An Open Letter to a Student
If you are one of many people thinking about enrolling in a study program in 2016, or even completing study you have started, you cannot be unaffected by the shock waves of vocational training groups defaulting on their obligations.
Some training organisations have been taking government money and using student loans for their own benefit, sometimes totally ignoring their obligations to their students. I feel shocked and deeply disappointed.
These dishonest organisations are not many but they are large and prominent. Everyone has heard about them. They are not real educators. They are people who have used an opportunity to enrich themselves and whether they meant to or not, have betrayed students and can potentially damage a generation of Australians who begin to think that education is not worthwhile.
Training organisations, private or public, are places where people can learn, grow in confidence, see new hope and set off with support on a chosen pathway in life. You must be looking with amazement and asking how students could be treated like this.
Like you, as someone almost certainly older, having been a student and an educator for over forty years, I share your shock and amazement. For me, it is mixed with great disappointment.
Education is one of the most wonderful things a community can give to its people. It connects each of us with the learning of generations; it opens your individual pathway to the future. It is a gift. Educators have a sacred responsibility, to honour the value of knowledge, respect their responsibility for creating a pathway in learning and life, and ensure they give every student the best chance possible to learn and apply learning to life.
That is why Australian governments have always funded university education. I want to say to you that most of the people who I have known in the vocational education sector in over the 40 years in which I have been a part of it, see what they are doing as very important and they feel a deep responsibility for every student they work with.
Don't lose faith in education and don't lose faith in the private and public education system. Pick your training group carefully and then commit to your own process. There are very few people who regret study and training. If you take a little care, you will not either.
It would be sad for this country, if any one of you walked away because you had lost faith in a system which will almost certainly open a wonderful doorway to the future.
I refer you to some criteria you should check before you make your choice.
Use your judgement, trust your own aspirations and do not be deterred from your chosen study programs.
Chairman - BCA National Training Group