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Australian college dupes Indian students

Fate of several Indian students enrolled in a Sydney-based aviation college have been left in limbo after their dreams of acquiring commercial pilot license remained unfulfilled even after paying thousands of dollars.

india Updated: Jul 28, 2009 10:26 IST

Fate of several Indian students enrolled in a Sydney-based aviation college have been left in limbo after their dreams of acquiring commercial pilot license remained unfulfilled even after paying thousands of dollars.

In a latest scam which came to light after ABC TV channel programme 'Four Corners' exposed migration and education agents duping Indian students, Aerospace Aviation college that provides commercial pilot training, it was alleged, exploited international students besides ill treating Indian students.

Under their aviation course, students who have signed up for a commercial pilots' license course that cost USD 43,500, Aerospace Aviation must deliver 200 hours of flying over 52 weeks.

Many students alleged that they never received enough flying hours due to lack of facilities and unavailability of instructors.

A student of the Aerospace Aviation college, Surendra Egalapati alleged he only received 130 hours over an 18 month period.

Another former student Scott Alex said he was disturbed by the way the college was treating Indian students.

"It was definitely derogatory the way they spoke to them, the way they treated them," he said.

Meanwhile, Sydney-based Sterling College also announced its closure, a move which will affect a large number of Indian students studying there.

The college operates several sites in Sydney's CBD, offering courses in English, financial services and hospitality and has over 500 enrolled students, according to ABC report.

About 35 employees have been laid off by the college which is struggling with severe financial crisis and is unable to pay salaries.

Quentin Olde from administrators Taylor Woodings said students face the loss of most of their tuition fees, which they paid in advance.

However, he said that he is not aware of any link with the ABC's Four Corners story about overseas tertiary students being ripped-off by migration and education agents.

"The only link is that this college does appear to have a number of Indian students, probably a significant number of the population," he said.

"Secondly it appears that be operated by originally Indian interests." The administrators will hold emergency discussions with the Australian Council for Private Education and Training to see what support is available to those who are enrolled.

Sterling college also operates a campus in Brisbane, which the administrators say will stay open for the time being. A creditors meeting has been scheduled for August 6.