Department of Education and Training/ACCC Joint Litigation

For: 

The Department of Education and Training (the department) and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) are currently taking action in the Federal Court of Australia (Federal Court) against four former VET FEE-HELP providers that are alleged to have breached various provisions of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) by engaging in misleading, deceptive and unconscionable conduct.

Current Litigation

The department is a joint applicant to these proceedings and more information can be found at https://www.accc.gov.au/media/media-releases.

It is expected that these matters are likely to take some time to finalise. It is important to note that there is no guarantee that the outcome of these proceedings will result in a re-credit of a VET-FEE HELP debt for affected students. The department is continuing to pursue these matters and will update this page as the matters progress.

Unique International College Pty Ltd

Unique International College (Unique) has been the subject of legal action in the Federal Court by the ACCC and the department. The legal proceedings relate to the conduct of Unique when enrolling students between 1 July 2014 and 30 September 2015. On 30 June 2017, the Federal Court found that Unique had engaged in unconscionable conduct and misleading or deceptive conduct.  However, orders for the cancellation of VET FEE-HELP debts have not yet been made by the Court and it may be that the judgment will be appealed.

Cornerstone Investment Aust Pty Ltd

Cornerstone Investment Aust Pty Ltd trading as Empower Institute (Cornerstone) has been the subject of legal action in the Federal Court by the ACCC and the department. The legal proceedings relate to the conduct of Cornerstone when enrolling students between 1 March 2014 and 30 June 2015.

Australian Institute of Professional Education Pty Ltd

Australian Institute of Professional Education Pty Ltd (AIPE) has been the subject of legal action in the Federal Court by the ACCC and the department. The legal proceedings relate to the conduct of AIPE when enrolling students between 1 May 2013 and 1 December 2015.

Phoenix Institute of Australia Pty Ltd

Phoenix Institute of Australia Pty Ltd (Phoenix) has been the subject of legal action in the Federal Court by the ACCC and the department. The legal proceedings relate to the conduct of Phoenix when enrolling students between 19 January 2015 and November 2015.