A major private tertiary education group now being investigated for providing false data to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) shows the sector is in freefall, says Labour’s Tertiary Education Spokesperson David Cunliffe.
“Quantum Education Group QT Limited, a subsidiary of NZX listed Itueri, had qualification completion rates of 100% from 2012-2014 and 1758 enrolled students across that period. Now it turns out that more than half of those students dropped out and failed to complete a qualification.
“Despite these unbelievable figures, it took a random act from a TEC staffer who cross-checked the data with Studylink to uncover the huge discrepancy.
“This is further evidence that Steven Joyce’s loose governance and monitoring systems are completely ineffective and have created a system that is rife with rorts that have cost the taxpayer millions.
“It shouldn’t takes whistle-blowers and curious TEC staffers to uncover fraud in our education sector. It’s now obvious that Steven Joyce abandoned further investigations of tertiary providers suspected of rorting because he knows the extent of the problem.
“This latest debacle comes on the back of the quiet announcement last week of a rort that cost the taxpayer $2.6 million at Manaakitanga Aotearoa Charitable Trust (MACT). MACT’s executive director Donna Grant is now the subject of a Serious Fraud Office investigation.
“The Minister must launch a full investigation to restore public confidence in the tertiary education sector. Our international education profile is now in serious jeopardy. Mr Joyce can no longer sit on his hands and must take decisive action before our tertiary education sector goes up in smoke,” says David Cunliffe.