The road from "checkout chick" to Interior Designer just got a little easier today for NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) student, Ela Alispahic, with the announcement by Victorian Minister for Higher Education and Skills, Peter Hall, of the re-introduction of concession-fee places for young healthcare card holders studying diplomas and advanced diplomas.
The nineteen-year-old St Albans student is enrolled in NMIT's Diploma of Interior Design and Decoration at the Institute's Preston campus. Under the previous Labor government's fee policy, which removed concessions for diploma and above students, Ela would have paid around $2000 in tuition fees this year but now, as a health care card holder, she will only pay $100 in tuition costs for the year.
In his announcement, Mr Hall said the concession-fee places would be available to 15 to 24 year-old students who hold healthcare cards and places would be available from 1 February this year - this fast tracks an earlier Coalition election pledge. Mr Hall said that $56 million would be provided to Healthcare card holders to cut their fees by 95 per cent. Concession-fee places will only be available to students studying at TAFE institutes in Victoria.
"I'm only 19 so having that extra money would help me heaps," says Ela. "It will help my parents as well who are both on pensions."
Ela, who lives at home with her parents and brother, says she works as a "checkout chick" at Coles to help pay for her tuition fees and books plus many specialist items required by design students such as a presentation boards, pencils, paints and folios. She would normally also pay a Services and Amenities Fee of around $135 (which will now be reduced for eligible concession students) plus a materials fee for her course of around $250.
"My course is pretty intense and requires me to be at school for long periods so the time I have to work in casual jobs is limited," says Ela.
During his announcement Mr Hall said that the Victorian Coalition Government had also committed to reviewing all fee structures across the state's training system.
Related: NMIT - Fees & Charges - VET - Concessions are back on offer again for NMIT Diploma and Advanced Diploma Courses
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NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) - Situated on six campuses and six training centres throughout Melbourne's north plus a regional campus at Ararat, NMIT delivers vocational training, higher education and lifelong learning capabilities for a global workforce. NMIT forges partnerships with community, industry and government to produce practical, solution orientated graduates capable of making meaningful contributions to their chosen field of endeavour.
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Interview / Photo Opportunity
Media enquiries should be directed to the NMIT Communications Officer, James Gardener.