The Australian 11 July 2011
Documents lodged with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal reveal that a private training accused of ripping off public funds planned to more than triple its enrolments from about 1500 students last year to 5000 this year and then to 6000 in 2013 and 7000 .
The training regulator, the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority, cited the plan in justifying its decision to cancel the college’s registration
The VRQA was concerned that such a rapid expansion … meant there was a substantial risk the quality of education and training could be compromised.
Vocational Training Group (VTG) is appealing against its February deregistration. VTG’s business model involved offering $1500 enrolment inducements and teaching a nominally nine-month course in just 15 hours.
The biggest private provider was another Melbourne college, Origin HR, which delivered more than 1.2 million hours of publicly funded training to more than 9600 students. Last year Origin HR increased its enrolments by 9000% and 5000% respectively in two finance and business courses, according to a confidential Victorian government report.
A new NCVER report – Australian vocational education and training statistics: Students and courses 2011 – suggests extraordinary growth in Victoria has reshaped the national training sector, skewing enrolments into a handful of qualifications and more than doubling the proportion of publicly funded students who attend private colleges.
The number of publicly funded vocational students in Australia rose by 82,000 last year. Of these, 77,000 were in Victoria. While overall student numbers barely changed nationally from 2002 to 2008, they have rocketed by 182,000 to almost 1.9 million in the three years since Victoria announced its reforms.