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Thursday, 4 October 1984
Page: 1208

Senator REYNOLDS —Can the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs inform the Senate about the Government's plans for supporting the work of non-government business colleges in 1984-85? In particular, can the Minister outline the new guidelines for funding? When will the future role of non-government business colleges be clarified for long term planning beyond 1985?

Senator RYAN —The Government has decided that institutions currently supported under the program of financial assistance for non-government business colleges will continue to receive per capita grants for 1985. This decision was the response to a review of the program completed earlier this year. No new colleges will be added to the number already supported under the program. The content of the courses submitted for approval for 1985 will be examined by an advisory committee which has distributed new guidelines to the colleges. Courses should provide training in basic skills and techniques which have an application to a variety of office functions, and financial controls will be strengthened.

The future of the program will be considered in the 1984-85 Budget context when the forthcoming Tertiary Education Commission reports on increasing tertiary education participation and enrolments and on the Commonwealth's role in relation to technical and further education should be available. The Government is aware that colleges need adequate notice of the future of the program as the basis for their forward planning.