Morrison government to provide financial support to former VET FEE-HELP students
Last month the Morrison government introduced legislation that aims to provide assistance to those previously impacted by the VET FEE-HELP program, which was introduced by the Labor government in 2012 and subsequently replaced by tighter regulation loans program in 2016.
The VET FEE-HELP program allowed private vocational colleges to receive government subsidies per individual student enrolment. In turn, dishonest providers promoted inferior courses that delivered sub-standard results and left unsuspecting students in debt. Government figures show the schemes cost taxpayers close to 7.5 billion.
Vocational Education Minister Michaelia Cash stated that the exact number of affected students was not known because of the nature of the practices.
“It is very difficult to tell because often these students were signed up and weren’t even told they were incurring a debt,” she said on Thursday.
“But the ombudsman has been receiving complaints and we believe that around 2500 students to date have claims totalling around $50 million.”
The Minister also reaffirmed her commitment to the new scheme and her government’s pledge to rid the sector of shoddy practices and is confident the former practices will not find their way into the new system.
“All of the dodgy providers are now gone because we literally shut down the cash cow that Labor had introduced for them,” she said.