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July 29, 2009
Few want the real story on international education to be told.
THERE’S a private training college for international students in Melbourne whose chief executive is reputed to be illiterate.
Having written stories for The Age in the past year on private colleges that allegedly run bogus courses, take cash for certificates, demand bribes to upgrade marks and employ unqualified teachers, I hardly raised an eyebrow when I heard about the college boss who couldn’t read or write English.
If I can confirm details of the shambolic practices this person is allegedly overseeing, I’ll be blowing the lid on that college too. But if my experience of researching dodgy colleges is anything to go by, I am confident I will be frustrated and stonewalled by all those who don’t want such stories to see the light of day.
I’m talking about the federal Department of Education, which refuses to let staff speak out; the Brumby Government, whose spin doctors offered me information in exchange for positive coverage; the state’s education regulator, who won’t answer questions unless they are in writing; the college operators who don’t answer my calls; the teachers who fear losing their jobs if they are identified; and the students who remain silent because they are either complicit in scams or terrified they will be deported for blowing the whistle.