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Tuesday, 20 September 1994
Page: 1024

(Question No. 1613)


Senator Bell asked the Minister representing the Minister for Employment, Education and Training, upon notice, on 17 August 1994:

  (1) Which private colleges listed on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students require overseas applicants to pre-pay part or all of their course fees.

  (2) What specific practices followed by the Australian Business College led to any recommendations from the Senate Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training or led to the development of amendments to the Education Services for Overseas Students (Registration of Providers and Financial Regulation) Act 1991.

  (3) What examination of witnesses from the Australian Business College took place by the Senate Standing Committee in order to arrive at recommendations about the need for changes to the Education Services for Overseas Students (Registration of Providers and Financial Regulation) Act 1991; if none, what other information was available about the business activities of the college.


Senator Schacht —The Minister for Employment, Education and Training has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

  (1) My portfolio has no role in determining whether private education providers require overseas applicants to pre-pay part or all of their course fees. Such fee collection policy is a matter between the prospective student and the institution which offers a place. My department does not collect specific information on which institutions follow a pre-payment policy.

  (2) & (3) The Senate Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training set out in its report "The efficacy of the Education Services for Overseas Students (Registration of (3) Providers and Financial Regulation) Act 1991 in the light of the collapse of the Australian Business College in Perth in January 1993" the rationale for its recommendations. Beyond that document, information on how the Senate Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training derived its recommendations from the examination of witnesses and supplementary information on the business dealings of colleges is not available to me.