3 Canadian colleges shut, Indian students in lurch : The Tribune India

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3 Canadian colleges shut, Indian students in lurch

Most of those hit from Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat

3 Canadian colleges shut, Indian students in lurch

The closure of three Canadian colleges run by a family with a chequered history has left nearly 2,000 students, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and Gujarat, in the lurch with the immigration status of at least half of them under threat.



Tribune News Service

Sukhmeet Bhasin

Bathinda, February 7

The closure of three Canadian colleges run by a family with a chequered history has left nearly 2,000 students, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and Gujarat, in the lurch with the immigration status of at least half of them under threat.

The three private colleges — Collège de comptabilité et de secrétariat du Québec, College de I’Estrie and M College in Montreal city — and a recruiting firm, all owned by the Mastantuono family, filed for creditor protection in mid-January. After spending lakhs on fee and travel, the students have lost their student status and their visa and other documents have become invalid.

According to information, 1,173 students were studying in person at the three colleges in Montreal while 637 were pursuing online classes from home in Punjab and other places. They had been eagerly awaiting on-campus learning to begin to shift base to Canada. While some of the parents lost their life’s savings, others had raised loans to send their wards abroad.

Talking to The Tribune, Manjot Singh of Amritsar, who was pursuing a course in network administration, said his parents had raised Rs 17.52-lakh loan for his college fee. Nisha Rani of Moga too rued that after attending online classes for 18 months and paying Rs 8.73 lakh as fee, her study visa was rejected last year.

Amanpreet of Ludhiana paid Rs 8.82 lakh for a business administration course in 2020. In February 2021, she opted for an online course. Before her study permit could be approved by the Canadian federal government, her college was put under investigation over its shady recruitment practices.

She decided to withdraw from the college and sought a refund, but was assured only Rs 4.29 lakh, half of what she had paid. But even that hadn’t come despite waiting for six months, she regretted.

Raising the issue with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, CPI MP Binoy Viswam said the students had been forced to take collective action seeking refund of visa and tuition fee and the opportunity to complete their education.

Surrey-Green Timbers MLA Rachna Singh said the Quebec government should hold an investigation and find out how the colleges got their licence. “In Canada, the federal government regulations are different while the provincial governments have their own rules. The parents too must be cautious while sending children abroad,” she said.

CPI MP Binoy raises issue with Jaishankar

Raising the issue with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, CPI MP Binoy Viswam said the students had been forced to take collective action seeking refund of visa and tuition fee and the opportunity to complete their education.

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

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