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Crackdown looming on short courses

DET     |      30 January 2018 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The Commonwealth Government has released discussion papers on unduly short VET courses and training product reform. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… The consultation paper on unduly short courses follows ASQA’s report in June 2017 that recommended defining and setting of mandatory training requirements under certain circumstances and related obligations for providers. ASQA made three recommendations. Recommendation one ASQA proposes that a definition of the ‘amount of training’ that focuses on supervised learning and assessment activities be included in the Standards for Registered Training … [Read more...]

Study Group to be deregistered

ASQA      |   16 January 2018 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) has cancelled the registration of Study Group Australia Pty Limited as a provider of vocational education and training (VET) services, for significant non-compliance with the requirements of the VET Quality Framework. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… Study Group Australia trades under multiple business names including ACPE Academy, Martin College, Australian Institute of Applied Sciences, Embassy English, Taylors College, ANU College, Flinders International Study Centre, and Taylors Unilink.  At August, Study Group VET providers had about 4,000 … [Read more...]

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...]

ACPET – Election 2016 – Statements

Private education and training is the preferred choice of more than 50 per cent of students across Australia. It is highly innovative and responsive to the needs of industry. More than 2.2 million students choose to complete study or training with private providers in Australia. The Student Choice Counts campaign is mobilising the community of students, employees and supporters of the private education and training sector against any policy change to limit student choice and undermine the viability of an important and competitive industry. The risks: Liberal and National parties and the ALP have announced major reviews and consultations into training and higher education. ACPET … [Read more...]

Acquire in the dock

Fairfax Media   |   18 December 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Acquire Learning is the latest training company to land in the Federal Court accused of unconscionable conduct and false or misleading behaviour after it sold tens of thousands of government-funded courses to vulnerable job-seekers.  The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has alleged before the Federal Court that the company bought the details of unsuccessful applicants on job websites, then cold-called them to sell expensive diploma courses. …………………………………………………………………………………….......……   The courses, funded under the federal-government funded VET FEE-HELP loan scheme, cost … [Read more...]

Reforming vocational education: it’s time to end the exploitation of vulnerable people

The case for REAL reform Republished 16 December 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… It's hard to argue with the proposition that Australia’s vocational education sector is a mess.  Mary Leahy (University of Melbourne) writes that tightening regulation and tweaking some of the settings will contain the damage, but these measures alone will not address deeper problems in the sector.   Real, sustained improvement requires rethinking the funding and regulatory models but also the purpose and idea of vocational education. …………………………………………………………………………………….......……   How the business model works There is clear evidence of rorting and rent-seeking in the vocational education … [Read more...]

The Scan #175 11 December 2015

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ News __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ VET FEE-HELP skewering system   11 December 2015      |       Explosive growth in the VET FEE-HELP scheme has masked massive direct public disinvestment in vocational education and training. While a report by NCVER shows a notional growth of 1.7% in 2014 over 2013 (plus $141.0 million, from $8512.4 million to $8653.4 million), it’s all in VET-FEE Help payments: actual direct expenditure by governments, … [Read more...]

Anatomy of a scandal

How did the Australian VET system get here? LH Martin Institute    |     8 December 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… Jim Davidson, a former senior official of both the Victorian and Commonwealth governments and now a Senior Honorary Fellow of the LH Martin Institute, dissects the  crisis now enveloping the VET sector.  As he asks: How  could this have happened?  Good question. He says future policy responses by government need to deal with the root causes of the current growth in VET FEE-HELP and not further exacerbate the issues caused by the current policy settings.  And he proposes that an immediate measure should be  a moratorium on VET FEE-HELP loans for online course … [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...]

Measures to rein in rorters

Commonwealth    |    3 December 2015 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… New rules to better protect students in the vocational education and training sector will come into effect from 1 January 2016 with the passage of the Higher Education Amendment (VET FEE-HELP Reform) Bill 2015.. …………………………………………………………………………………….......…… These changes include: that training providers must ensure they are not signing up students for a VET FEE-HELP loan at the same time as they are being enrolled in a course providers must assess the student’s capacity to undertake the course for which they are enrolling stronger safeguards for under 18 year old students so that they cannot be signed up for a VET … [Read more...]