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Acquire tumbles towards insolvency

ABC News     |    12 May 2017 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Acquire Learning, which has been teetering on the edge of the abyss for some time, has tumbled into voluntary administration.  The appointed administrator says recent regulatory changes appear to have had a significant impact on Acquire's business model. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Acquire Learning was an education broker and recruitment service that marketed on behalf of certain RTOs who were responsible for accepting and finalising the enrolments, although it did eventually acquire its own two training providers. Acquire’s website and social media accounts have been suspended for months, the … [Read more...]

The Scan #179 5 May 2016

A few cuts, no frills 4 May 2016   |   The government has pushed consideration of proposed university reforms, including a 20% cut in funding, out beyond the election, until 1 January 2018.  While it has ruled out full fee deregulation, it has released an options paper, to guide a consultation process, canvassing a range of alternative fee measures which would still see substantial fee rises.  The 2016 Budget also sees an efficiency dividend of $1.2 billion on legislated dropped but the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program has been cut by $152 million to $553 million over four years.  The Office of Learning and Teaching has been abolished, with the resulting $18 million in … [Read more...]

Phoenix chief faces forgery allegations

Fairfax Media    |    28 April 2016 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Ivan Brown, who ran one of Australia's fastest-growing vocational colleges, Phoenix Institute, is being investigated for allegedly forging documents to reap more than $100 million in taxpayer funds. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Federal Police search warrants say they have "reasonable grounds for suspecting" Brown, the made false documents or caused them to be made "with the intention to influence the Commonwealth to accept on-line students as genuinely enrolled and participating in training". Police raided the offices of Phoenix's parent company, Australian Careers Network, in April in search of … [Read more...]

The Scan # 178 12 April 2016

TAFE does heavy lifting - TDA 12 April 2016   |    A TAFE Directors Australia (TDA)-commissioned analysis of official data reveals ‘for profit’ private training colleges have gained a massive 75% share of the $3 billion Commonwealth VET FEE-HELP funding, while the public TAFE sector continues to do the “heavy lifting”.  The performance of Australia’s 57 TAFE Institutes emerges strongly, dominating all major state and territory VET-funded ‘fields of education’ and trade apprenticeships. While TAFE delivered 63% of enrolments across the majority of fields of education, Commonwealth allocation of student loans to TAFE fell to just 20% in 2014, and the government’s own emergency legislation to … [Read more...]

Exponential growth of VET-FEE HELP as sector opened to private colleges

The looting of VET FEE-HELP 7 April 2016 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… A report presented on ABC Radio National provides an insight into the thinking of the providers who have virtually looted VET FEE-HELP: it was all within the rules, apparently, so that made it all right.  As this extract shows, the greater part of the loot flowed to a handful of providers, all of which were relatively recently established, with no track record of provision, let alone quality provision.  In the space of a couple of years, for example, Ivan Brown,  turned a $500 start-up investment into a stake in a listed company worth $180 million (Australian Careers Network), all built on the back of … [Read more...]

Australian Careers Network collapses

15,000 students in limbo Fairfax Media   |    22 March 2016 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Australian Careers Network (ACN) has been placed into administration, marking the end of the company's troubled time on the Australian Securities Exchange and almost certainly the prelude to its liquidation. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… This follows the Federal Court dismissing action brought by ACN subsidiary Phoenix Institute against the Department of Education for cutting $40 million federal funding to the scandal plagued college.  Justice Mark Moshinsky found while the Commonwealth was technically obliged to make the funding payments to Phoenix, the "decision by the … [Read more...]

The year to date

11 March 2016 There’s a lot to catch up with but, as they say, plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose (which is, according to the estimable Wiktionary, an epigram by Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr in the January 1849 issue of his journal Les Guêpes (“The Wasps”), meaning “the more it changes, the more it’s the same thing.”)  VET FEE-HELP   As previously reported, changes to the VET FEE-HELP (VFH)  scheme legislated late last year provides some better protection of students from the carpetbaggers who have looted the scheme and dudded the students.  The government proposes to spend this year look at ways to rort-proof it from the likes of Phoenix.  But as so many people have asked: how … [Read more...]

Don’t believe it….?

Just watch! DamnedboredTV     |   10 January 2016 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… This is an amazing effort in editing and synchronisation, marrying the 2015 hit Uptown Funk with clips from films of the Golden Age of Hollywood. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… 2569 … [Read more...]

Christmas all year

It's not just VET funding that's being looted 4 January 2016 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Carpet baggers have scammed billions of dollars in the past year alone in public funding in the vocational education and training sector for bugger all outcomes - in one notorious case, one "college" enrolled 4,000 students in 2014, received $46 million in funding and graduated FIVE students - that's right, nearly $10 million per completion. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… As former Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chair Graeme Samuels recently observed: ".....this huge waste of government money is the "inevitable consequence" of governments funding the … [Read more...]

The Scan’s year

Summer edition 2016 __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ The Scan in 2015 This year’s top ten reads were heavily skewed towards the “VET crisis” and attempts by authorities (rather belatedly in our view) to stamp out the obvious rorting, particularly in VET FEE-HELP funding, which has been truly scandalous. In fact, the number one post this year on The Scan is also the number one post of all time and by quite a bit. If you enter “rorting” in the … [Read more...]