Monday , June 14 2021

Charles Darwin University Supports Interstate Private Colleges with Profitable Losses


August 16, 2019 19:21:45

Questions have been raised regarding the continued ownership of the University of the Northern Territory by private business colleges in Cairns, at a time when the university is being offered multimillion-dollar assistance by the NT government to keep its training sector on board.

Key points:

  • NT Auditor General's Report Finds Cairns Business College and Cairns Language Center Deficit Reaching Nearly $ 2 Million Between Them
  • This comes at a time when Charles Darwin University parent company is cutting courses and releasing staff at its leading campuses in the North
  • NT Government Offers University a One-Time Payment of $ 7 Million to Help Vocational Training Courses Be Floating

The Charles Darwin University (CDU) has recently announced that it has owed $ 21 million, followed by cutting courses and firing faculty, including faculty, at its leading campuses in Darwin.

The Auditor General's report presented to NT Parliament this week revealed that during this period CDU continued to support Business Cairns Business College and the Cairns Language Center, among other private organizations, although these education centers had a deficit of nearly $ 2 million.

"Charles Darwin University has provided the undertaking with a guarantee to provide the company with financial support for its operations; payment of its obligations and when due; and to enable the company to continue trading," the auditor-general report.

The chairman of the NT branch of the National Union for Higher Education, Darius Pfitner, described the assets of the University of Queensland as a "bad investment" and "the worst kept secret" on campus.

"We are a university, dealing with people's education and it seems that we have invested in organizations that are not doing very well, which can be seen competing with us," Mr Pfitner said.

"We lost a significant amount of money, we wrote off a whole lot of debt there.

"While the Vice-Chancellor in a recent presentation to all staff seems to be focusing on staff overheads as problematic, in fact, staff costs have been reduced in the last year and poor investment decisions cost the university."

In a written statement to the ABC, Acting Vice-Chancellor Prof. Sue Carthage said the university was "actively exploring options to address the ongoing viability of the Cairns Language Center and Cairns Business College."

"The university has obligations to students and staff and we take them into account when considering options," said Ms. Carthew.

Report delivered the same week with the new money being offered

The report was presented the same week as the NT government offered a one-time, $ 7 million outlay to support the university's vocational education and training sector.

NT Education Minister Selena Uibo said the payment had been offered "so we do not see VET delivery failing in the Northern Territory … especially in our regional and remote settings".

"Through [an] The independent report commissioned by the CDU, this is their report, part of that recommendation was to seek advice and support through the Northern Territory government, which is why it is only a one-off contribution, "Ms Uibo said.

Opposition leader Gary Higgins earlier this week asked Ms Uibo if the government was "funding $ 7 million in staff cuts at Charles Darwin University" – but Ms Uibo did not respond directly at the time.

In an insulting press release on Friday, Mr Higgins described the NT Labor government as' mean and arrogant 'for failing to answer his question, and $ 7 million as' losing taxpayers' hard-earned money'.


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