and start again next year, when Free TAFE for Priority Courses comes in?

If you are currently completing training and you are happy with your course, you should complete it, especially if you have a Victorian Government subsidised place. There are limits on the number of times you can commence courses and stay eligible for subsidised training, so dropping out and restarting could mean you become ineligible.

If you are thinking of dropping out for any reason, talk to your trainer or the careers guidance staff at VU Polytechnic or visit our Skills and Jobs Centre.

If I complete a tuition-free priority course, will I get a job?

The tuition-free priority courses are in areas where there are likely to be more jobs in the future. When you finish your course, our careers staff and Skills and Jobs Centre can help you search for a job and support you to prepare your resumé.

How many priority courses can I do tuition-free?

Free TAFE for Priority Courses will pay your tuition fees for one course. Once you have enrolled in a tuition free priority course, you can’t get a tuition free place again, even if you don’t finish your first tuition free priority course. Please consider carefully before enrolling in a free TAFE course.

How will Free TAFE for Priority Courses affect my eligibility for future government-subsidised training?

Courses undertaken as Free TAFE for Priority Courses are treated the same way as any other course you have undertaken, for the purpose of determining whether you are eligible for further Victorian Government-subsidised training.

If you decide to train in future, we’ll be able to tell you whether you will have future Victorian Government-subsidised training options.

Training with VU Polytechnic has never been so accessible. Get in touch to discuss your options, we’ll help you find the right course and talk you through your funding options to get you job-ready.

What happens if I have accessed free TAFE at another provider and decide to switch to VU Polytechnic?

The course would continue to be tuition-fee free as long as you are continuing in the same course at VU Polytechnic that you were undertaking at another training provider.

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