The Abbott government’s so called clean-up of dodgy colleges is a politically driven announcement timed for the NSW state election as the Baird government is losing support for its plan to expand private, for-profit companies in the vocational education and training sector, Senator Lee Rhiannon Greens higher education spokesperson said.
“The way to end the dodgy colleges isn’t by fines and audits. For profit private colleges should not be allowed to operate in the vocational education and training sector,” Senator Rhiannon said.
“Minister Simon Birmingham’s plan amounts to nothing more than sticking a band aid on the gaping wound that has been caused by the Liberal/National slash and burn approach to TAFE.
“The NSW Liberal/National government’s ‘Smart and Skilled’ plan, which pushes NSW vocational education and training further down the path of privatisation, is what needs to be dismantled.
“It is not just the free iPad and laptops that are the problem. Allowing companies to make a profit out of public money ear marked for education is a recipe for bad practices.
“While private colleges can sign up as many students as they can and claim the entire course fee from the government rorting of the system will occur.
"In NSW many prospective students have had their education prospects damaged because the Baird government have handed large amounts of TAFE funding to the corporate sector.
“Up to $642 million is up for grabs between TAFE and private colleges under the NSW current scheme,” Senator Rhiannon said.