Higher Education Relief Package

Discounted online Higher Education Certificates

Information about the Australian Government's initiative to subsidise study during COVID-19.

To support workers displaced by the COVID-19 crisis, the government has introduced the Higher Education Relief Package. Starting this month (May, 2020), this new government initiative will subsidise select courses for 20,000 students to make study achievable during the pandemic.

To be eligible, students must study an approved course full-time starting in May 2020, and successfully complete the course by December, 2020. For those who are eligible, the subsidy will reduce the cost of select courses in the areas of Teaching, Nursing, Health, IT and the Sciences to approximately $1,200-$2,500. 

Discounted courses available through Open Universities Australia are shown below. 

Through OUA, Australian citizens can also access full government funding for undergraduate and postgraduate single subject study. This is not connected to the Higher Education Relief Package, and is available at all times to help you reach your goals.


  1. Find a discounted Higher Education Certificate course you’d like to complete from the courses listed on this page.
  2. Check your eligibility and apply for the course.
  3. Complete four (4) subjects from the course online between May and December 2020.
  4. Be awarded with a Undergraduate Certificate or a Graduate Certificate (depending on your course level).

If you want to continue studying, some completed subjects may be used as credit towards a future degree.

Discounted Higher Education Certificates are part of a government initiative for new students who are affected by the economic impact of COVID-19 crisis, and are looking to upskill or re-skill. The fees for these select courses have been significantly reduced. The discounted cost can also be deferred through HECS-HELP.

Higher Education Certificates are courses designed to be completed online within 6-months, at a full-time study load. Upon completion of the course you will have completed four subjects at either undergraduate or postgraduate level.

You will be awarded either an Undergraduate Certificate or a Graduate Certificate depending on your level of study.

You must complete a selected Higher Education Certificate course online between 1 May and 31 December 2020 at a full-time study load. Any subjects taken after 1 December will be not be subject to the discounted fee, and all subjects must be completed successfully for you to receive your Certificate.

If you withdraw or don’t successfully complete some of your subjects, you may continue studying the other subjects in your course up until 1 December at the discounted fee, however you will not be awarded the Certificate. The subjects that you did successfully complete may be used as credit for a future Certificate or Degree.

Eligibility for each specific Higher Education Certificate course can be found on the individual course page.  

In addition, to be eligible you must:

  • Be affected by the economic impact of COVID-19 (for example, loss of employment).
  • Be a new student (not currently studying an existing degree).
  • Be an Australian citizen.
  • Meet any English language requirements for the course.

Refer to the course list on this page or search for a discounted HE certificate course in our catalogue.

You will only be required to pay the discounted student contribution amount of either $1250 or $2500 for the entire certificate course, depending on the field of study.

The discounted fee can also be deferred through HECS-HELP. But please note, the discounted student fees will only apply from May to December 2020.

Fees for each course is available on each individual course page.

Of course. If you liked what you studied, you may even be able to use the subjects you successfully completed as credit towards a future degree.

You’ll receive discounted fees for the subjects you complete by December 2020. After that date, you can continue studying for the rest of your degree through government funding.

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