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Education News Private Trade College Students

Trades college in financial trouble. ONE of Melbourne’s oldest colleges, specialising in cookery and hairdressing courses for international students, has run into financial trouble, with an outstanding debt of about $7 million. Hales Institute in Swanston Street had been in financial strife for several months before it was placed in voluntary administration yesterday. Students told The Age the college had recently been demanding tuition fees be paid in advance of the due date.

Gillard primes collapse fund. EDUCATION Minister Julia Gillard has announced an extra $5.1 million to cover fee refunds for overseas students when colleges collapse.

Not just tougher migration rules but also economy i.e. if employment difficult study in Australia is less attractive, perceived and actual tougher student visa regime, issues of violence spread through “word of mouth” or internet and high Australian dollar.

Private college numbers soar despite regulators’ crackdown. PRIVATE college numbers have surged by 20 per cent in the past year, defying the federal government crackdown and prompting a warning the sector is still expanding too fast for regulators to cope.

Unclear if this surge (like population and migration) is still occurring, and decisions made when economy and related was on an historical high? Still unclear how colleges are registered and regulated? Are the regulators going to conduct regulator financial audits of private colleges? A simple indicator agents use and often correct, is when commission invoices are not paid or payments constantly delayed …. Simply not an issue of more regulation of dodgy colleges as both state and private institutions are dependent upon offshore agents for candidates and if they become wary, like prospective students, it will only harm the health of the industry in future, including TAFEs and universities.

International students are a discerning bunch. LAST week, two reports on the perceptions of international students studying in Australia were released.

Yes they are, and to be commended that after incidents against students occurred that Swinburne and other universities participated in a fourth JWT Education survey of student perceptions. However, why has the Australian education industry processes to assess the student experience including learning, social, outcomes etc. been so patchy over past 20 years,if not non existent? The writer can claim that racism is overstated but anecdotal evidence has shown that it has become an issue in Australia that cannot be denied, especially when used for past 15 years as a political “wedge issue”. At another level there has been a patronising attitude toward international students evident within institutions and amongst staff. Further, those who advise government and DIAC e.g. Dr.Bob Birrell and the Centr for Population & Urban Research at Monash University at best show antipathy toward foreigners, migrants, refugees and international students.

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