Public Values

Deregulated post-secondary education in BC gets failing grade

Government washes hands of mess, tells students to sue substandard institutions.

BC advanced education minister Murray Coellby Andrew MacLeod, The Tyee

BRITISH COLUMBIA — Deirdre Bell says she likes her job training race horses for Hastings Park, but there was a time she thought she might work in health care. She even registered for training as a medical lab assistant at a private college that she says never delivered what it promised.

Despite having complained to the school, the provincial regulator, the ombudsman and a legion of government officials, she and her mother are still waiting for an acknowledgment that what happened was wrong.

"Nothing was really worked out," said Bell, speaking some five years after enrolling at the school. Even suing, which led to an out-of-court settlement, brought little satisfaction. "I don't think anything was worked out by going to court."

It's an increasingly common story in BC, where the Liberal government turned regulation of the private post-secondary education sector over to an industry board, even as the province expanded the scope of what the institutions could do.

As they have for many other industries in BC, including forestry, corporate securities and cosmetology, the BC Liberals proudly announced their deregulation efforts would save red tape...

To read further, please click on the link below:

Privatization vs. Public Values Frame
  Red tape wastes businesses' time / Red tape protects the public interest

Links and sources
  When Gov't Cut Red Tape, Life Got Sticky for Many, by Andrew MacLeod, The Tyee, May 12 2009

Posted: May 27, 2009

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