Friday, December 30, 2016

Vocational Education Agents Banned in Australia

The VET Student Loans Act 2016 makes illegal the use of broker or agents to arrange student enrollments as of 1 January 2017. This contrasts with the university sector, where the Australian government promotes the use of Education agents on its Study in Australia website and promotes the Education Agent Training Course (EATC) from International Education Services. Perhaps a similar regulatory approach is needed for the VET sector, rather than an outright ban on agents. I suggest the aim should be ensure that the same procedures are followed, regardless of if the student recruitment is undertaken by the institution's staff, or a contracted third party.
"49 Provider must not use broker or agent
(1) An approved course provider contravenes this subsection if the provider enters into an arrangement (whether written or not) that provides for another person to do one or more of the following in relation to an approved course:
(a) enrol students, or accept applications for enrolment, in the course;
(c) provide information or advice in relation to VET student loans (however described) for the course;
(d) assist students to complete or submit applications for a VET student loan for the course;
(e) assist, or provide support for, students who could be eligible for a VET student loan for the course to complete any assessments required to show that students are academically suited to undertake the course.
Civil penalty: 60 penalty units.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply in relation to an arrangement that is:
(a) a contract of employment; or
(b) specified in the rules.
Note: Employees of approved course providers will be covered by other requirements that apply to approved course providers."
From: Section 49,  VET Student Loans Act 2016, An Act to provide for loans to students for vocational education and training, and for related purposes, Commonwealth of Australia

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