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July 14th, 2018 by admin

VET FEE-HELP: Taxpayers foot the bill for $9 million diplomas as scheme shut down

Petalinda, the $9 million home bought by Jin Yang. Photo: Domain Education Minister Simon Birmingham says VET-FEE HELP will go down in history as one of the great policy failures. Photo: Louise Kennerley
Nanjing Night Net

Taxpayers paid $9 million per graduate in one year at a private Sydney college, an analysis of Department of Education data reveals, as the full cost of the government’s failed vocational education program looks set to be revealed in the wake of its decision to shut down the scheme.

An analysis of Department of Education figures by Fairfax Media shows that 10 colleges received $900 million in taxpayer funding despite those colleges graduating only 4200 students in 2014 – an average of $237,000 a diploma. A diploma typically takes one to two years to complete.

The government already estimates its decision to axe the scheme will result in a $7 billion reduction in loans to students that will not be repaid, but the full cost of the scheme will be shown later this year when the department releases the most recent figures for 2015.

The analysis of 2014 data reveals one of the biggest beneficiaries in the sector, Sydney-based Empower Institute, trading as Cornerstone Investment, had a completion rate of just 0.12 per cent, earning $46 million while it graduated fewer than five graduates. It cost the public purse $9.2 million per diploma.

Much larger colleges also received millions in funding despite reporting low graduation rates. The Australian College of Training and Employment graduated only 3.7 per cent of students but in 2014 took home $250 million in taxpayer funding. A spokeswoman for the college said that the data was misleading.

“It ignores the fact that the significant growth ACTE experienced in 2014 was for students who enrolled in 2014 and who will complete their studies over the coming years, not in 2014,” the spokeswoman said.

On Wednesday, federal education minister Simon Birmingham axed the scheme, describing it as one the nation’s largest policy flops, laying the blame on Labor for starting the program in 2012.

“VET-FEE HELP will go down in history as one of the great policy failures,” Senator Birmingham said.

The size of the scheme continued to balloon after the Coalition came to power in 2013. In that time costs surged to $30,000 for courses such as a diploma of salon management. This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.