Another Australian college on verge of collapse

A Melbourne-based private institute is on the verge of financial collapse, threatening future of over 4000 students, including from India.

Updated: Jan 31, 2011, 14:33 PM IST

Melbourne: A Melbourne-based private
institute is on the verge of financial collapse, threatening
future of over 4000 students, including from India.

Private college giant `Carrick` has now sought
financial help from Victorian government to guarantee its
future.

The institute is relying on a USD 10 million deal with
Victorian public TAFE Holmesglen, The Australian reported. The
deal, likely to be finalised by Monday, could result in
Holmesglen securing up to 80 per cent of Carrick, it said.

Carrick runs several vocational courses including
hospitality, tourism, events, community welfare work, business
marketing and hairdressing besides other bachelor degrees and
English programmes.

Its collapse would threaten more than 500 employees
and 4000 students, including its inter-state operations in
Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney.

Financial results for the holding company Carrick
Institute of Education, lodged with the Australian Securities
and Investments Commission earlier this month, revealed a USD
13.8 m loss in 2009-10 as it was hit by the collapse in the
permanent-residency-driven market for international students.

It follows on from a USD 43 m loss the previous year,
driven largely by a near USD 38 m impairment on the value of
its intangible assets.

The unnamed party is believed to be Holmesglen, which
The Australian revealed last Thursday had taken out a fixed
and floating charge over Carrick`s assets of up to USD 10 m.

Carrick had previously been in talks on forming an
alliance with the US-based Washington Post`s education arm
Kaplan, which appear to have fallen through.

Victoria`s Ted Baillieu government said it was in
dialogue with Holmesglen on the deal.

"The government has sought assurances from the board
of Holmesglen that appropriate steps have been taken to
protect student welfare and the taxpayers` interests," a
spokeswoman for Higher Education and Skills Minister Peter
Hall said.

PTI