Peter Ryan, Consult Ed's principal consultant, was quoted in the Australian Financial Review on Monday 29th November 2004 regarding the transition of premium VET providers into the Higher Education sector:

VET colleges hope to upgrade degrees
Sophie Morris

Colleges at the "premium end" of vocational education and training (VET) are moving into the higher education sector, attracted by its marketing potential and by the prospect of government-funded loans for their students. Increasingly, private vocational education and training colleges that have offered diplomas and advanced diplomas are seeking to have these accredited as degrees by state governments.

The next step is to apply to the federal department for recognition as a higher education provider, which can offer Australian students $50,000 government-funded loans under the Fee-Help program. The 25 colleges the department has so far recognised as providers come from the 150 non-university higher education institutions around Australia that have already been accredited by state governments to offer certain degrees. They include the institutes of Business and Technology in four cities around Australia, which offer students a path into the university with which they are linked, and a number of Christian colleges.

Peter Ryan, the former managing director of the Australian College of Applied Psychology, has set himself up as an adviser to colleges applying to become higher education providers - a process that involves financial checks and a tuition assurance arrangement.

He says the introduction of Fee- Help loans has generated “tremendous interest" from colleges which have previously only provided VET courses but now want to straddle both sectors.