Private colleges are receiving millions of dollars from the government but producing few graduates

Some of the nation’s biggest private training colleges are expecting poor graduate rates but continue to receive millions of dollars in government subsidies.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that colleges such as Careers Australia is producing just 300 graduates of the 2762 enrolled students, over a two-year course.

This pattern is reflected in figures from the Department of Education and Training which reveals that just one in 10 students attending similar institutions are receiving a diploma in the same time.

Despite the poor completion rates, many of these educators continue to receive hundred of millions of dollars in VET FEE-HELP, a HECS-style loans program that allows students to pay their fees when earning a decent wage.

According to The SMH, the value of the scheme blew out from $325 million in 2012 to $1.5 billion last year – double the expected rate of growth.

Assistant Education and Training Minister Simon Birmingham said the graduate numbers are “absolutely unacceptable”.

Aside from this, Australia’s international education sector, of which private colleges make up a significant proportion, has been booming over the past year.

In preliminary figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) exports from Australia’s international education services sector reached a record high of $18.1 billion in 2014-15.

Minister for Education and Training, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, said the figures, which are up 14.2% on the $15.9 billion recorded for the 2013-14 financial year, confirms that international education remains Australia’s largest services export.

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