Changes to laws on private vocational schools would protect students, enhance integrity: Goertzen

A new bill would require private vocational schools to post more information publicly, in an effort to enhance student protection and tackle negative perception, Manitoba's Education Minister said Wednesday.

Institutions would have to post tuition, employment rates under new legislation

Private vocational schools in the province have struggled with negative public perception stemming from 'instances of deception,' Education Minister Kelvin Goertzen said. (Getty Images)

A new bill would require private vocational schools to post more information publicly, in an effort to enhance student protection and tackle negative perception, Manitoba's Education Minister said Wednesday.

The bill would require the province's 40 private vocational institutions to post information including tuition fees and employment rates of students, and give government a compliance framework to ensure program quality.

Education Minister Kelvin Goertzen said Wednesday the schools have continually expressed a desire to improve student protection and enhance their reputations.

"While many institutions provide quality education, we acknowledge that some have struggled with negative public perception that stem from instances of deception," Goertzen said in a written release.

More than 2,800 students attend the schools in the province each year, the release said. In 2016-17, the province paid nearly $13 million to the institutions through employment training funding and Manitoba Student Aid.

The Private Vocational Institutions Amendment Act, introduced Wednesday, would reduce red tape for schools, Goertzen said in the release, and establish a staged appeal process.

If adopted, the changes would be the first amendments to the act governing private vocational schools since 2002.

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