AFP officers at St Stephens Institute of Technology. Its owners were charged with serious fraud offences on Wednesday. Photo: Supplied
The college offers overseas students certificates in business management and early education learning, which are used to support applications for 457 and other types of visas to work in Australia.
The ASQA audit found “several occurrences of plagiarism” with “entire sentences and paragraphs” in some TK Melbourne students’ work being “direct copies”. This happened even when students were writing on different topics.
It also appears some TK Melbourne students have not been doing their own course work, with the same handwriting appearing in assignments from several different students’ portfolios.
ASQA found the duration of training for several qualifications “was not consistent” and resulted in a “significant deviation” from national standards that could not be adequately explained.
“The amount of training has not been determined based upon the existing skills, knowledge and experience of learners, with the timeframes being insufficient to allow for new entrants into the industry sectors to effectively develop all of the skills and knowledge required,” the ASQA audit found.
It also found TK Melbourne did not have proper facilities to accommodate the number of students it claimed to have on its books, with an attendance register from February stating 252 students were present when its premises could only hold 118 people at that time.
TK Melbourne also only had four trainers and assessors present to oversee its claimed 252 students. Further, four of the assessors TK Melbourne told auditors it had on its books claimed to be no longer working there.
Documents show TK Melbourne allegedly provided a foreign student a certificate to show she had completed a six-month business course on October 3 last year. However, internal TK Melbourne emails show the student had only received an “offer letter” from TK Melbourne to begin their course on October 10.
On October 15, TK Melbourne provided a “completion letter” regarding the same student’s certificate III in business, which the letter claimed began in March last year and was an English-language full-time course.