Why the profit motive fails in education

10 Dec 2019
This is an image of a stressed out person sitting at their laptop with their head in their hands
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

For The Conversation: Professor John Quiggin explains the problems with the reform agenda as it applies to the VET sector.

The Morrison government’s waiving of almost A$500 million in dodgy vocational education and training debts holds many lessons about the nature of education and public services being provided by for-profit enterprises.

The debts were collected by about 38,000 students unwittingly locked into federal VET FEE-HELP loans by dodgy for-profit education providers. Thousands more complaints seeking to have debts waived have yet to be processed.

One of the lessons from the disastrous mix of public funding and private profits in the VET sector is that policymakers infatuated with the dogma of “reform” are incapable of learning from experience.

That’s true of both sides of politics.