For and against red tape

A Senate select committee inquiry into the effects of red tape on private education has found the reasons for differences in regulation of public and private providers “are not always clear.”

A report released, but largely un-noticed, from an inquiry chaired by Senator David Leyonhjelm, found “there is inequity in the provision of FEE-HELP to VET and higher education students who choose to enrol in courses offered by private providers.”

“The committee considers that the policy rationale underpinning the 25 per cent loan fee may not be justified. The committee has not received any statistical information regarding the Commonwealth’s lending costs to confirm that higher costs are indeed associated with managing debts incurred by students who enrol with private providers.”

But Labor senators on the committee are not all that bothered, pointing to the VET FEE HELP catastrophe as a reason for rigorously regulating private trainers.

“Experience has repeatedly shown that rent-seeking, and access to government funding in VET with limited regulation, has led to extreme outbreaks of malfeasance by unscrupulous private, profit seeking providers.”


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