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No industry support for export education levy

No industry support for export education levy

The Association of Private Providers of English Language (APPEL) joined other export education industry groups at the Education and Science Committee today to oppose the Education (Export Education Levy) Amendment Bill.

“We are appalled that the Government is introducing retrospective legislation to make honest institutions pay for wrongdoing by others. Apart from the dubious process involved, the Bill requires us to pay for any liabilities owing to students if a private training establishment closes and its internal systems fail”, said Patrick Ibbertson, chairperson of APPEL.

“Our major concern is that we have no control over this risk as we do not control entry to the industry. The New Zealand Qualifications Authority and the Ministry of Education control entry and they should take responsibility for their complete failure to check up on some private providers.”

“In the case of Modern Age, which closed last year, NZQA accepted a verbal assurance from an accountant that a trust account would work well in future without any investigation of the current problems referred to by the accountant. If government agencies just accept verbal assurances rather than checking the records, quality providers are exposed to enormous risks. The legal profession can control the entry and exit of lawyers but PTEs now face an open-ended contingent liability over which they have no control.”

“The Government should recognise its role in the failure of Modern Age and Carich last year. It should pay the costs that it assumed without industry consultation and move on. Seeking to force through yet another industry ‘levy’ is the wrong option. The Government should simply move on.”

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