Association to launch learner surety fund for trainers

Heading: 

The Association of Private Providers of Education and Training (Appetd) is on the verge of establishing a fund that will protect private learners tuition fees.

The recently enacted legislation requires that all private educational institutions offering full National Qualifications in the Further Education and Training (FET) band, must provide financial guarantees/sureties to protect the learners in the event of a business closure.

This follows similar legislation that was enacted earlier on for the Higher Education and Training (HET) band.

During the recent FET road show held nationally with Appetd and the Department of Education, the criteria for the registration of FET institutions were clarified.

The private training institutions will have to show that they have available funds or assets to match tuition income on a Rand for Rand basis. If a business for example earns one million in tuition fees, it has to be able to demonstrate that they have available the equivalent amount in cash or assets.

This resulted in Appetd submitting a proposal for the establishment of a Fidelity/Surety Fund for its members, which was duly accepted by the department accepted by the Department of Education.

Angus Anderson, Chairman of the Natal Region of Appetd says: "Whilst large institutions might be in a position to provide the requisite guarantees, there are over 4000 smaller privately owned FET training institutions in South Africa that are not in a position to comply with the legislation because they simply do not have the assets or access to the needed finance. As a consequence they are in very real danger of being put out of business.'

Appetd is launching a Tuition Assurance Scheme (TAS) to meet the requirements of the proposed Fidelity/ Surety Fund, which will resolve this problem, especially for the smaller Training Providers.

Appetd FET members will contribute to the TAS on a monthly basis. This is estimated that it will cost members in the region of 1% of tuition fees received, which is a very workable solution for members, and provide the required protection for students. The scheme will be managed by Appetd for the benefit of all members.

Australia has had an almost identical scheme working for over years now, and it has been extremely successful. The proposed model for South Africa was launched by the Appetd Chairperson, Rooksana Rajab at a very successful annual conference held on the 7th and 8th of June 2006 at Gallagher Estates.

Tim Smith, the CEO of the Australian Council for Private Providers (ACPET) enlightened the delegates on the benefits of participating in such a scheme.

Appetd represents the interests of all Private Education and Training Providers and takes an active role in the formulation of the education policy.