Fine arts student out of picture with fees 

ARI Manoukian finds herself stuck between a rock and an art place.

"This year it cost me around $1400 to study at Meadowbank College but it's now going to cost as much as $10,000 . . . only I won't come out with a degree and it will be 13 hours a week, instead of the 24 that it is now," Ms Manoukian, 37, of Pendle Hill, said.

A part-time, mature-age student in the TAFE's two-year fine arts diploma program, she also works in an arts-based shop.

"I have to rethink everything now," she said.

Ms Manoukian was especially frustrated because Education Minister Adrian Piccoli's Smart and Skilled reforms were announced after the Universities Admissions Centre cut-off for courses, which shows you the minimum Australian Tertiary Admission Rank needed by most year 12 applicants when offers were made in 2012.

The Department of Education and Communities said: "The amount of fees and subsidies [at TAFE] will be published in 2013".

Its website stated prevocational training, skill sets and qualifications from Certificate IV to Advanced Diploma would be subsidised in 2013.

A TAFE spokeswoman confirmed fine arts courses would not.

Visit http://wsi.tafensw.edu.au/enrolling/fees-and-financial-assistance/fees-and-charges/2240/  to find out how much the Western Sydney Institute of TAFE says your fees will cost in 2013.

Terry Keeley — the relieving assistant general secretary (post school education) of the NSW Teachers' Federation — said the National Partnership Agreement would require NSW to implement Income Contingent Loans in the TAFE sector in 2014, with loans to be paid back when students earned $47,000.

Ms Manoukian said she did not want to be forced into debt.

"I'm the kind of person who wants to pay upfront," she said.

An Artrage Rally will be held outside Parliament House this Wednesday, November 14, to oppose the changes in the fine arts.

WHAT THE MINISTER IS SAYING

Under Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli’s Smart and Skilled reforms, from 2014:

■eligible individuals will be able to choose government-subsidised training for select foundation courses and qualifications up to and including Certificate III from TAFE NSW or an approved private or community training organisation;

■people aged 15 years and over who have left school, do not have a Certificate IV or higher level qualification and who live or work in NSW will be eligible to access training under the entitlement;

■A skills list will define what courses will be subsidised by the NSW Government. It will be based on industry consultation and labour market research.

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