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Mentor Education Liquidation: Students or Creditors, Who’s More Important?

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About 11 months ago from Steve Slisar's Twitter via Mailchimp



I broke the news about Mentor Education going into administration in March and mentioned some of the implications for existing students who have paid their course fees.

We’ve been contacted by some concerned Mentor Education students to see if we can help them continue their studies and get the qualifications they enrolled for. Students do have options but it looks bleak unless the new buyer lets current students continue their studies, assesses them and provide them with evidence of their competency.

Sadly for Mentor students the big question is WHO is going to help them?

Important Organisations for Nationally Accredited Training

Nationally Accredited training is delivered, supported and assessed by RTO’s (Registered Training Organisations). There are many requirements for anyone who wants to start an RTO and we decided against it when we explored it many years ago. The compliance costs and obligations are high and unless you get government funding or grants you end up competing with other RTO’s on price.

ASQA

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) is responsible to uphold the high level of training and support for RTO’s. ASQA regularly audits RTO’s to ensure they are compliant with their obligations and if there are any non-compliance issues they need to be fixed.

Mentor-Education-not-taking-enrolments-for-Certificate-in-Xero-from-The-Career-Academy-convicted-of-misleading-students

ASQA also has the authority to take non-accredited training providers to court if they mislead the public about the “accreditation of their courses”. The Career Academy went through the courts in their home country of New Zealand and the company and director, Daniel Hunt were convicted of deceptive and misleading marketing – costing them a combined total of approx NZ$80,000!

It is interesting to see that The Career Academy was involved with Mentor Education prior to them going into administration.

This issue for students is that ASQA cannot help students get their money back, nor complete their studies. Below is the statement on their website.

ITECA (was previously ACPET) – Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA)

In researching this topic our team came across ITECA because of their articles relating to the Tuition Protection Service. ITECA is an industry body that represents RTO’s and they have lobbied about how far the TPS protections go for domestic students (as opposed to International students).

Their concerns also cover students who pay up front in full, students who pay for their fees on a payment plan and students who use government education funding options like FEE-HELP and HECS.

ITECA Media Release welcome TPS changes

But ITECA can’t help you either – they act for the RTO’s.

Australian Federal Department of Education – TPS

The Department of Education manages the Tuition Protection Service (TPS) and is actively consulting with industry for some new changes in 2023. You have to be pretty interested in education law and policy to get into it but essentially it comes down to all training providers paying essentially an insurance fee that is based on:

  • financial strength;
  • completion rate; and
  • non-compliance history and registration renewal

This means that badly run RTO’s will HAVE to charge more for their courses because of the cost for TPS insurance.

Sadly for Mentor Education students it doesn’t appear to be mandatory for all RTO’s to join and pay fees for this Tuition Protection Service.

The Department of Education has made several announcements at their website where the TPS has been activated for the benefit of students – Mentor Education was not mentioned in their accouchements. In fact all 6 announcements where for International students.

NCVER & Your USI Transcript

Of all of the things that can happen this section is probably the most critical because it relates to how well Mentor Education managed their students competency records.

Data reporting is a requirement for RTOs and if a student has completed all assessments required for competency to be awarded in a given unit this information is reported to NCVER. Sometimes, students assessments have been marked as competent but they are only stored in the Student Management system of the RTO. If the information has not yet been reported to NCVER, then it’s likely that this information will NOT show on the USI Transcript.

Has this been done for Mentor Education students? If not, is the Administrator processing these students to ensure that they can receive their Statement of Attainment (SOA)? If students have their completed units available in their USI transcript they can then enrol with a different provider (providing those Statements of Attainment (SOA) as evidence) and the new RTO can then do a CT (credit transfer) of those units so the student doesn’t have to complete the assessments for this unit again.

When we explore the latest filings with ASIC we found that the Administrators appeared to be more concerned with the affairs of the creditors. Sure, this is a creditor issue but evidence of the courses that students have completed is a bigger “social” issue.

See the ASIC Announcement for the Second Creditors Meeting for Mentor Education.

What can you do?

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1 thought on “Mentor Education Liquidation: Students or Creditors, Who’s More Important?

  1. […] They were however still paying for Google Ads to promote a Cert IV in Bookkeeping and Accounting for $990. They may have been promoting other courses too but that’s when the dilemma became apparent that perhaps they should have spent any money available on making sure that current students had their assessments marked and USI academic transcripts updated. […]

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