While in Higher education, creative arts programs wait to learn their fate, those in the VET sector have already received the news that students in nearly 500 diploma courses will be stripped of access to government loans. Under the new VET student loans regime only courses that feature on two state and territory skill needs lists will have access to loans. Those that the Minister described as “lifestyle” choices” that ‘don’t lead to work.’ In creative arts these include Advanced Diplomas in: Architectural Building Design; Dance (Elite Performance); Jewellery and Object Design; Performance; Performing Arts; Acting; Professional Screenwriting; Visual Communication; Music Theatre; Film Television and Theatre Acting; Photography; and Animation. Graduate diplomas and certificates on the cull list include those in classical ballet, elite dance instruction, photography and, perhaps ironically given the minister’s focus on employment creation, Entrepreneurship for Creatives.
The Minister said that ‘all agriculture, engineering, information technology and natural and physical science courses would remain on the approved list, reflecting the importance of these fields to the economy.’ But others, presumably non economically important courses, such as landscape design, nursing, early childhood education will be subject to loan caps.