Box Hill Institute, the country’s biggest recipient of Vet Fee funding for aviation students, has left 400 students without qualifications and massive debt after the Australian Skills Quality Authority pulled their authority to fund courses, over low graduation rates and student complaints.
Box Hill’s Aviation Manager Adrian Lea penned a letter to students announcing that the institute was no longer authorised to deliver the diploma of aviation from January 30.
“We understand this will be disappointing for you and we are urgently clarifying the ramifications of ASQA’s decision for our aviation students,” Mr Lea wrote.
“We are investigating seeking a reconsideration of the decision by ASQA however it is unclear whether such a request would be successful. In any case, the fact remains that the Diploma of Aviation (including its individual clusters) needs to be discontinued with effect from January 30, 2020.”
Soar Aviation, the sole training provider for the Box Hill course, has “strongly refuted” the findings that ASQA has made in relation to Box Hill, stating that they will attempt to train all the remaining students (circa. 400) to meet their qualifications – and that 70 people had obtained their Diploma of Aviation under the Box Hill program.
Neither Soar nor Box Hill have indicated how this training would be funded or whether students can expect to have their training completed.
Government records indicate that in 2018, more than $11m in loans was paid for 402 enrolments, with only six students graduating from the course. For the first 6 months of 2019, $7m of loans had been paid for 289 enrolments in the course at Box Hill.