Students duped in Switzerland
A group of six Indian students who went to study in the snowy backdrop of Switzerland in August last year crash-landed in a maze of Alpine deceit and frustration. Sandeep Patel (26) from Indirapuram, Ghaziabad, was one of the six. Peeyush Khandelwal reports.india Updated: Jun 23, 2009 01:49 IST
A group of six Indian students who went to study in the snowy backdrop of Switzerland in August last year crash-landed in a maze of Alpine deceit and frustration. Sandeep Patel (26) from Indirapuram, Ghaziabad, was one of the six.
To fulfil his dream of a management degree from abroad his father spent lakhs for a course at the Swiss Management Academy (SMA). A year later, Patel and his father are fighting for justice.
“When the students, including my son, reached Switzerland in August 2008, they found the Swiss Management Academy at Neuhausen was being run in a tiny 10X10-ft room,” Mohan Prasad, Patel’s father, told HT.
“There was only one teacher. The college lacked basic infrastructure. Sandeep approached Indian Embassy officials at Berne, who later found that the said institute was not authorised to run the courses.”
Prasad, a government employee, had taken several loans for sending his son for an MBA in Switzerland through its alleged representative in New Delhi.
“The agent had advertised in leading newspapers and also arranged the visa and other related documents saying the institute was recognised,” Prasad said.
“SMA asked us to pay the initial amount to her (the agent) and remit the rest at Switzerland, which we did. Other students were sent by another agent from Mumbai.”
Patel told HT over phone from Switzerland that SMA president Dr Eddie Meier had fled after closing the institute on account of bankruptcy.
“We have now been given work-permits to earn and study further. The embassy officials are continuing to help us get admissions into recognised colleges.”
Prasad, meanwhile is fighting for a refund of his money.
“I wrote to the President, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Education Ministry, the CBI about the agents and the institute,” Prasad said.
On the instructions of MEA, the CBI filed a preliminary enquiry report in June. “I came to know this through an RTI filed with the MEA,” Prasad said.