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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...]

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...]

Vic VET review due

Major shake up of "open market" foreshadowed The Australian      |     15 December 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The Mackenzie review of Victoria’s VET funding is to be released tomorrow (16 December 2015), with more than 100 recommendations in what is certain to be a major shake-up of Victoria’s open training market. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… The Australian reports that the review will recommend private colleges be made to report their finances to the state’s ­Auditor-General, similar to public TAFEs and universities. It would be the first step towards creating a sector-wide classification system based on a college’s finances and capabilities. The … [Read more...]

It just beggars belief

9 December 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Fairfax Media reports on the $1 million cost to taxpayers of completed Human Resource Management Diplomas at the so-called Australian Institute of Professional Education (AIPE) - $111 million paid out in VET FEE-HELP in 2014 for just 117 completions.  Meanwhile, The Oz reports that the Australian Competition an Consumer Commission is taking a third provider - Empower Institute - to court over allegations of "misleading or deceptive and unconscionable conduct" when marketing its courses to remote communities across the country (it will follow Unique International and Phoenix College to the Federal Court dock) - it enrolled 14,000 in … [Read more...]

Improving equity through VET FEE-HELP

21 July 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Two of the key architects of the original HECS, Dr Tim Higgins and Professor Bruce Chapman, have produced a new report that argues for significant reform to the income contingent loan scheme that would extend it to more VET students while making it affordable.  They argue that extending income contingent loans to more VET students is required to ensure equity among tertiary students,  but this would require adjustment to the current system otherwise it would not be financially sustainable or equitable. They note that when compared to university graduates, Certificate III and IV completers have low incomes and, for women, low … [Read more...]

National Monday Update 30 March 2015

  In Focus Responsibility We live in a troubled world. Education of course is the pathway to everyone’s future. Year 12 completion plus a tertiary level qualification is a key to employability and improved earnings. This fact places enormous responsibility on all of us charged with developing policy, designing funding systems, delivering qualifications and regulating quality. As I mentioned last week, if all of these elements don’t work together, the system can let down those relying on us. This we just cannot allow – education is far too important. I am forever amazed at the passion and quality of the many colleges I now visit, and of the real … [Read more...]

Qld slashes subsidies for VET courses

The Australian    |     6  August 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The Queensland government has drastically  slashed the range of vocational qualifications it supports, removing more than 200 mostly high-level courses from its subsidised list. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………  Some 170 of the state’s certificate IV, diploma and advanced ­diploma courses no longer attract teaching subsidies, in areas from the arts, retail and business to health, community services and public safety. The government has also removed funding for more than 30 lower-level qualifications, from pest management and conservation earthworks to shearing, firefighting and concreting. The … [Read more...]

The Scan #150 23 May 2014

___________________________________________________________________________________________ Making a stab at fees poses grave risks: UA 22 May 2013     |    With Prime Minister Tony Abbott acknowledging that he can’t guarantee that university fees might not double, University Australia chair Sandra Harding says that there are “grave risks” in a precipitate move to fee deregulation, set to take place in 2016. As the new fee regime will apply to all enrolments after 14 May 2014, students enrolling after that date will not know the fees that will apply from 1 January 2016 until such time as universities announce their fees. In order to provide some degree of certainty and inform student … [Read more...]

TAFE fees to rise in NSW

The Australian    |   16 May 2014 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… TAFE students in NSW face fee hikes of $500 or more next year, as the state government opens public funding  to students ta private providers. ……………………………………………………………………………………………….......…… However, NSW will continue to control fees and training place numbers. The government rejected an Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal recommendation that it take steps towards fully deregulating fees, unlike the commonwealth which is removing controls on university fees. Education Minister Adrian Piccoli said he had no intention of deregulating fees. He said that when other states had done so, costs to students had … [Read more...]