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Greens win Senate inquiry into private vocational education and training providers

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 24 Nov 2014

The Australian Senate today unanimously passed a Greens motion moved by higher education spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon to establish an inquiry into the operation, regulation and funding of private vocational education and training providers in Australia.

Senator Rhiannon said: "This inquiry is urgently needed as governments across Australia are ripping hundreds of millions of dollars out of TAFE funding - leading to hundreds of job losses and massive fee increases for students.

"At the same time, state and federal governments are collectively delivering more than $1.3 billion in public funding to private education providers.

"The operation and practices of a number of these providers have been called into question following allegations of the rorting of public funds and underhanded marketing tactics that prey on vulnerable students. This needs to be investigated.

"The so-called "contestability" funding model has completely reshaped the VET sector in Australia, substantially weakening TAFE in order to fund for-profit education providers.

"It is sensible for the Senate to evaluate the operation of current VET funding arrangements and determine whether the system is working for the nearly two million VET students, the thousands of staff and the needs of the Australian economy.

Contact: Brami Jegan 0487 350 880

Notice of Motion - Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales)

To move that
1. The following matter be referred to the Senate Education and Employment References Committee for inquiry and report by 10 August 2015:

a) The operation, regulation and funding of private vocational education and training providers in Australia, including:

i. The access private vocational education and training providers have to Commonwealth and State public funding;
ii. The cost of education at private vocational education and training providers;
iii. The regulatory regime private vocational education and training providers operate within;
iv. The operation of VET-FEE-HELP;
v. The quality of education provided by private vocational education and training providers, volume of learning requirements and graduate outcomes;
vi. Marketing and promotional techniques employed by private vocational education and training providers and education brokers both domestic and international;
vii. Any incidents or allegations of non-compliance with regulation and funding arrangements at private vocational education and training providers;
viii. Political donations made by private vocational education and training providers;
ix. International comparisons to the Australian funding and regulatory regime;
x. The operation, regulation and funding of private vocational education and training providers specifically offering courses in aged care and early childhood education and their labour market outcomes;
xi. Any related matters.

2. The Senate Education and Employment References Committee will table interim reports to the Senate on 2 March 2015 and 15 June 2015.

Senator Lee Rhiannon

 

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