Private providers in the Australian tertiary system havebeen under fire in recent times following the Federal Government’s decision toscrap the scandal-plagued VET-FEE-HELP student loan scheme. The AustralianCompetition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has pursued six educationalproviders since late 2015, and there are more on the horizon.
Careers Australia was officially closed in May following aruling that the company had breached Australian Consumer Law and “engaged inquestionable conduct”, resulting in the reversal of $44 million worth ofstudent debt. In total, the ACCC is seeking $460 million from Careers Australiaand fellow providers Unique, AIPE, Empower, Phoenix Institute and Acquire Learning.
In many cases, students were promised free iPads and theprospect of student debts that would never need to be repaid. In reality, theywere being served up sub-par education at inadequate facilities, with‘qualifications’ that couldn’t be transferred to other institutions.
The State Government issued a press release on 26 May thisyear, urging the Turnbull Government to help stranded Careers Australiastudents, as the Victorian Government did not have a funding contract with theprovider. Four days later, Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham offereda lifeline to thousands of victims, announcing that affected students wouldhave the choice of continuing their training with TAFE or receive a refundthrough a tuition insurance scheme.
Here are three tips to help you complete your studies!
1. If your private higher education provider hasclosed down…
Get in touch with either of the Australian government approved TuitionAssurance Scheme providers: Australian Council for Private Education and Training, or TAFE Directors Australia.
2. If you’re an international student withquestions about your private higher education provider…
Visit the Tuition Protection Service (TPS)website, email the TPS Administrator at email@example.com or givethem a call on 1300 980 434 (domestic) or +61 1300 80 434 (overseas). You canalso contact the Overseas Students Ombudsman.
Head to The Good Universities Guide for information and advice about private providers.