Today’s Sun-Herald reports that the Australian government’s crazy idea to duplicate the various state government technical colleges with tiny private institutions is costing heaps and producing few outcomes. A potted version of the report is online: Tech colleges failing, says NSW govt.
Australian Technical Colleges (ATC) are struggling to meet enrolment targets across the country, the NSW government says.
The Sun-Herald newspaper has reported that the federal government allocated $550 million for 28 senior colleges but of the 21 now open only two have met enrolment quotas.
NSW Education Minister John Della Bosca told the newspaper the money could have been better spent, describing ATC as a “fiscal catastrophe”.
“It could have been a fantastic upgrade of senior schools or TAFEs,” Mr Della Bosca said.
The colleges were set up to provide training to senior students while they completed high school.
More detail is in the print edition. For example, Illawarra has 35 enrolled students funded to the tune of $19.6 million! Of the 21 colleges open, only two met their 2007 target enrolments. The Sun-Herald estimates the cost per student of this wonderful scheme at $175,000.
All this while squeezing the life out of TAFE structures that have served us for over a century. But then those TAFEs are unionised, aren’t they?