You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Govt urged to recover student debt

AAP logoAAP 5/10/2016 Tom Rabe

The government can do more to claw back vocational student debt from dodgy providers that have been rorting the system, consumer advocates say.

Education minister Simon Birmingham has announced extensive changes to the loan system, months after several private providers were accused of acting unconscionably by the consumer watchdog.

Senator Birmingham said loans would now only support legitimate students to undertake worthwhile and value-for-money courses at quality training providers.

The Consumer Action Law Centre has welcomed the overhaul of the "scandal-ridden" scheme, but said the government could be more proactive in recovering fees from private providers.

Spokesman Mick Bellairs said a remediation scheme should be set up to investigate incomplete vocational courses and determine if the enrolment process breached consumer law.

"If it did, then we think the government should be far more proactive in terms of clawing that money back and waving that debt that person who was enrolled will carry for the rest of their life," Mr Bellairs told AAP.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has in the last year brought Federal Court proceedings upon four providers it claimed collectively received more than $457 million from the government.

The Australian Institute of Professional Education, Unique International College, the Phoenix and Empower Institutes were all wrangled by the ACCC.

They were accused of making false or misleading representations and engaging in unconscionable conduct, in breach of the Australian consumer law.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon