In early April, the Federal Government announced the provision of special funding for students under a COVID-19 Higher Education Relief Package. The intention of the funding is to support students to undertake short, online courses of no more than six months duration, to be completed by the end of 2020.
To further support the establishment, delivery and special funding for these courses, the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) has been amended to recognise a new Undergraduate Certificate qualification type. These Undergraduate Certificates will be of six months duration, and can be aligned with Level 5, 6 or 7 of the AQF. They will be recognised within the AQF for an interim period between May 2020 and the end of 2021. A continuation of Undergraduate Certificates as an AQF award post-2021 will be subject to a review.
In response to the COVID-19 Higher Education Relief Package initiative, and aligned with the award qualification of Undergraduate Certificate newly recognised within the AQF, Flinders has developed and approved two new award qualifications:
- Undergraduate Certificate in Aged Care (offered by the College of NHS)
- Undergraduate Certificate in Cybersecurity Fundamentals (offered by the College of S&E)
Both awards are currently included on the SATAC applicant portal, with offers being made to eligible applicants this week. Once admitted, these students will be associated with a special liability code allocated by the Department of Education. They will benefit from a reduced student fee contribution while completing a qualification that will support their employment prospects and/or continued employment.
Flinders may continue to offer these two Undergraduate Certificates during 2021 and may consider the approval and offer of additional Undergraduate Certificates. Amendments have been made to our Award Courses Policy so that these are now included. It is understood however that the COVID Relief funding and the opportunity for a reduced student fee contribution towards these qualifications will conclude at the end of 2020.