Private colleges will no longer be able to use brokers or cold-callers to try and recruit new students under a wide-ranging crackdown on dodgy operators to be announced by the Federal Government on Wednesday.
The vocational education and training sector - known as VET - has been plagued by unscrupulous educators who have taken advantage of successive governments' loan schemes by luring prospective students with laptops, cash and other incentives.
Students have found themselves slugged with the cost of their course, sometimes without even realising they'd signed up.
Federal Education Minister, Simon Birmingham, will on Wednesday announce a range of measures aimed at stopping the rorts,( which started in 2012 and have been allowed to continue for FAR TOO LONG) including prohibiting providers from directly soliciting students
Providers will finally face tougher barriers to be eligible for the Federal Government loan scheme in the first place. They will need to prove they have a clean track record and high course completion rate, and that they have a good relationship with industry and employers.
And if they do the wrong thing, the new rules will make it easier for the Government to cancel their payments and revoke their approval.
As flagged by Hack in August, the Government will also introduce limits to the amount of money students can be loaned to undertake a particular course. The amount of the loan will be tiered - $5,000, $10,000 or $15,000 - and will depend on the course itself.
Only courses that fill skills shortages will be eligible for loans, and the loan cap can be reviewed at any time.
This sector is riddled with unscrupulous marketeers who convince people to do courses on line they will never complete. It is an obscenity that generates great returns for overseas investors while the Commonwealth foots the bill. 15 billion or so in bad debts has been created, TAFE has been eviscerated in the conservative states and billions are wasted on courses that have no serious value.) So many are deskilled by these courses and valuable time and money wasted. Too many people have ended up with a credit rating issue and a sense of failure. I hope Birmingham now understands, because they let this go in for too long that these dodgy degrees already handed out will be devalued! This reform is long overdue . TAFE should be next.