2001 – Senate Inquiry into the Innovation and Education Legislation Amendment Bill 2001 (Postgraduate Education Loan Scheme)

Attachment: CAPA Submission

The Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA) is the national peak body representing Australia’s 142 423 postgraduate students. It has affiliated postgraduate associations in 33 of Australia’s public higher education institutions and in all States and Territories.

Australian postgraduate students fall into two broad categories:
 postgraduate coursework students who number 105 046; and
 postgraduate research students who number 37,374 (DETYA 2001b).

Coursework students undertake a set programme of studies and are likely to be part-time, pay full up-front fees and have limited or no access to income support. The range of coursework awards extends from graduate certificate to professional doctorate. Research students undertake original research for a period of two years (Masters) and four years (PhD), are less likely to pay fees or HECS and can compete for a limited number of tax exempt scholarships. Research places and scholarships are allocated competitively.

CAPA’s primary focus in this submission is to comment on the Postgraduate Education Loans Scheme (PELS) as contained in schedules 3 and 4 of the Bill. CAPA will also make brief comments on the Australian Research Council, schedule 1, part 2 and electronic communication with students, schedule 5.