The speculation around VET FEE-HELP rorting has been amplified with the release of damning course-completion numbers. Only 7 per cent of online students relying on VET FEE-HELP loans have completed their courses between 2010 and 2013. This is compared to nearly 40 per cent completion of students whom attend some type of institution or college to complete their course.
With online learning enrolments continuing to climb The Consumer Action Law Centre’s chief executive has raised concerns about the number of complaints they’ve received regarding inadequate courses which are mostly offered by private colleges.
Other concerns include:
- The $96,000 loan for students studying for a diploma doesn’t get reimbursed unless they leave before the census date which is usually two months after enrolment.
- Rogue operators aren’t supplying adequate information to students regarding their debt responsibilities.
- Overly aggressive marketing of particular VET providers.
- Some private operators ‘cornering’ the market, thus lessening competition.
Much of the initial investigation has been directed towards Acquire Learning which promotes courses offered by Careers Australia. The national regulator, who is investigating two complaints against the provider, has asked all registered training bodies in an arrangement with it to demonstrate how the company meets standards of practice.
In most cases students will perform better and have a higher completion and graduation rate when engaged in face-to-face learning. When left to their own devices and more often when at home, reams have been written as to how easy it is to find ways to not complete things.
Those of us interested in VET and its future are waiting eagerly for the Auditor-General to commence the examination.