A number of Australian educational colleges have been put into administration this week, potentially leaving hundreds of staff without jobs and thousands of students out of pocket.
Global Intellectual Holdings is in administration as are now at least four colleges belonging to the company: RTO Services Group, The Design Works College of Design, Aspire College of Education and the Australian Indigenous College.
Courses offered at the colleges range from business and management, to community services, graphic design, and digital media.
Between them, the colleges operate all across Australia. Aspire College, for example, has 20 campuses around the country. All of them now face a very uncertain future.
According to a report by Fairfax Media, the colleges came in to financial difficulty following a federal government crackdown on vocational education rorting, particularly of the ET FEE-HELP scheme which is a system similar to HECS in providing loans to students for courses.
According to Fairfax, the colleges receive vast sums of money from students on this type of loan, amounting to tens of millions.
If the colleges are wound down, students may still be left with crippling debts despite not being able to complete their studies at the institutions.
A letter to employees from the administrator, according to the Fairfax report, states that recent changes to the VET FEE-HELP scheme put “very significant pressure on the college’s ability to operate” and that all means to continue operating have been “exhausted”.
IMAGE: Via Shuttersock.com