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College collapse - government action needed.

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Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate

Labor’s Parliamentary Secretary for Education




College Collapse - Government Action Needed.


The recent collapse of National Colleges of Australia (NCA), exposes m ajor deficits in Australia’s regulatory and administrative arrangements for providers of educational services for overseas students, Labor’s Parliamentary Secretary for Education, Senator Carr said today.


“Education exports are Australia’s fourth largest export industry and are heavily dependent on government quality controls.


“Despite the fact that NCA was a Registered Training Organisation, it would appear that following the suicide of the schools principal, scant records are available for the nearly 600 overseas students who entered Australia on study visas to undertake vocational education and other courses at the college.


“The collapse of National Colleges of Australia, which traded as National Business Management College, National Senior Schools and National English College, some four weeks ago leaves many questions unanswered:


•  What has happened to the nearly 600 overseas students who company investigators have found were apparently enrolled at the college?

• Why does DETYA only have records for 232 students?

• Why, according to DETYA records, have only l5 students been placed in other institutions and why have only 53 students applied for refunds of fees?

• Of the 232 students that DETYA acknowledges were at the college, why have 164 students failed to respond to DETYA urgent correspondence which was forwarded to their last known address?

• Given that all students needed visas to study in Australia, why does DETYA not have records of their addresses, student numbers or even the course they were enrolled in?

• How much money was in the companies trust accounts at the time of the collapse?

• When was the trust fund last audited by DETYA as required under the ESOS Act?

• Is the College’s insurance company, Australian Underwriting Agencies Pty Ltd, refusing to pay students for lost fees?

• Where are the detailed company records and are they complete?


“Whilst most educational providers of overseas students are completely legitimate, it would appear that a lack of co-ordination between various government authorities is enabling some organisations to recruit for the purposes of securing visas rather than an educational course.


“As the scale of administrative and regulatory problems escalates, Dr Kemp seems content to simply put his head in the sand and pretend all is well - meanwhile, quality plummets, students are being ripped off and the reputation of our education industry is left to wither,” Senator Carr said.


For comment: Senator Kim Carr 0419 563 922 or Steve Herbert 0417 059 581



dd  1999-07-13  09:47